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.








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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."

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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.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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