Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
Source: Rebecca Thomas
New York Times health columnist Tara Parker-Pope, who published "Life as a Tall Girl" on her Well blog, with Becky outside the Times' Page One meeting room.
Source: Rebecca Thomas
For some people, their short height has always proved a challenge -- it can be difficult to get people to take you seriously when they're staring down at you, not to mention the inconvenience of long inseams and movie theaters without stadium seating. But for others, life is observed from on high, literally, and they never seem to need a ladder to reach that top shelf. At 6'4'', Rebecca Thomas has towered over people her entire life, and it's been one tall order for people not to gawk, point and giggle at her impressive stature. She joins us today to tell her story; but, first, these thoughts:
As a college student from a small town in Wisconsin, I never thought I'd be a guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation. But ever since my essay "Life as a Tall Girl" was published on The New York Times Well blog, I've done a lot of things I never thought I'd do. My story has sprouted legs and I'm having a great time coming along for the ride! Today I'll talk about my experiences as a tall girl growing up (I'm 21 years old and 6'4"). I've never fit the physical standard for the American woman -- I exceed it! I'm also looking forward to talking to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley, who commented on my original essay. She's 6'2" and I have a suspicion that she had a worse time growing up than I did. My mom is 52 years old, only 5'10" and she had trouble finding a size 10 shoe and pants with a 34" inseam when she was younger. I think people now are more accepting of tall women (but they still like to stare).
With all the reactions my story has gotten, I've had great opportunities to meet new people and go new places. But personally, the best thing to come out of all this is my newfound acceptance for the way I am. I've been okay about my height for a couple of years now; but all the encouragement I've received these past few weeks have forced me to make a commitment to be myself, embrace how I look, and be grateful for all my attributes and talents. I sincerely hope my story has given some people a fresh perspective on themselves as well.
You can read more from Rebecca here, on her blog. Are you extremely tall, or extremely short? What was it like growing up? And how did your height shape who you are?