Height is a very important physical feature as it largely determines the sort of things you can be able to do. Sports like basketball, gymnastics, and even football have certain height requirements, without which athletes engaged in the sport might find themselves at a disadvantage. Height is also one of the very first things that get noticed about a person. While most people manage to reach average heights by the time they are adults, this feat is impossible for some due to growth defects or genetic conditions. Here is a list of 10 shortest women in the world.
Shortest Women In The World And Their Heights
10. EDITH PIAF (4 FEET 8 INCHES)
Edith Piaf is the tallest, short woman on this list. Standing at a height of 4 ft 8 in, the Little Sparrow as she was fondly called is recognized as one of the most talented French singer-songwriters, actresses, and performers of all time. She traveled all over the world and regaled audiences with her breathtaking talent. Most people were usually surprised that someone so small could be so gifted.
Edith wrote and performed several songs that have gone on to become classics including La Vie en Rose, Milord, Hymne à l’amour, La Foule, and Padam, padam…, amongst others. She lived from December 19, 1915, to October 10, 1963. Several books and movies have been made about her life, but the general consensus seems to be that she is one of the greatest performers the world has ever seen.
9. SUSANNA BOKOYNI (3 FEET 6 INCHES)
Born in Hungary on the 24th of April 1879, Susanna Bokoyni was one of the shortest women in the world. At the time of her birth, her parents were informed that she probably wouldn’t live to see her eighth birthday. However, in a sleek turn of events, Susanna lived to be 105 years old, making her the longest-lived dwarf in history.
From the age of 16, she earned a living by working as a dancer at Orpheum Theatre in Budapest. Later, she became a circus performer, touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Rose’s Parisian Midget Follies. In her 90s, Susanna moved to New Jersey, USA, to live permanently in a retirement home there. She passed away from old age years later on August 24, 1984.
8. TAMARA DE TREAUX (2 FEET 7 INCHES)
This American actress suffered from dwarfism which stunted her growth and prevented her from reaching a normal average height. She was born Tamara Detro on October 21, 1959, and she appeared in the movies Little Miss Parker, E.T., Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Linguini Incident, Ghoulies, Ted & Venus, and Rockula. Due to her height and the near impossibility of finding clothes in her size, Tamara had to make her clothes herself.
She managed to live a full life, refusing to see her abnormal growth condition as a misfortune. She performed as part of a singing group known as Medflies, acted on theatre, and posed as one of the models in Joel Peter Witkin’s iconic photograph – Daphne and Apollo, Los Angeles. The heroine, Cadence Ruth in Armistead Maupin’s Maybe the Moon, was written in her image. The writer, who was a close friend of the actress, drew inspiration for the character from Susanna’s diaries. She died from heart and respiratory problems at the age of 31, in 1990.
7. STACEY HERALD (2 FEET 4.5 INCHES)
In addition to being amongst the shortest women in the world, Stacey Herald holds the record for the world’s smallest mother. Stacey was born in Kentucky, USA, however, her actual date of birth is unknown. Her unusual condition is as a result of a rare genetic disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta. Some of the complications of her disorder other than dwarfism are underdeveloped respiratory system and fragile bones. Stacey can barely stand on her own, so she is mostly confined to a wheelchair, which she uses to get around.
Interestingly, she is married to a man who is 5 feet 9 inches tall. Her husband, Will Herald is a vicar, and they have been happily wedded since 2005. They were advised to not try having children as the weight of the pregnancy could crush Stacey’s organs, threatening her life, but they decided to give it a shot anyway. Today, the pair have three children, all given birth to through cesarean section. Unfortunately, her first two children inherited her genetic condition, but her last daughter is growing normally. The girl is already way bigger than her mother, so Stacey has quite a difficult time trying to raise her.
