‘Tall Girl’ falls woefully short on truth

Bailey Kirkeby, Co-Editor-In-Chief

When “Tall Girl,” a Netflix original movie about a tall, blonde white girl, was released in September 2019, a concerning number of people made sure to tell me, “Bailey, Netflix made a movie about you! Ha! You’re so tall.” And they’re right! Thus, I am aware of the struggles of being a tall girl and have the authority to criticize this movie’s overall nauseating plot and its poor portrayal of the problems that tall girls face.

The movie focuses on Jodi — whose biggest concern in her life is that she has to wear men’s size 13 Nikes — and her lifelong struggle with being tall. In Jodi’s experience, she receives frequent questions about “the weather up there,” people call her a “skyscraper” and prospective dates run away when she stands up, revealing her “freakish” height. While these issues are common for tall girls, they are so dramatized in the film that they seem like jokes rather than genuine struggles.

“She puts on some lipstick, wears her hair down instead of in a ponytail and suddenly, she is confident in her height.”

Even worse, the movie focuses on the stereotypical issues associated with being tall rather than the genuine struggles that tall girls face. Consequently, viewers are more likely to make fun of the first-world problems the movie shows tall girls facing rather than be more understanding and sensitive to their genuine struggles and insecurities.

Even if we ignore the overdramatization of being a tall girl, the movie was horrid, and I struggled to get through it. When Jodi develops a crush on an attractive foreign exchange student, she changes her look to impress him. She puts on some lipstick, wears her hair down instead of in a ponytail and suddenly, she is confident in her height.

Although the movie is supposed to teach people — especially tall teenage girls — to love themselves, Jodi’s lifelong insecurity about her height does not go away because she learns to accept herself; it goes away because a guy finally loves her despite her height.

Rather than emphasizing ideas of self-love and accurately portraying tall girl struggles, the movie uses Jodi’s height as a backdrop for yet another basic teenage romance movie, focusing on Jodi’s quest to find a tall boyfriend rather than her quest to accept her height.

Unfortunately, “Tall Girl” did nothing to help tall girls feel more comfortable with their height. In fact, the movie arguably marginalized tall girls’ insecurities.

However, “Tall Girl” got one thing right: being a tall girl in high school is annoying. I know I’m tall. You don’t have to tell me every day as if I didn’t realize. You’re annoying.