Home > motherhood, Olympics > I heart the Olympics

I heart the Olympics

Normally the Olympics are just a pageant for me. I love the gymnastics — I wanted, badly, to be a gymnast while my mother insisted I take ballet. I like watching the weird and random sports — table tennis? Speed walking? I’ve never actually seen a game of water polo before.

But this year, I’m really loving it. Not just for the usual reasons — though hey, Nastia rocks, right? No, this year I’m loving the Olympics for the tall women.

The Child is tall. I’ve mentioned this before. But really, when I say she’s tall, I mean she’s tall. She often gets mistaken for a four or five year old. She’s only once dropped below 95 percentile in height — that was in her 6 month check up when she was only 4 1/2 months old. She’s on track to be a very tall woman.

She gets it honestly. Her father is 6’5″, give or take, and would be taller if they’d treated his scoliosis. My dad and brother are each well over 6 feet. Her grandfathers & greatgrandfathers are all over 6 feet. She’s got an aunt who is well over 6 feet! I’ve got an uncle who’s 6’11”. I’m pitifully average — 5’5″ — but it looks like she’s taking after the tall genes.

And man, oh man, have I heard about it!

You’d think the Victorian ideal of a woman as a petite little girl child would be dead by now, but it’s alive and well and living in Boston. My mother, for one. We once mentioned that she’s likely to be “Six foot two with eyes of blue,” and my mother burst out in a gasping, horrified voice, “Oh! Dear God I hope not! The poor thing!” (Please all take a moment and imagine just how graciously I reacted to that.)

One of the nice men we have breakfast with on Sunday mornings at the local diner once said to me, “Oh, I think girls shouldn’t be more than 5′ 6″. Anything else is too tall.”

Then there’s that commercial that’s so backhanded it makes me want to scream. “I have a friend who is 5’11” and she wears heels!” said in a slightly disbelieving tone. “I love that she has that kind of confidence.”

And, I found out recently, until the 1970s, it was common to give tall girls drugs to make them stop growing. Gross, huh?

But I think that Title IX and the 2008 Olympics are finally changing that. Tall girls and women are being celebrated. They are winning fucking gold! Kerri Walsh is 6′ 2.5″ and there’s not one red-blooded heterosexual male that looks at her in that bikini spiking that ball and thinks, “That girl is too tall.”

The amazing Stephanie Brown Trafton may not make the cover of Maxim, but she kicks ass, breaks world records, and brings home gold.

Jennifer Stuczynski aint short, neither.

Tall chicks are cool. And I’m glad that my daughter was born in a time when she won’t be mocked, made to slump from shame, or given estrogen to cut her down to size.

Still wish I was taller, though.

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Categories: motherhood, Olympics
  1. August 24, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Where can I find the man who thinks women should not be taller than 5 ft 6? I have a size 11 shoe attached to my 35 inch inseam that would like to have a word with him.

  2. August 26, 2008 at 4:18 am

    i’ll be nice to tall people when they stop using my head as an elbow rest, teasing me about my ‘cuteness,’ and gloating over being able to reach the 2nd shelf.

    as for the guy who thinks women should be no taller than 5’6″? there’s a bed with his name on it: procrustes
    http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/procrustes.html

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