Fight, small girl, fight!

There is an African saying that goes “A small man is not a boy”.

I believe it panders to the education of people who tend to think anyone small is a child, and should be treated as such.

I have suffered from these people my whole life. But no more. This is the year I began to tell people off on the spot, and next year I shall graduate to putting them in a room and lecturing them. With a projector.


A small man is not a what? A boy!

One day I was in a business meeting in a hotel lobby when a lady I’d worked with many years ago interrupted us.

“Eh, Lindsey!” she laughed. “You haven’t gained any weight at all after all this time. You look like such a child!”

She chuckled and I suppose I was expected to smile and say, “Aha. Aha. Ahahaha.”  No. I opened my mouth and said “You can’t say that to me”.

Her smile faltered. I continued.

“I’m a grown woman in an important meeting, and you interrupt us to tell me and my friend here that you think I’m a baby? Get lost!”

She disappeared, trailing her ample behind her. Was I too harsh? Tough.

One time, I was attending a conference for work. One of my fellow attendees seemed to find my petiteness highly amusing and always pointed it out, smiling genially as she humiliated me.

“Hello, little girl!” She would call out as I approached a table for tea.

“Hey there, you small girl!” she’d say another time.

“I’m 30 years old,” I always said. She would respond with “Oh, but you know what I mean. You are so small!”

I liked her so it was difficult to be as brusque with her as I was with ample behind up there. Eventually though, she got used to my petiteness so that was a relief.

If it is not okay for someone to laugh at a fat person and go “Banange you are so fat. You look like a pig. Why do you eat so much?”, why is it okay to laugh at a thin person and go “Banange you are so tiny. All bones. Why don’t you eat more?”.

3 thoughts on “Fight, small girl, fight!”

  1. I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me- I also live in Kampala, and one time a woman (that I hardly knew) told me that I looked like I was 13, and that I should “get some fat on those bones”. She then proceeded to interrogate me on what I eat. I was fuming, and unfortunately I just smiled politely whilst she laughed at her own jokes about my body.


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