Whe technically i am 5’8", but dueto.being a para sitting a wheelchair, I haven’t been taller than.4’0" for 21.years. Granted my answer is quite biased but my experience has shown me that our world is just not constructed for little kids, midgets and those of us who can’t stand. Its an oft-overlooked aspect of accessibility. For example being tall doesn’t present a single functional challenge to completing a grocery trip. If my bias is blinding to me the obvious, please feel free to correct me (hahaha! like you fuckers need permission).
But there is no difficulty reaching things up high, and you are never seemingly invisible, needing to.stay vigilant against the possibility of being walked into (ironically its usually by someone standing 2 or 3 feet above me lol). The parking lot presents new risks, as being 4 feet tall in those chaotic confines makes you hard to.see by anything other than the highest sitting vehicles. I fucking hate big parking lots. Hate hate hate.
I could go on but no. I have been babbling all damn day.
The OP didn’t say you’d be a dwarf, just that you’d be short. There are groups of people around the world that are, on average, much shorter than Americans or Europeans. A quick and dirty google came up with this:
You can be short and healthy, whereas the health drawbacks of being tall are tied directly to height.
Ah! But very short has more Show-Biz opportunity, and you don’t really need any talent for that, just be short! Think of the money Danny DeVito has (not saying HE isn’t talented, 'cause he is, but think of all the ‘other’ shorties that are only cast for size) and he can work well into old age and not get sidelined due to injury.
I am short, not quite freakishly so, but definitely short. I can shop in the children’s department sometimes (because kids are getting bigger!).
All the seats on the plane are comfortable for me. I never hit my head. And the whole world is pretty willing to help me lift or reach things it seems. When I give a big hug to my giant nephews I get swept right off the ground, it feels so wonderful, it totally makes up for the indignity of sitting down with at group and everyone turning to notice your feet, don’t quite, reach the floor!
My husband never tires of telling people he once saved my life as I was stepping off a curb about to get hit by a bus careening around a corner, by lifting me back onto the curb, by the neck of my shirt-like a four year old!
I’ll take short. If you aren’t tall enough to reach something, you can get a stepladder. If you are too tall for the roof of the car, there’s no equivalent solution. Plus I am pretty sure that the health/longevity issues already mentioned upthread are statistically significant.
However, I’m female. If I were male, I’m not sure how I’d feel about being 4’6". Short is one thing - both my son and my boyfriend are 5’6" or less, and they both have excellent self-esteem and have never lacked girlfriends - but 4’6" is a whole other thing (just like being 7’ is a lot different than being 6’). I’d have to think long and hard before choosing. Can I have a week at each height before I have to decide?
Not much choice when even the WNBA does not exactly have benches full of 7-footers…
I have a colleague who is tall and thin but of a more realistic height (6 feet, maybe a bit more). She mentioned that she finds shopping for clothes easier in Sweden than the USA. Even so, I figure that at the real extremes you are not going to waste your time trying to buy clothes off the rack in any case. (Including at the short end; even ‘petite’ patterns typically assume the wearer is at least 5 feet tall.)
I can’t see the stuff on the shelves without bending over. That’s getting worse now that I’m older, but it was worst when I had a child-in-arms. And don’t get me started on those knee* high self-service bagging areas.
It’s irritating in the shops, having to ask a shop assistant to locate stuff for me, but, as a life-long reader, it pisses me off in the library. Libraries used to have tall shelves. Now they have short little shelves so the short little librarians can monitor the library space, and I’m too embarrassed to sit on the floor to see what’s on the bottom shelves.
*well, technically somewhere between ankle high and knee high
The store I work at, which has a “fucking big parking lot”, used to have a lot of undesired mobility scooter/car interactions, then someone had the idea of sticking bright orange safety flags on them which has cut down on such things. Link provide solely as an example and not a suggestion for that particular one. Anyhow - I’ve noticed recently some of our full-time wheelchair using customers are also sporting them now. Don’t know if that would help you or not, but it’s a thought.
4’10" is normally considered the cut-off for dwarf/midget/little person. The OP said 4’6" so yes, the OP did in fact say you’d be a dwarf. Not necessarily a particular type, but at that height you would in fact qualify as a “little person”.
The other height proposed by the OP, 7’, puts you into giantism. So both choices put you outside the human norm.
Granted that there are some groups of people that have short stature, those groups are also outliers and the OP wasn’t asking if anyone wanted to move to the DRC and join the Mbutsi tribe. It’s pretty clear the question was which extreme you would choose in mainstream society.
Yes. People who are just short (and in many cases people who have one of the various disorders under “dwarfism”) can have normal lifespans and are usually pretty healthy. The very tall have back and joint problems connected to simply being larger than normal, and they tend to have shorter lifespans due to both cardiovascular problems and also an increased risk of cancer. These drawbacks start to kick in around 5’6" for woman and around 6’ for men. At those starting points it’s a very small statistical uptick, but the higher you go the more often those problems show up. Take a look at this list in Wikipedia and check out the “age at death” column. One or two made it to their 70’s and 80’s but most didn’t last past their 40’s and a lot died in their 30’s or younger.
So, being short can suck because of height discrimination, being unable to reach upper shelves, people crashing into you because they just don’t see you, and the fact the world is largely designed for 5’10" men. Being tall can suck because of being cramped all the time, hitting your forehead on stuff a lot, needing your clothes tailor-made, and dying younger than those short people milling around your waist.
That’s assuming you can afford to do anything other than “buy off the rack” - being poor and of unusual height (in either direction) can be a pain. Not so much for the short - there are always children’s clothes although getting formal wear can be a problem, and a lot of small sizes can be altered to fit - but for those too large for normally made sizes it’s very much a real problem. Shoes in particular seem to be a problem. Robert Wadlow a.k.a. “The Alton Giant” went to work for a shoe company in part to get shoes. I can’t remember the exact person at the moment, but I think one of more recent “tallest people in the world” didn’t leave his house for a few years at one point because he simply couldn’t get shoes in his size due in part to poverty. All of the very tall seem to have problem getting clothes and shoes.
I’m a 6’ 3" male and on a day to day level I have no complaints (I have slightly high BP so I might kick-off early but, whatever). Also, most of the time, everybody is either my height or shorter than me so, when I do run into people significantly taller than me it’s noticeable to me. The looking up at someone that I have to do only a few times a year is something I would not enjoy all the time. Therefore I chose 7 feet.
As I have mentioned in other related threads, I have lived as both a very short/tiny male and a fairly tall male. When I was 16, I was 5’2" and 85 lbs. I looked like a little kid. By the time I was around 19, I was 6’3" and 135 lbs. I’m still skinny, but have some actual muscle so at 180, I’m good. As a 5’2" tall 16 year old male, I was picked on a lot. I was thrown around by people a lot. I would’ve rather been 7’ than 5’2" so being even smaller would’ve been worse.
I went to high school with a kid like that. He was two grades behind me and when I graduated he was noticeably shorter than me, which sucks because I was all of 5’3", and since I moved the weekend after graduation that was the last I saw of Adam.
Four or five years later a friend said someone was “tall like Adam” and I said to be nice. They then replied “No, I’m serious, Adam eventually got tall, like 6’4”!" Turned out it was true. Good, he hated being so short.