Today I recently divulged in a previous question that I am a 4'9" female adult. I think everyone can agree that I'm certainly short, but how do you diagnosis "dwarfism"?

I was born with congenital bone fusions thanks to a rare bone deformity, klippel-feil-syndrome, and have undergone 15 surgeries in my lifetime. While I've always been extremely short to my classmates growing-up (it took me a long time to even get on the height chart at the pediatricians), no one ever suggested or gave thought to growth-hormones because it seems my body was short because of all my bone deformities (I'm missing a few vertebrae in my spine and neck, etc) -- also, it was the 90's. Additionally, my body is proportional so I don't think anyone has ever seriously considered the fact that I may indeed be a dwarf -- a proportionate dwarf.

I have been teased my entire life for my height. For instance, I can't sit in any chair without having my feet dangle, I cannot look in a peep-hole in a door, I cannot take my clothes out of the laundry machine without a step-stool and a long pair of prongs, I am too short to drive go-carts (but can drive a real car), I'm too short to ride a bike -- I can't touch the ground, etc. But these are merely nuisances -- not critical problems -- except when it comes to walking. I simply cannot keep up with anyone even though I'm walking at twice or triple the speed of everyone else (which often wares me out and causes resentment on whoever is with me).

Besides all this, I have come across time and time again that adult females under 4'10" are considered dwarfs, which I a fall under (I'm 4'9")-- even if barely.


In humans, dwarfism is sometimes defined as an adult height of less than 4 feet 10 inches


Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less.

Proportionate dwarfism. A body is proportionately small if all parts of the body are small to the same degree and appear to be proportioned like a body of average stature. Medical conditions present at birth or appearing in early childhood limit overall growth and development.


Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition.

I've known this information for awhile, and every time I mention it to a friend or family they just quickly shut me up with "No you're not!" I don't know if they are trying to boost my self-esteem or that my proportional body gives a false perception, but I seem to fit the diagnosis to the letter (the congenital bone deformities that stunted my growths and have caused me to remain within the category for "little person" or whatever term is preferred. I'm not looking for sympathy (because I am who I am), but why do people act like it's shameful/outrageous if I'm a dwarf? I know I'm taller than most (I'm not wanting attention), but why not call it for what it is? Why this social taboo?

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    I know that the terms/labels are all sensitive and a lot of them have negative undertones, but I do not use these words in such matter. I also am fully aware that people are not defined by these conditions/labels, and I apologize if it appears that I do so. I was just trying to convey a point. I apologize if it comes across as tactless. Nov 17, 2016 at 3:12
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    I might consider changing the rationale in your question to be the answer to the question. This is a very interesting post, and evidence points to you being correct. Their reaction appears to be an issue of colloquial usage of terminology vs true definition, as >70% of dwarfism is due to achondroplasia - which has a more common presentation and therefore is easily generalized. As for why there's societal stigmatization of physical/psychological differences, that's its own discussion, a tragic flaw of humanity. I applaud you for recognizing and combating these stigmas.
    – DoctorWhom
    Jul 5, 2017 at 9:16
  • I have always wondered if I don't fall under some proportionate dwarfism category or if I'm a midget I don't know I mean I am 4 foot 10 and as far as I know I never made it on the height chart I might have when I got older but I don't recall ever being told that I made it on the chart. I do very many times remember being told that the chart was here and I was he over here and I was never gonna make it and if you're trying to imagine what he said take a piece of paper or you can use your left hand and put your right hand about 3 inches higher . The doctor said this is where the chart is a messa
    – Lara
    Feb 26, 2018 at 3:48


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