Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ve probably at least seen advertisements for Netflix’s recent movie “Tall Girl.” Unfortunately, the movie was slightly painful to watch, but it was reassuring to be able to relate to the main character on some levels.
While I believe the movie had good intentions, it’s cheesy writing and generic plotline kept audiences from seeing its true intentions. So, since this movie left me completely disappointed, I am going to tell you about my experience as a Tall Girl in hopes that you will understand what it’s really like.
Let’s start at the very beginning:
I have been a large person literally since I was born. My mom had to be induced into labor early because I was already so huge (my poor poor mother). After I was born, I was regularly off the charts in terms of height. The doctors would mark a dot off in the top right corner of their graph and call it a day.
When you’re a kid, your height is how adults assume your age. So, when you are 4 years old, but you look older, people expect you to act older. You start missing out on the fun things about being a kid because you outgrow them more quickly than other people- literally.
One time, in elementary school, we went on a field trip to Space Center Houston where they had the COOLEST playground. I am talking about multiple levels of pure fun. They even had one of those foam ball pits you could jump into.
I had played in it dozens of times, but on this particular trip, the worker decided I was now too tall to play in it. Devastated would be an understatement. I had to sit and watch my friends have the time of their life while I was on the sideline because I was too tall. My mom argued with the worker, but he didn’t change his mind. She ended up buying me some of those frozen space dots (ice cream) to make me feel better. It worked, obviously, ice cream is the best. But it still made me feel like an outsider. It felt like I wasn’t allowed to act my age because of my size.
Cue middle school:
In sixth grade, I started going to public school, and the jokes about my height became more monotonous. The most common, of course, was “how’s the weather up there?” So unoriginal.
Most of the obvious jokes like this came from guys. I guess middle school boys had yet to develop an original sense of humor. The girls were more prone to criticizing me for wearing any type of heel because “what was I trying to do, talk to God?” Yes, Becky. These extra three inches added to my regular height is what gave me that final push to reach straight into heaven and talk to the Big Man face-to-face. Puhlease.
These jokes don’t seem that mean, but there were definitely worse ones. Plus, I was hearing them multiple times a day. So, it didn’t take long before it started to wear on my self-esteem. In middle school, all you want to do is fit in. But when you’re towering a foot over everyone else, that task is not quite so easy.
With the constant mocking, it was difficult to build any confidence. I finally started owning my height when I played sports in High School. Even though I played in middle school, I didn’t gain control of my lanky limbs until High School. It also wasn’t until then that I became a halfway decent athlete.
I fell in love with sports, and being tall was a huge part of me being semi-successful in them. The jokes about my height eased to almost a complete halt, and people seemed to move on. It appeared that because my height now had a purpose, it was harder to make fun of. Playing basketball and volleyball helped me build confidence and not be so ashamed of my height.
I quit slouching as much, and I stopped putting up with the few jokes about my height I was still hearing. It was my turning point, and I am forever grateful that I had even an ounce of athletic ability to allow this to happen.
College is when people really start to get into the dating scene. Even though I never dated, the guy-to-girl height ratio in relationships was still CONSTANTLY brought up. People, even now, criticize me when I say I won’t date someone shorter than me.
Despite having had this argument multiple times, I still fail to understand why this is such a point of contention with people. If I said I only liked guys with blonde hair, nobody would care. But when I say I only like guys taller than me, everyone gets offended and tries to argue until I change my mind.
People often say “some guys don’t care if they date a taller girl.” Well, good for them, but I care, and that’s what’s important here. Plus, when guys tell me they “don’t care” that I am tall, it comes off like my height is a fault they are choosing to look past. When, in reality, it is the state of my existence and I can never, and would never, change it.
Girls who are significantly shorter than I often comment that they don’t care if they date guys shorter than them. Congratulations to you too, but it is not the same at all. When you’re taller than everyone and everything every day of your life, you don’t want it to be that way in a relationship too. At least, I don’t, and I am not going to apologize for that.
Finally, the expressions from guys about “wanting to climb me like a tree.” Referring to me, or another Tall Girl, like a tree, is not a compliment. Please, stop trying to impress tall girls by referencing climbing inanimate objects. I am not an object, and you definitely are not going to climb me.
In the end:
While I find all of the aforementioned exasperating, I wouldn’t trade being 6 feet tall for the world. I never have trouble seeing at concerts, people don’t mess with me because I am usually bigger than them, and I never have trouble reaching stuff on the top shelf.
Being tall is part of who I am, and I love it about 95% of the time. But when I have little legroom on flights, or I smash my head on a low hanging sign for the hundredth time, I do kind of resent it. I also still have a slight slouching problem from years of trying to make myself appear shorter, but I’m working on it. And while I am working on that, maybe everyone else could work on crafting jokes where Tall Girls aren’t the punchline, and a Tall Girl’s dating criteria aren’t an open discussion.