‘Tall Girl’ shows inauthentic tall girl experience, short of expectations

Being a “tall girl” myself, I was excited to watch a movie that I could potentially relate to. Saying I am disappointed with “Tall Girl,” released by Netflix on Sept. 13, is a bit of an understatement. Over the course of my life, I have been asked, “How’s the weather up there?” only a handful of times. “Tall Girl” makes it seem like the main character Jodi, played by former “Dance Moms” star Ava Michelle, is asked this question 15 times a day. Based on my experience, that just isn’t the case in real life.

Romantic comedies seem like the go-to for Netflix when it makes movies. I think that’s what this movie is supposed to be, but the whole time I was focused on how poorly the film portrays being a tall girl. Jodi is a 6 foot, 1 inch sophomore in high school wearing size 13 Nikes. She evidently gets bullied for being “freakishly tall” and having huge feet.

The main conflict of the movie is Jodi not being able to date anyone in her school because no one is taller than her. This is laughable because finding a guy to date should be the least of your worries in high school — I was worried about my grades and getting into college.

Here are some real problems tall girls face: we have to squat in the shower because the shower head comes up to our shoulders; we aren’t able to use a full-length mirror unless we’re 10 feet away from it; if we’re forced to sit in the backseat of a car, our knees will hit the person in front of us; finding jeans or pants in general that go down to our ankles is a nightmare; feeling like we’re taking up too much space and everyone around us is inconvenienced by our height; and, my personal favorite, joint pain.

Honestly, I could go on forever, but there is definitely a bright side to being tall. Jodi doesn’t embrace her height until the last 10 minutes of the movie. She then ends up with her best friend, who is shorter than her, because she realizes height doesn’t matter.

You don’t suddenly become tall; you grow into your height. I was always one of the tallest people in my grade and definitely the tallest girl. Growing up tall, you learn how to use your height to your advantage. For example, I play basketball, but just because someone is tall, doesn’t mean they are athletic or have an interest in sports.

This doesn’t mean their height goes to waste, however. Tall people can reach top shelves without chairs. We are able to get places quickly when we’re walking because of our long legs. We can always see over people. We’re always in the back of the photo, but who wants to be the one to squat in the front anyway? Our long arms are built for the perfect group selfie.

But the best thing, by far, is the way a tall person walks into a room. If you’re tall, there is no way of hiding. We are either born with confidence or we learn how to fake it. Slouching is acceptable for people under 6 feet. When you’re tall, you gain everyone’s attention anyway, so why try to hide when you walk into a room? Instead, hold your head up high and straighten your posture. Make everyone believe you are the most confident person in the room and demand their attention. I have and always will get comments like, “Wow, you’re really tall.” But instead of cowering I stand up taller and say, “Yes, I am, and I love it,” because in truth, I do.

The number of negative comments I get will never outweigh the positives. My best friend is 5 foot, 6 inches tall, and people knew us because of the odd height combination, but that never stopped us from being who we are. We loved the attention and would always try to make people laugh with our crazy antics.

This is why “Tall Girl” angered me so much. Throughout almost the whole movie, Jodi hated her height because of what people said to her. Even when her best friend tried to encourage her, she would just shrivel up and show her fear and lack of self-esteem. It isn’t until the very end of the movie that she gains confidence.

Overall, tall girls do have it rough, yes — but we also have it great. I learned to love my height at a very young age. I have and always will love being tall. It gives me confidence that I would have never acquired unless I was as tall as I am. This movie does a horrible job of relaying the problems of a tall girl, and, besides that, it’s just a bad movie in general.