Ask Dr. Phil: Melissa

Ask Dr. Phil: Melissa


Melissa gets angry when she sees stories of people winning prizes for losing weight. "Every time I turn on the TV, there's always a sob story about overweight people. Is it wrong of me not to feel sorry for them? In my mind, I feel like they're almost as bad as an alcoholic or even a drug user, because they're over abusing a substance, and in this case, food. It's absolutely ridiculous," says Melissa. "I'm five feet, 100 pounds, and a size zero. Overweight people can lose weight, but I can't grow. Where is the fairness in all of that? To everybody who thinks that it must be so easy for a little person to find

clothes, it's 100 percent more difficult. I would like to tell America that it is so rude to make short jokes to people who I would call vertically challenged. They say things like, ‘Gosh, maybe you can fit into Baby Gap.' And for people who think that I'm just so cute, the word cute is for a 2-year-old, or a dog. It's hard to be short."

Melissa has dreams of being a supermodel but is always told she'll never make it because of her height. "Dr. Phil, how can I feel better about being petite?"


"Well, what is your purpose and point?" asks Dr. Phil. "Is your purpose and point to tell people who are overweight that they shouldn't be getting prizes just because they did something they shouldn't have done to begin with? Or is it that you want to feel better about being petite?"

"The purpose is to tell you that you shouldn't be rewarding people for losing weight," says Melissa.

"Oh, your purpose is to dog my ass!" exclaims Dr. Phil. "OK. So you think I shouldn't reward people for taking charge of their life and reversing negative patterns, and achieving better and more optimal health. What part of that do you think is dysfunctional and counterproductive?"


"I agree with that, but I think that they initially got themselves to that situation by overeating, and you're rewarding them for a habit that they shouldn't have had in the first place," she says.

"No, not true. I'm rewarding them for adopting a habit they should embrace," says Dr. Phil. "I'm rewarding them for having the strength and the courage to reverse a negative pattern, change their life, and move to a different place."


"So you're rewarding them to be normal?"

"I'm rewarding them to overcome a negative habit and pattern in their lives, and that's not easy to do," counters Dr. Phil. "The reward reinforces the behavior that it immediately proceeds."


Dr. Phil gets to the heart of the matter. "What is your problem with being petite? I mean, isn't the truth that you're just not accepting yourself?" he asks.


"I think that America should understand that models are no longer 5'10. There are a lot of petite women and I would like to be one of those people. And I'd like to be considered seriously," says Melissa. "I'm limited in what I can and cannot do. Such as only commercials or television."

"You can't change that," says Dr. Phil. "You're quite right. There's nothing you can do to change it. And that may close off certain options to you. I mean, nobody calls me to do a hair dryer commercial," he jokes. "There comes a point where you've got to say, ‘It is what it is, and I'm going to accept what it is and make the best of it' … You're obviously a beautiful woman, you're obviously intelligent and articulate. You obviously have so many blessings and gifts. And it's not better or worse, it's just different," he says. He tells her that very tall people would probably love to be her size. "Everybody can say the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but what it boils down to is, you've got to get to the point where you say, ‘I have to accept who I am and make the best of it' ... You just have to embrace who you are, because no matter how long you're upset about it, it isn't going to change. And I would hate for you to spend your life resenting people who are overweight and lose weight, or people who are tall, because they're probably standing over there and saying, ‘Man, she just looks wonderful.'"

Dr. Phil recommends Melissa embrace her weaknesses. For example, Dr. Phil's been bald since he was in high school, and he made it his trademark. "It's on every book I've ever written. At least I don't look like everybody else out here," he says.