Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and well below the average height for females. It bothers me a lot. I'm treated like a 5-year-old. I get picked up all the time, and it's awkward talking to people because they look straight down at me -- and they never let me forget it.

I try to act cool about it, but honestly, I'm losing sleep over it. I'm really self-conscious, and when I get upset people just laugh at me and say I'm "cute." What should I do? -- LOOKED DOWN UPON IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR LOOKED DOWN UPON: No one has the right to pick you up or touch you in a familiar way without your permission. If this is happening at school, tell the principal about it because it could be classified as a form of bullying. It will then become the school administrator's job to make clear to your classmates that their behavior is not appropriate. If it's happening outside of school, your parents should be told so they can help you put an end to it.

P.S. If you work to develop your mind, you can accomplish what many short people have done -- compensate by becoming a mental giant. Do that, and you'll become a role model that people of every size will look up to.

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