6. HATICE KOCAMAN (2 FEET 4 INCHES)
For a while, this Turkish woman held the world record for being the smallest mobile woman in the world. She was born in 1989, in Kadirli, Turkey, where she still lives till today. Her freakishly small height is not due to an abnormality in her pituitary gland, but because of a genetic bone condition which doctors believe she inherited from both of her parents. The condition also brings with it problems like back troubles, hip dysplasia, and other health issues, rendering Hatice unable to perform physically demanding tasks.
Unlike most people, she cannot work, so she spends her time assisting her mother with little tasks around the house. Hatice used to dislike being teased because of her size, but she claims she has gotten over it now, because unlike her classmates, she is actually famous for who she is. People from all over the world know her name and she’ll always be remembered in history as one of the shortest women in the world.
5. BRIDGETTE JORDAN (2 FEET 3 INCHES)
At the time of her birth on June 9, 1989, in Illinois, Bridgette Jordan only weighed 1 pound and was 1 foot 0.5 inches tall. When she passed away on June 12, 2019 (aged 30), she had only grown up to 2 feet 3 inches. She held the world record for the shortest woman in the world until the title was claimed by Jyoti Amge in 2011. Bridgette also held the record for the shortest living siblings in the world with her brother Brad.
The Jordan siblings suffered from microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II, a genetic condition so rare it only affected one in three million people. Despite her growth limitations, Bridgette made it to university, attending Kaskaskia College where she served on the cheerleading team. Although her condition usually impacts brain and skeletal functions, Bridgette was unaffected by these complications, so she spent her time on earth dancing, learning about fashion, and dreaming about starting her own clothing brand someday.
4. MADGE BESTER (2 FEET 1.5 INCHES)
South African-born Madge Bester used to be the shortest woman alive. She lived from April 1963 to March 2018, and only measured 2 feet 1½ inches in height. She is still the proud holder of the title for the smallest non-mobile woman in the world. For context, Madge was smaller than the average one-year-old child. Her peculiar height stems from osteogenesis imperfecta, which makes her bones brittle, so she had to make use of a wheelchair for most of her life.
Her mother also had this condition but grew to be 5 ft 8. While she was living, Madge was a vocal activist for disability rights. She organized a press conference in 1998, alongside the then shortest man in the world Lin Yih-Chih, where she addressed the issue extensively, encouraging disabled people to forget their disabilities and focus on maximizing their abilities instead.
3. JYOTI AMGE (2 FEET O.7 INCHES)
Jyoti Amge is the smallest living woman in the world. She has held the record since 2011 when she turned 18. She was born in 1993, in Nagpur, India. Her dwarfism is due to a condition known as achondroplasia, which caused her to stop growing shortly after her first birthday. Jyoti has brittle bones, which means one small misstep could prove to have terrible consequences for her, so she is under the constant care and watchful eye of her parents.
Jyoti dreams of being a big-time Hollywood actress and winning an Oscar. Already, she has been featured in the documentary Body Shock, and on the fourth season of American Horror Story: Freak Show. She has also appeared on other screen projects like Big Boss 6, Lo show dei record, and Maatharam.
2. LUCIA ZARATE (2 FEET 0 INCH)
Next on our list of shortest women in the world is Lucia Zarate. Her unusual height led to her being the first person to be diagnosed with Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II, a rare genetic condition that manifests as growth and mental abnormalities. Lucia was born in Mexico in 1864, but she later relocated to the United States when she was 12.
She achieved her final height when she was just one year old and never added another inch after that. Lucia joined the circus and traveled all over to exhibit her small stature to the awe of many. She was in control of her cognitive abilities, as well as her movement. She died at 26 from hypothermia when the circus train she was on got stranded in the snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada.
1. PAULINE MUSTERS (2 FEET 0 INCH)
As far as documented history is concerned, Pauline Musters is one of the shortest women in the world, as well as the shortest woman who has ever lived. Born in the Netherlands, she came into the world on the 26th of February 1876. Upon her death at the age of 19 in 1895, after battling a deadly case of meningitis and pneumonia, the medical community carried out a post mortem examination which revealed she was exactly 24 inches (2 feet) tall. She also weighed less than 2 kg.