Netflix's 'Tall Girl' falls short, stigmatizing something that didn't have a stigma on it
Netflix

The height of the average American woman is 5'4, and 5% of women grow to 5'9 or taller, according to the Center for Disease Control. While tall women are in the minority, the downsides to being tall are nowhere near as bad as the way they're presented in Netflix's new teen rom-com, "Tall Girl."

The movie is about a 6-foot-1-inch tall high schooler named Jodi who feels uncomfortable with her height after years of bullying. As a rom-com lover and tall girl, I wanted to like "Tall Girl," I really did. Lead actress Ava Michelle, who plays the titular tall girl, delivered a very relatable performance as Jodi, and the film did have its moments. But "Tall Girl" inadvertently sends the message that not being small and dainty is the worst thing that could ever happen to someone. It's not.

The movie got blasted on Twitter for presenting being tall as adversity.








RELATED: Netflix cuts controversial suicide scene in '13 Reasons Why' more than two years later

Being tall isn't adversity. I'm taller than most men and have never once felt discriminated against because of my stature. Height can be an asset. Leaders tend to be on the tall side. Malcolm Gladwell noted in "Blink" that 14.5% of American men are 6 feet or taller, but 58% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are 6 feet or taller. Yes, that statistic applies to men, but I've always felt that it validates my height by proxy.

If there is any discrimination against tall woman, it comes into play with dating. This factor does, to some degree, make height relevant fodder for a rom-com. Women who mark their height as 6 feet or above get 40% less messages on OK Cupid, and women are, on average 8% shorter than their partners. But again, there are worse things in the world – and this comes from a woman who thought the first guy to ask her out (yes, he was shorter) was pranking her. A 2008 study found that only 53% of men require their partners to be shorter them, so height isn't always a deal breaker.

While the film aims to have an inspirational "love who you are" message, and that is admirable, it falls, well, short. "Tall Girl"ends up being the cinematic version of "You'd be prettier if you stopped slouching." Something that just sucks sometimes is blown out to the point where it's life ruining, and turns a well-meaning film into one of those, "I didn't know there was anything wrong with me until you said something" scenarios. "Tall Girl"could be summed up in one of Jodi's lines – "Anytime you try to make me feel normal, you end up making me feel like more of a freak."

RELATED: These trans artists reveal the first time they truly felt represented in TV and film

We shouldn't put a stigma on something that doesn't have a stigma. Aside from sometimes having a hard time finding pants, I have found that the most difficult part of being tall is when people constantly point it out to you. If you really want tall girls to love their bodies the way they are, then stop pointing out that they're tall.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less

Every day, I wake up feeling like Peeta at the end of "The Hunger Games" series asking Katniss what's real and what's not real.

The first thing I do is run through a series of thoughts to orient myself to this bizarre reality we're currently in: "What day is it today? Umm...Tuesday, I think. Who is president of the United States? Donald Trump. Wait, is that right? That can't be right....No, yes, that's right. Wow. Are we still in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed 200,000+ Americans in six months? Yes. Are people still acting like it's a hoax? Apparently so. Is there still a ridiculous number of people who believe that an elite cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is secretly running the world and trafficking children to harvest fear hormones from their blood, and that Donald Trump is going to save us all from it? Yup."

Then I lie there in dumbfounded disbelief before semi-rallying: "Okay, here we go."

It's not really okay, though. How any of us are expected to be able to function in this reality is beyond me. When we've gone beyond merely having different perspectives on issues and instead are living in completely different versions of reality, I can't figure out how to feel okay. Or, to be more accurate, when some of us are living in objective reality and a not-insignificant-enough number of us are living in a completely made-up land of alternative facts and perpetual gaslighting, it's hard not to feel like I'm the one losing my grip.

Keep Reading Show less