Netflix's Tall Girl is Creepy, Predictable, And Clearly Written By Someone Who Is NOT a Tall Girl.
"Every La Croix flavor," someone once joked on Twitter, "Tastes like it was created by someone who didn’t want to admit he’d never tasted fruit so had a friend quickly describe it to him."
And Netflix's new movie, Tall Girl, is like someone didn't want to admit he'd never met a tall girl... but couldn't be bothered to have a friend quickly describe it to him.
Worse than that, I found the movie boring, poorly-written, and downright creepy and rape culture-y.
It's obvious from the first moments of the movie that the "tall girl" is going to end up with her short, dorky guy friend...
Which frustrated the hell out of me, because, also from the very first moments of the movie, this creepy little bastard is constantly harassing and pestering Jodi for a date. It's like, what part of "no means no" didn't you understand? She has told you clearly and repeatedly that she is not interested.
Back the fuck off. Don't be a creep.
Had he asked her out once and she said no, that would have been fine. Men love to bitch and moan that because of feminism, no man can ever ask a woman out ever again!!!!!!!
That's just you throwing yourself a pity party.
It's fine to ask.
In appropriate situations. (Like, not her workplace.)
If you're asking a woman out once and she "freaks out" about it... chances are it's because you did something creepy or wrong.
For example, as I wrote in What Men Don't Realize When They Say "It's Only Creepy If The Guy Isn't Hot,
If a girl has clearly expressed disinterest in you and you ask her out anyway, you're being creepy.
Similarly, hitting on a girl who already said no every single time you asked her is harassment. It's also a way to make sure she never talks to you voluntarily again and expends energy avoiding you at all costs.
In real life, Jodi and her little pervert friend would not have stayed friends, and I couldn't enjoy the movie because I was unable to suspend this disbelief.
Even grosser than the fact that he constantly harasses her at school, where she just wants to get an education, is the fact that he literally creeps into her room, goes through her things, and touches her while she is sleeping.
To the movie's credit, she yells at him for being a total inappropriate pervert. But for some reason, she forgives and and ends up dating him.
Again, I was unable to suspend my disbelief.
Just like I was unable to suspend my disbelief that a girl who was 6'1 would be so very persecuted by her classmates.
I'm not saying this as some whiny social justice warrior who doesn't think it counts as bullying if the person being bullied has less oppression than you. (The SJWs of Twitter had a heyday with this. It's very sad I need to say this... But guys. Anyone -- even a pretty, straight, white female -- can be bullied for anything. Also, apparently "representation" only counts as "representation" when you are the one being represented.)
I'm saying this as someone who is within an inch of Jodi's height.
I'm saying this as someone who thinks it's absolutely adorable when girls who are 5'9 complain about being "too tall."
It's like, girl. 5'9 is not tall. It's a standard deviation above the mean. It's merely "above average."
Jodi and I, on the other hand, are in the top .5% of women when it comes to height.
And you know how many times I've been asked, "How's the weather up there?" (Which, apparently, Jodi is asked multiple times per day, every single day.)
Literally. No one has ever asked me that.
EVEN WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL!
The whole time I was in high school, I knew about two women who were my height or taller. I was taller than almost every girl I'd ever met.
And, SPOILER ALERT: I didn't feel weird or bad about it, because I'm not weird and self-obsessed like Jodi. I can't even imagine what kind of headspace you've got to be in to spend your whole day thinking about how tall you are.
As I wrote in If My $12,000 Watch Makes You Feel Bad, You Probably Need to Work on Yourself:
I showed up [at high school] as a girl with Heart. With determination. Eager to be independent and chase bigger challenges than I'd had at home. Someone who cared more about inner characteristics than outer labels. I even made it a point not to wear "cool" or "sexy" clothes, because I wanted to be respected and loved for who I was, and not what I wore or looked like.
Maybe Jodi was a victim of the "self-esteem movement," and was taught to think about herself and her feelings instead of developing grit and character.
Also -- and I say this as a really tall girl -- why would you think being tall is bad? Even if you ONLY want to date taller guys (which, all else equal, I'd rather date a tall guy than a short one, but I'm always going to pick the smarter, more compassionate, hilarious and amazing guy over the taller, less amazing one), if you are ONLY 6'1, there are still going to be plenty of guys who are taller than you.
Research shows that tall people are, on average, smarter than short people. (They also make more money -- some estimates say they make almost $800 more per inch per year!) This is true in early childhood, late childhood, and adulthood in both developed and developing countries, even when controlling for socioeconomic status and parental education.
(This obviously doesn't mean that short people can't be smart.)
Why? We don't know. Possible explanations include:
When you're tall, many everyday tasks are easier for you to accomplish than they would be for short people, from loading a bike into your car to getting something off the top shelf. So, yes, you're going to end up "sitting sideways on the airplane" those couple times a year when you fly (and if you fly to Asia, probably the whole top third of your body will show over the top of the bathroom stalls you use on arrival)...
But most of the time, it's easier, not harder, being tall.
One thing you hear tall girls complain about sometimes is that people always ask them if they play basketball/volleyball. This is true. Maybe 40% of strangers I talk to ask me if I'm a baller. This doesn't bother me in the slightest -- for two reasons.
