Long And Short Of It


Dear Enchantress,
Here is my dilemma. I am really short. I’m under four feet 11 inches and I have been called, "cute," all my life. Not only do I not like that, people treat me like I’m a child. I’m 35. My voice is also high. When I was little, people would make fun of me. Men have always just picked me up, yes, like as in up into the air and they say, “What’s up shorty?” They find it funny, and I use to laugh and smile. Now I full-on hate this.
I don’t want to be cute. I want to be a fully grown powerful woman. I don’t even think I am. This cute stuff has got to stop. How do I get people to stop calling me cute? Even my girlfriends introduce me as their “cute” friend! It’s so annoying. Help?!
Love, Not Cute Caren
Hello Powerful Mysterious Woman!
Thank you for desiring to take a stand on how people see you and project their own stuff on you. Writing to me can be your declaration. You are a powerful woman, and the first step is to own that.
A simple and not always easy physical practice you can do is to start out sitting and breathing, and with closed eyes visualize yourself as the most powerful version of yourself, or an animal that is mighty and powerful. As you stand up, begin to walk around the room as this version of yourself or the animal. It might feel ridiculous to start, but this embodiment practice and exercise can be powerful in terms of you owning your space (no matter how tall or short you are). It’s a time to work on your presence. You can do this each time you leave the house, when you’re alone and getting dressed to go out.
Next, it’s all about boundaries. Start with your girlfriends and tell them how you feel. It can be three sentences; envision a sandwich, if you will. First, let them know: “I have something to ask of you, and it’s important to me. And I trust you all really care about me.” 
Second, tell them what you want: “Please don’t use the word ‘cute’ when describing me.” The third part is to share the impact, reason why and gratitude. “Thank you for doing this. When I hear the word, 'cute,' it makes me feel small and not empowered, having your support in this makes me feel like you’re my sisters.”
Use any words you choose. The three-part sandwich is a helpful tool when you are asking something uncomfortable and new, or awkward, if I may. Boundaries about being picked up is something you have to be ninja about. When someone goes to “handle” or “touch” you and you are not ok with that, your reaction doesn’t have to be big and dramatic. You can move out of the way and shake an index finger at the person, and give them a look, like “do not think of touching me.” Add a smile of gratitude at the end. Never fight with anyone, or explain yourself to anyone who wants to randomly just pick you up. You don’t have to spend time near anyone who doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand your your hard "No!"