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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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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