To many Americans, size is inseparably linked to success in life as illustrated by the number of zeros on your pay check. America’s obsession with size has been a subject central to our ideological importance as a nation. In fact, during a recent Chevy Tahoe commercial, a quote from Teddy Roosevelt appears at the top of the screen as a giant-sized truck easily maneuvers through a rugged western terrain. “Like all Americans,” it reads, “I like big things.” For over a century, this idea, the identification of/and celebration of big things, has continued to dominate our nation’s self-image. Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!
In America, size matters and the bigger the better: big cars, big houses, big jobs, big salaries, big buildings, big cities, big basketball players.
Subscribing to this national view however, is myopic and overlooks the influence and power of small. Take Rosa Parks (5’2″) for instance, the African-American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress termed “the first lady of civil rights.”
Or Joan of Arc (4’11”), the national heroine who helped France by leading its soldiers against English tyranny. Proving our point that the media and entertainment tends to encourage “bigger is better” in recent films about Joan of Arc for instance, both supermodel 5’10” Milla Jovovich (The Messenger) and actress 5’10” Leelee Sobieski portrayed Joan of Arc and they were not remotely her height.
Then we have Anne Frank (4’11”), one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Or Marie Curie (5’3″), the first female to win a Nobel Prize in science. And, of course, Agnes Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa (4’10”) for her compassion and charity.
More recently, Danica Patrick (5’0″), the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. All of these women left a lasting legacy on the world, thereby changing it for future generations. What makes them so compelling however, is that none of them are “big.” Upon closer look, each has something in common: petiteness. In fact, the tallest of these women stood only 5’3’’.
Too often “big things” are confused with better. However, this isn’t always the case. Success in life is more about forward movement and maneuvering beyond the limits that restrict us. Real success entails achieving full potential, not maximum size.
As in the case of each of the aforementioned women, it happens when long-standing ideas are challenged, and innovative ones displace them. Success means progress, is fueled by imagination, and comes in many sizes.
Editor-in-Chief Ann Lauren of Bella Petite Magazine has challenged the fashion industry with her innovative fashionable publication to motivate a fashion industry shift towards petite women. So, like Teddy Roosevelt, it is fine to like big things, but it’s equally as important to like the small ones too. Written by: Bella Petite Cover Model Samara Khatib
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