Paula Abdul is a petite pop star with incredible talents, including singing, dancing, performing, choreography, and more.
Discovered by The Jackson family when she was a Lakers Girl, she choreographed for the famous singing group and quickly gained a name for herself.
Paula Abdul in a floor-length purple gown by Australian designer Steven Khalil at the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell at 3LABS on November 9, 2019, in Culver City, California (Credit: DFree / Shutterstock)
She was launched into an illustrious career that included performing in a Las Vegas residency and appearing on television as an American Idol judge.
The Surprising Power of Paula Abdul’s Petite Stature
The saying, “Mighty things indeed come in small packages” is certainly true for the 59-year-old performer. Abdul was born three months premature, with a broken windpipe and one leg shorter than the other.
Despite her health setbacks, she was born to be a performer. Abdul began choreographing musicals with the neighborhood kids from a young age, her powerful personality shining through even then. She once said, “I’m five feet, one-and-three-quarters inches, but in my mind, I’m seven feet tall.”
Paula Abdul in a gorgeous gown by Michael Costello was honored at the 34th annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony in New York City on May 11, 2019 (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)
Celebrity Beyond Height: Embracing the Tinkerbell Syndrome
She has created a larger-than-life public persona. Despite her love of high heels, she is still notably short. Interestingly, she is not the only pint-sized celebrity personifying a powerful personality.
Similarly, the “Tinkerbell Syndrome” applies to women below an average height. Tinkerbell is sassy, stubborn, and determined, and these characteristics can be displayed in shorter women.
Paula Abdul flaunted her legs in a white fringe-embellished Hamel blazer dress at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)
Paula Abdul is undoubtedly one of these people living larger than life. She brings a powerful presence wherever she goes, which is why her height intimidates people.
On her Bravo reality show Hey Paula, she said, “I think my height intimidates people.” She continues to tower under people with her presence and personality.
Overcoming Adversity: The Mystery and Impact of Paula Abdul’s Plane Crash
In addition to health complications, Paula Abdul has experienced traumatic physical injuries several times in her life. At 17, she suffered a back injury while cheerleading.
She did not have surgery to treat the injury. A serious car crash left her with neck injuries in 1992. But the injury that had the greatest effect on her was a plane crash in 1993, leaving her with multiple injuries to her spine that also caused partial paralysis.
There has been some controversy about whether or not the plane crash happened. Although there is no record of the seven-seater plane going down, the controversy stems primarily from Abdul avoiding the subject for many years.
Singer Paula Abdul is proud of her Jewish roots and says she’s “very much in tune with spirituality” (Credit: Ron Adar / Shutterstock)
She had her reasons for not wanting to go public with the extent of the accident: “It took me a long time to build the career that I had, and I didn’t want to be counted out or fearful of people not understanding and thinking that, ‘Well, maybe she’s really not doing well.’” It took her years to heal from the extent of her injuries, and she was forced to time off from performing and her career to recover.
The Road to Recovery: Overcoming Pain with Grace
After the plane crash, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a chronic neurological disorder that causes pain. She is treated with anti-inflammatory medications, massage, and acupuncture treatments for her pain.
Before using more natural treatments, she was using pain medication. She was accused of odd behavior on the set of American Idol.
Short dancer/singer Paula Abdul performs during The Total Package Tour at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 7, 2017, in Uniondale, New York (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)
The odd behavior stemmed from her exhaustion after many sleepless nights from the ongoing pain she was experiencing. She has miraculously recovered and continues to dance and sing in gravity-defying pop performances.
Embracing Transformation: Paula Abdul’s Journey Through Plastic Surgery
The injuries that Abdul sustained caused her to seek plastic surgery. The paralysis she experienced after the plane crash affected the muscle tone of her arms. She regularly works out but could not rebuild the muscle mass in her arms after being paralyzed.
She had plastic surgery to tighten the skin due to the lack of muscle tone. Although she has had plastic surgery, she has a healthy perspective on aging, saying, “I feel like I’m aging as gracefully as one can be, with a healthy outlook.”
Plastic surgery on her arms was not the first time she went under the knife. She has had over 14 surgeries throughout her life. The petite actress also had breast implants put in over 20 years ago.
Singer-songwriter Paula Abdul attends the 4th annual unite4:humanity Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on April 7, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)
But as she gracefully aged, she realized that her breast implants were causing her severe back problems as she continued dancing and performing. She decided to have breast revision surgery to remove the implants that were “a little too big” for her petite frame.
Abdul said, “As the years go by, gravity happens too, and I just always felt like [they were] a little too big for my frame, and I wanted to get the old implants out.”
Paula Abdul has been open about her many plastic surgery procedures (Credit: Ga Fullner / Shutterstock)
Paula Abdul is a formidable woman despite her petite frame. The pop star and performer was born for the stage and used her height to forge a path for herself. The multi-award-winning performer continues to turn heads and captivate audiences around the world.
Ageless Elegance: Paula Abdul’s Red Carpet Moments
In March 2016, Paula Abdul attended the Los Angeles premiere of High Strung, and it seemed she left her pants at home.
Paula Abdul wears her hair up at the premiere of Paladin’s “High Strung” held on March 29, 2016, at TCL Chinese Theatre (Credit: Nicky Nelson / WENN)
The then-53-year-old TV personality displayed her famous dance-toned legs in a white tunic-style dress with long sleeves and a high neck that balanced out the extremely short hemline.
Paula Abdul wears a white turtleneck mini dress to the premiere of “High Strung” (Credit: Nicky Nelson / WENN)
She added bling to her white outfit with a black clutch, a large black pendant necklace, dangling earrings, rings, and a pair of glitzy stilettos.
The wealthy and multi-talented celebrity rounded out her look with a messy high ponytail with bangs, bronzed eyeshadow, and pink lip gloss.
Paula Abdul accessorizes with a black clutch and a large black pendant necklace (Credit: Nicky Nelson / WENN)
Paula’s mixed-media sandals have gold and black straps, asymmetric straps, glittery cutout side panels, open toes about an inch from the platforms, and 5.5-inch heels. Can you help us ID these skyscraper heels?
Paula Abdul’s feet in black-and-gold sandals (Credit: Nicky Nelson / WENN)
In April 2016, Paula Abdul attended the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
Paula Abdul curls her hair for the 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards held on April 2, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles (Credit: WENN)
The then-53-year-old TV personality wore a thigh-grazing black skirt showcasing her dance-honed legs.
Paula Abdul shows off her toned legs in a black skirt (Credit: WENN)
She paired the skirt with a long-sleeved pussy-bow blouse in lilac and accessorized the look with a few pieces of jewelry and a black clutch.
Emilio Estevez’s ex-wife completed her look with towering sandals by Charlotte Olympia.
Paula Abdul wears a lavender blouse to the GLAAD Awards (Credit: Apega / Brian To / WENN)
She wore her hair down in loose waves, framing her face, which featured light smoky eyeshadow and a swipe of pink lipstick.
Paula wore the same Charlotte Olympia “Precious” sandals spotted on Zendaya last month at the Kids’ Choice Awards.
Paula Abdul’s feet in embellished platform Charlotte Olympia sandals (Credit: WENN)
These aptly named sandals feature large crystal embellishments on the front straps and heel counters, 1.3-inch platforms, and about 5.7-inch heels.
Charlotte Olympia “Precious” Sandals, $1,895