A Public Service Announcement

Posted on November 16, 2010

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The Following Is Public Service Announcement on Behalf of Tall Women (of which I am one, being 6ft tall)

Although the uncommon combination of height and a vagina may spark in you an uncontrolable impulse to make commentary, it is advisable, for the sake of such encounters, to assume that any such remarks are not only unwelcome, but possibly offensive. Despite common belief, pointing out and discussing a tall woman’s height is neither socially acceptable, or much appreciated.

Assumptions and Phrases you should avoid:

1. Being Tall is a choice: “How did you manage to get so tall?” or  “Stop hoarding all that tall and spare some of those inches for the rest of us!” Being tall is no more a choice than being a blonde or brunette. It is simply a fact of life. But unlike hair color, tall women cannot become short women with the help of a drug-store product.

3. All tall women play/played basketball: “Dang you are tall. You must play (or have played) basketball.”  Asking such a question is akin to assuming every short man has been, at some point, a jockey. If the latter assumption is considered rude, then so should the former. 

2. Tall women are “sporty”: (see above). Not all Asian people know martial arts. Not all tall women are into sports. It’s as simple as that. In fact, it is a little known fact that many women over the height of 5′ 10″ spent the majority of their youth growing 3 inches a day, being neither willing nor capable of controlling their gross motor skills beyond the onerous task of just putting one foot in front of the other without tripping. For many of us tall girls, attending PE class was as terrifying a prospect as having an unwanted erection was for the boys.

3. Being tall is “nice”: “Wow. It must be nice being that tall.” With the exception of being able to reach the top shelf, there is little about being tall that lends itself to a better or easier life for a woman.    

4. Tall women appreciate commentary about their height: “You are sooo tall.” or “What a tall drink of water you are!” or “Check out long tall sally!” etc, etc, ad nauseum etc. Tall women are perfectly aware of how tall they are. They do not need you to remind them.

5. Commentary about a tall woman’s height is generally acceptable: See any of the above, and for any other instances not covered here, you will save yourself a fair bit of simmering secret hatred if you keep the following rules in mind when considering whether to comment on a tall woman’s tallness:

a. If you would not feel compelled to make the same comment to a tall man, then don’t make it to a tall woman.

b. However, tall men also encounter their fair share of annoying comments. So, when the above rule leaves any doubt, simply substitute for the word “tall” the word “black” or “Jewish” or “Polish” or “short.” If the contemplated phrase seems offensive or incomprehensible  after making this substitution, it is probably inappropriate. [Seriously. Go back through this post and do it. You'll see what I mean.]

Thank you for considering this advice. By heading these simple rules, you will make the world a better place for tall women everywhere.

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