Words by Patricia Yap
Growing up I always knew that I was the “short one.”
Ever since grade school, I would always be somewhere in the very front of the line during assemblies—always knowing the drill to immediately go to the front and to never go past the 5th person in line. But, like any short person out there, I had a dream; and that dream was to become taller!
So, in my relentless (but ultimately failed) pursuit of this dream, I tried many things and have been given a lot of “hacks” along the way. And I’m sure that you, my fellow small person, have experienced the same.
Here are the 7 ways I tried to become taller (or have been told to do) in hopes of adding that extra two inches to my height (#Respect).
7. Jumping at 12 AM on New Year’s
At the top of my list is the whole “jumping on new year’s will make you taller” belief. Back then, I used to jump multiple times at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve because everyone in my family said it would make me grow taller. They even said that the higher I’d jump, the taller I’d become.
So, of course, as the hopeful kid I was, I jumped as high as I could to achieve that height I so desperately desired. Also, let’s be honest here, you probably still do this even though you’re way past the growing age. There’s no shame in that.
Aah, the famous Cherifer—the multi-vitamin bane of every short kid and the multi-vitamin supplement that all Filipino moms believed in. It became such a household name that for as long as I could remember, it was used both as a compliment and an insult. To the tall ones, they’d say, “Nasobrahan ka ata sa Cherifer noh,” while to us shorter ones they’d said, “Hindi ka siguro nag Cherifer nung bata ka.” And so we reply along the lines of “Wala. Di’ effective eh!”
Seriously though, did anyone ever grow because of height multi-vitamins or were the kids in those commercials just genetically blessed?
5. Chinese Medicines and Practices (Hello, Tian Qi)
In relation to the Cherifer method, a lot of kids from the Filipino-Chinese community grew up taking some form of Chinese medicine that promised to increase one’s height. One specific medicine I remembered was a supplement called Tian Qi. These were capsules that were believed to promote the circulation of blood, and so the grownups believed that better blood flow equals better bone growth.
I’m pretty sure I tried taking these before but stopped midway because I couldn’t stand the smell of it or something. Whenever parents in my school would see each other’s child for the new school year with an additional 5 inches to their height, they’d always assume that the parent made their child take this.
Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have stopped taking these. What if they were really effective??
4. Milk and Naps
As a kid, you either loved naps or hated them—there is no in-between!
I’m 100% sure that your parents made you take naps when you were a kid and also made you drink milk right before bedtime because my parents certainly did. I pretended to be sleeping during nap time sometimes though because I hated taking naps (Sorry mom and dad! This is why I didn’t grow). As for the drinking milk part, to this day I still get teased by some of my friends to drink it. Well, let me tell you that I drank milk every time, but look where I am now—still short.
Stretching to increase my height was something that I learned later on in life. I have a friend who suggested that I practice the same stretches as her during one of our conversations on new year’s day. To say the least, yeah that height resolution didn’t go as planned. Good for her though!
2. Star Margarine on Rice
Many parents believed that Star Margarine would help their children grow taller because of how the spread is advertised that way. And so, like any Filipino parent out there, they religiously incorporated star margarine in a lot of dishes, especially rice! I really doubt the effectivity of this, but nonetheless I loved the taste of margarine with rice.
1. Stopping People from Crossing Over You
This was a funny mindset that I believed for the longest time. Whenever I had my legs sprawled out on the bed and my younger sister had to cross to the other side, I’d immediately stop her and get mad because I thought that doing this would stop me from growing. I never knew the reason why it was wrong, but it was just wrong! You know what I’m saying, right?
It’s tough being a short person, especially in a society that prides and looks up to (quite literally) those with tall statures. I’m almost 20 years old now and I stopped dreaming for that extra height. I know that I’m not getting any taller any time soon, but hey, at least I can say that I tried. So, for all my fellow short people out there, don’t sweat it! There are a lot of benefits to being short, you know. And regardless of whether you’re short, tall, or somewhere in the middle, there’s so much more to you than just your physical appearance; don’t let it define you.
What other things did you do to get taller? Let us know!