To Every Tall Girl Who’s Been Called a Man: We Deserve Better

Tall girls seem to ironically get the short end of the stick when it comes to, well, everything. The nicest shoes are under size 10. The jeans you want are not available. Society tells you not to even even be a tall girl if you’re not stick thin.

Retail aside, being a tall girl myself, the words “tree” and “amazon” were thrown around constantly. I just “had to play basketball”, I was the “scary, tall black girl”. I didn’t wear heels to any proms. No matter how much pink I wore, and how great I looked in a dress, or how “girly” I acted, I was too tall to date any boys in school, too tall to contribute to society in any way besides sports.

Why is this? Tall girls threaten society’s systematic masculinity complex, and don’t fit into society’s expectations of femininity.

Being tall has somehow been equated to being masculine, although tall women have always existed in our own bubble. Tall women are considered less feminine, less dainty, less cute. A threat.

Tall women are called men. With hypermasculinity dubbing cishet tall women too masculine, it is even more difficult for transwomen/transpersons to be considered feminine, even when they project as female.

Additionally, Hollywood doesn’t care to represent tall women, cisgender or trans. I remember damn near crying when I saw Gwendoline Christie in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), and even then, her face wasn’t shown.

Society has made being a tall woman a threat, thus creating the illusion that tall women somehow steal away the manhood of their male counterparts. The reason “Short Man Syndrome” exists is not in comparison to tall men, but rather the societal pressure to be taller than females, which in turn, breeds resentment toward taller women. In turn, tall women and girls are afraid to even be attracted to shorter men. It doesn’t help that even tall men refuse to date tall women, even if that woman is shorter than him. A cycle.

In a darker sense, it can be speculated that one of the (unfortunately) many reasons for violence against transwomen is their threatening of society’s masculinity complex as well. Transwomen are taller, on average, than cisgender women. Despite false rhetoric that transwomen have male privilege, we who are sensible enough understand that this is not true, and height is just one factor of many that makes this claim false.

It is time we address the deep-rooted resentment against tall women in our society, and how it affects us in our daily lives. As tall females, we slump and shrug, ironically being overlooked in our friend groups, being good for nothing besides presumed athleticism, and spend years or lifetimes wishing we could fit into society’s definition of femininity.

It is time to embrace the things we cannot control, and that includes our height.

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~19. Student. Writer. Friend. ~Likes: equality, social justice, parks and recreation ~Dislikes: people who don't like those things, people who don't realize the democratic and republican parties switched decades ago

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