Why, for Women, Being Tall Isn’t the Same as Being Fat

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Many tall women suffer grief over the endless comments or questions about their height. If you’re a tall woman, you know what I’m talking about. Tall women must face continually being asked how tall they are, or being told they are tall — as though the tall woman has no idea she is a tall woman. On the premier web site for tall women, tallwomen.org, the “tall quotes” page is an opportunity for tall women to post their trials (or tribulations) over being very tall.

From time to time, a tall women will post that if people wouldn’t approach a fat woman and say, “Gee, you’re so fat,” what makes them think it’s okay to approach a tall woman and say, “Wow, you’re so tall”?

Would you ever approach a fat woman and say, “You’re fat!”?

It’s very true, in that very few people would dare approach a fat woman and point out her overweight body. But comments about being tall abound. I’m guilty of it myself. I would never go up to a fat woman and ask how much she weighs. But I’ll admit to asking tall women their height.

I don’t want to be fat. I want to be tall (er). So this is why I’ve asked tall women their height. I’d figure that the look in my eyes and tone of my voice would make it obvious that I was envious and thought their height was a great physical feature.

There actually ARE individuals who go up to fat people and make rude comments, especially amongst teen girls. To tall women everywhere: When a person asks you your height, or comments about it, is there scorn or disgust in their voice? Is it the same tone of voice they’d use if they were to saunter over to fat women with disdain and ask them how much they weigh?

Big and tall not the same.

I don’t understand how tall women can put these two phenomena (big and tall) in the same league. Everyone at some point in time has heard someone being rude to a fat person. The tone of voice and facial expression of the rude person simply cannot be compared to the tone of voice and facial expression of a person asking a tall woman about her height, or commenting about the tall woman’s height.

Have you, a tall woman, ever complimented a woman on her hairstyle? If you think about it, you’ll realize that the tone of voice you use is very similar to the tone of voice that women use when they ask about your height or point it out to you.

But when someone makes a comment to a fat person about their obesity? You can just smell the vileness oozing from the perpetrator. No comparison whatsoever.

Do not put being a tall woman in the same class as being a fat woman. Being tall is not a health hazard. It is not associated with negative things like obesity is. It does not shorten lifespan or cause mobility problems (unless a person’s off-the-chart height is caused by too much growth hormone). Do not compare being tall with being fat. How many people do you know would like to be fat?

Okay then, what about men who make disparaging remarks to tall women?

Guess what. These kind of men will make sour remarks to any woman — if she projects lack of self-confidence and lack of self-appreciation. Height stands out, so these men will focus on the height. If you were average height but still projected poor self-esteem, these men would find something else to pick on you about. And half the time these men look like cretins anyway, so WHAT if they don’t like tall women? If your height made these insecure men feel threatened, more power to you!

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