Tall Lady’s Backhanded Compliment Library, First Edition

Occasionally, I get a real compliment which could be mistaken as an insult, or in some cases, as in the situation below, I get a detour. I thought this conversation was going to lead me straight into treacherous falling rocks, but instead, it quickly deeked onto a path which lead me to a gondola that flew me up the self-esteem mountain. (Did I drag that metaphor out too far?… You get it. Mountain.)

SETTING: In a high-school cafeteria. Several kids from varying social stratospheres are sitting spaced out at a table together during a “spare” or “open” period. Typical high school chatter takes place. Tall girl is sitting, listening, but not really engaged.

POPULAR BOY WHO DOESN’T USUALLY TALK TO TALL GIRL: Yvonne, you remind me of Ethel.

TALL GIRL: [Says nothing, as can only think of one Ethel in popular culture and looks up with a furrowed brow as she knows this is not a compliment]

POPULAR BOY: You know, from Archie.

TALL GIRL: [Sighs, still remaining silent, not wanting to encourage this conversation. Yes, I know Ethel from Archie. She’s a gangly dork who everyone runs away from in the Archie comics. Why would I encourage this conversation?]

POPULAR BOY: You know, she was a dork but then when she showed up at her high school reunion she was a supermodel.

TALL GIRL: [Oh. Dumbfounded and is struggling to utter something resembling A WORD in the English language. Quietly…] oh, thank you.

End scene.

I remember being so confused. I was not part of the most popular crowd and got very little attention from boys. I never mistook this conversation for this boy liking me, but I really appreciated the moment he took to share this insight with me. I knew I wasn’t some kind of freak, but given my astounding number of boyfriends in high school (ZERO), I thought I was considered a different species as a girl who was taller than most of the guys.

So thanks. It was nice to hear. My supermodel career never did come to fruition, though.

For Amanda Todd

No one deserves to be bullied. No one earns it, no one asks for it,

it isn’t a rite of passage.

Bullying has to stop.

Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia

 

This week, BC has been struck with tragedy, but as you know, the impact and implications of this loss are exponential.

I have spent the morning watching local news reactions and fallout from the suicide of Amanda Todd, a fifteen year old Coquitlam, BC teenager who could no longer bear the torment of her bullies. For her to take such extreme actions can mean that she could not conceive an end to her pain, the cyber bullying, the abuse, whether at school or otherwise.

I wanted to write a post about this, not because it has anything to do with being tall, but for so, so many reasons:

 – Because as women, many, if not most of us, are deeply affected by praise for our looks, and sometimes blindly so. As Amanda shares in her YouTube video posted one month before her suicide, she “got called stunning, beautiful, perfect etc…” followed by the request to flash which she fulfilled. I have no doubt that thousands of other girls have done the same; however, in this instance, the receiver took advantage of the opportunity to black mail her. 

– Because our society is working so very, very hard to prevent bullying and Amanda and her family want her video shared as part of her legacy. How are we working to prevent it, and what can you do?  Through anti-bullying websites, kids help phones, support programs, many of which you can find in your area by Googling “Stop bullying.”

– Because as someone who hopes to be a parent someday, it is my responsibility to accept that I need to educate my child to behave online as if each and every interaction were face to face. And I also need to accept that I cannot just cut my child off from accessing the Internet, or monitoring their every move because that will breed distrust and will not change behaviours. 

– Because you have either been bullied, witnessed bullying, or been the bully. And anything you can do to stop it from happening helps, even if you think it won’t make much of a difference. We hear it again and again, that one voice, one hand, one person who cared made all the difference. Bullying damages us. To this moment, I can tell you several insecurities I have were bred from the bullying I experienced as a teenager.

In Amanda’s case, she did have a strong support network, although there was something that occurred just this week that made her feel entirely alone and that her struggle was futile. 

In memory of Amanda, and in your experience of bullying in whatever form it was in, please commit to doing your part to end bullying.

 

Tall Lady Fitness: Zumba

I am the first to admit that I have tried nearly every exercise “fad” there is. Some I have enjoyed more than others, like Bikram’s Hot Yoga and Pilates, and I fully intend to return to although I have not been practising regularly. I’ve been a Spinning fiend, a Kickboxing klutz, a Bootcamp blitzer and an Insantity addict. (Don’t ask me what happens to me on a treadmill.)

But yesterday, I think became a Zumba zealot. I took the course at my local Steve Nash Fitness club and was totally unsure what to expect.

What you need to expect/ prepare for you if you take a Zumba class:

1. Let go of self-consciousness.  If you have decided to take a Zumba class, you cannot worry for a second about how silly you might look. If you are not the most coordinated person in the world, you absolutely will look silly. If you are tall and uncoordinated to boot, you will be a flailing gong show. But you need to let go of the thought that anyone else cares about what you are doing cause they focusing on what they are doing.

2. Even if you aren’t doing the moves exactly, you will get a good workout trying. I sometimes get discouraged when I feel like I am barely keeping up, but the music in this class and the energy of the instructor definitely kept me moving, and smiling, even though I was at least three steps behind.