1. I do play basketball. It's the best sport, and I'm always happy to talk about or play it. (Even though it's actually pretty rare for women to play ball sports after high school.) Maybe I would find the question slightly more annoying if I didn't play sports -- but even so:
2. With some exceptions (men sneaking up and touching me while I'm sleeping, dumbasses saying dumbass shit like "calm down" or "relax" or "are you okay?"), I like to assume people have good intentions. As I wrote in Next Time Someone Says Something That Hurts You, Ask Yourself These Two Questions:
Every time someone says something that hurts you, you should ask yourself two questions, which Katie explains more fully in Loving What Is:
People who ask if you play basketball are usually people who don't know anything about you except for easily-observable physical traits, like your height and gender. They're trying to establish common ground. Maybe they play or watch basketball. Maybe they admire female athletes.
What would you prefer they say?
"I like your t-shirt?"
"Is that water in your water bottle?"
Another "obstacle" faced by tall girls is... being looked at, I guess.
But, as I wrote in Here's How One Pretty Woman Deals With The "Constant Stares and Compliments" From Men, if you're immersed in what you're doing, the last thing you're thinking about is whether people are looking at you. It took me five weeks to realize that drivers in Costa Rica weren't honking their horns -- they were honking their horns at me.
Even once that was pointed out... I still didn't care. Let them honk.
Pretty sure those pants were supposed to be ankle-length. #TallGirlProblems. Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram.
So aside from the fact that the creepy little perv ends up getting the girl he harassed for years and then touched while she was sleeping, and aside from the fact that the writers seemed to have no sense of what it's actually like to be a tall girl, and apparently didn't bother to do any actual research...
The writing was just bad.
The instant I saw the sleep-rapist walking into class with his milk crate, I knew exactly what it was for, even though Jodi repeatedly brings it up like some crazy mystery.
Can I just... make you one little promise? If I were about to kiss you, and then you got out a milk crate and stood on it, I would no longer want to kiss you.
That would be the end of that.
Like, on the one hand, it takes a secure man to be okay with dating a significantly taller girl. On the other hand, it takes a very insecure little dude to need to stand on a milk crate to kiss me.
I could go on and on about how lazily written this movie was, but at this point, I'd just be punching down. We've established this movie was creepy and disappointing and terrible.
Which is too bad.
Because, like any story about someone whose experience is different from yours, it could have been really thought-provoking and surprising and interesting.
Instead, it was just... numbingly bad.
Oh, and PS: Unless this girl's adult height is going to be 6'8, she is NOT wearing "size 13 -- men's!" sneakers.
9/19/2019 03:21:05 pm
But you made it through the whole movie.
9/20/2019 04:36:15 pm
I had no choice. I am a tall girl. But I took no joy in it.
9/25/2019 12:53:47 pm
I hate that we live in a world where so many people believe only the "oppressed" can be bullied. The twitter backlash to this was ridiculous.
9/15/2020 10:32:58 am
What always bothered be about this discussion regarding height and IQ (and its small, but consistent correlation) is that the IQ gap between people of different ethnic groups is far wider than the IQ gap between the shortest and tallest subjects in those studies, yet no reasonable person would ever use IQ studies to claim that a specific race is superior to another.
9/15/2020 01:53:30 pm
We have never designed an IQ test that didn't show racial differences. This isn't a matter of scientific debate. This is a matter of scientific fact. The reason why this is true, though, is up for debate. It could be environmental factors. It could be psychosocial factors. It could be epigenetic. It could be the test design -- maybe someday we'll design a test in which today's underperformers outperform East Asians. The thing is, correlation is not causation, so we just don't know.
10/2/2020 12:52:02 am
The reason you don't get emotion about these data is because they express the notion that you're inherently superior to shorter people. It's the same reason IQ studies relating to racial differences in intelligence tend to not bother the people who belong to the the racial groups that score higher on average. But you'd have to lack any empathy whatsoever to not see why bringing up average group differences in IQ (average differences that say little regarding individual difference) would bother the people who belong to the groups that score lower on said tests. Especially if those groups have been the victims of historical oppression, or generally have a harder time in life.
10/2/2020 09:11:20 am
Hahaha, okay, Jon.
8/17/2022 11:43:56 am
You have a point in your second comment, but I don't think she'll get it.
8/18/2022 11:24:00 am
It's always adorable when people make dumb comments without even reading the content they're commenting on. As per the link that you obviously didn't click before your little tirade:
I also didn´t like how they turned Stig into a bad guy, because he really wasn´t. And also how they made him stupider or more clueless as the movie continued even though in the beginning he was smart and kind. And no, I don´t buy the "popularity got into his head" BS they wanted to present us. The whole scene at a party felt so forced and out of character for Stig and how he acted until know, that it was not believable at all. I couldn´t imagine/believe that he would say any of that, because there was no gradual building up to his "bad guy" persona. I know why they did it though. If they kept him the way he was in the beginning, the short guy wouldn't have a chance. It was like this: Stig is handsome, smart, talented and nice. He is also able to self reflect on his behavior and admit his mistakes, when he feels guilty about kissing Jodi while having a girlfriend already.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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