3. Let go of your inhibitions. When I was dancing (er… exercising!) I likened the feeling I was having to a) being a kid in my room and dancing like crazy because no one was watching, b) being at a dance club when you might be a little tipsy, shaking your booty, whipping your hair and stomping out salsa steps like you are a professional ballroom dancer and c) just some goof who was having a good time because she, well, see points 1 and 2.

Regardless of how clumsy I might have looked, there were moments where I just felt like a Latin-dance goddess. It’s a fitness class, dance lesson, a uninhibiting hour of seductive self-realization.

No, this is not an endorsed post, but I would say that was so much fun that I am really looking forward to the next class. If you want to try Zumba, this link takes you to the Zumba site which shows you where you can do a Zumba class in your town!

http://www.zumba.com/en-US/parties/search/

Stay tuned for a picture of me Zumba-ing. Maybe.

The Height Advantage and Tall Men of the UEFA

Tall ladies seldom hear, “You’re tall. Do you play soccer?” But it is apparent that height, long limbs, and being ahead above your competitors is a huge advantage in this sport. As we approach the final games of the first round of the UEFA, I thought it would be fun, for sports’ sake and… you know, other reasons, to find out a little bit more about the tall men of the Euro Cup.  Note: If you are a reader of this blog, you may remember that I am half German, and yes, it is safe to assume that is who I am cheering for and may show a little bit of bias towards in this post. Smiley face.

Tallest Man

Hey! Doesn’t it look like he got the biggest size pants that are too long in the crotch just because he needed them for length? Who’s been there! Anyway… what a save!

Andreas Isaksson (199cm)

Team: Sweden

Position: Goalkeeper

Height of significant other: No info available. Not sure. An interesting development for some of you, perhaps?

Second Tallest Man

Another case of short pants and a tent that is not built with a 6’5″ person in mind. Poor guy probably had cold feet and ankles all night. Actually, probably cold knees too.

Per Mertesacker (198 cm)

Team: Germany

Position: Defender

Height of significant other: Her name is Ulrike and she is a foot shorter than he is!

Third Tallest Man

I don’t think so!!!

Petr Čech (197 cm)

Team: Czech Republic (so Petr Čech isn’t just a clever name…)

Position: Goalkeeper

Height of significant other: Her name is Martina, and it is unknown. Well, I couldn’t find it.

Tallest Team

It’s a TIE! Both Croatia and Germany have an average team height of 185 cm.

Croatia

The aerial advantage!

The aerial advantage! And use of a long limb.

Germany

Go-Go Gadget legs! Gomez is Germany’s top scorer right now.

And for that matter, both teams have the highest, or are tied for the highest amount of points in their group. (Germany with the most points overall. Whaaat…???) Admittedly, this piece may not be the most compelling piece of sports writing- it is probably my first… but let’s see how far the height advantage takes these two teams- best of luck to both!

Some Tall Lady Pros and Cons, Jimmy Fallon Style

Jimmy Fallon

That is one tall lady…

As much as I loved Jimmy Fallon on SNL, I didn’t buy into his cache as a late night host right away. I think I was trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. But I digress, I digress. I really love the show now- some of the things I love most about it are the way he plays games with his guests where he doesn’t lose to be polite, how he incorporates funny skits into random parts of the show, his fantastic musical parodies and the ridiculous banter between him, his announcer and sometimes the Roots. I also realized I didn’t include any of the regular segments, like Thank You Notes, Late Night Hashtags, and (you’ve seen this coming) Pros and Cons.

In the style of Jimmy Fallon, here are some Pros and Cons about being a tall lady.

PRO:

I can turn off all the TVs mounted high up at my work without using the remote.

CON:

I also hit my head on said TVs if I am not careful. Which I really need to be.

PRO:

As a teenager, people always thought I was older than I was.

CON:

Same thing now. Boo. Where is the logic in that, may I ask? People don’t continue to get taller as they age past the age of 20 at the most, right?

PRO:

I can see over peoples’ heads in crowds.

CON:

People behind me complain that my head is in the way.

PRO:

People ask me to help them get things off the top shelves in grocery stores. I don’t mind, I like to help.

CON:

Sometimes they form a lineup.

PRO:

People remember me easily.

CON:

In moments of compromised judgement after drinking “liquid courage”, I wish they wouldn’t.

PRO:

I get compared to stately, graceful, statuesque animals.

CON:

Also Godzilla.

We all have our moments.

Tall Lady’s Spinoff of Freshly Pressed Post: Seinfeld

When Caffeinated & Random post “Seinfeld Episodes That Wouldn’t Work Today,” was featured on WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed,” I thoroughly enjoyed it and it reminded me that I thought it would be pretty fun to share the below video. I told said blogger that I was inspired to write a spinoff, but it is only a spinoff insofar as it is also about Seinfeld.

So I hope you enjoy the video, whether you are a Seinfeld fan or not. Try not to think too much about the fetishism of tall women… cause as far as that goes, anything can be (and is) fetishized these days.  And can I just say, this is an episode that still does work today!

That is one tall lady.