‘Tall Girl’ surpasses expectations


Rachel Ley

Being tall is something that has always stunted my confidence, and I'm ready to be confident about my height.

I’ve always been the tall one. Not just the tall girl, the tall kid.  Always in the back of the line for school pictures (of course, we went in height order), always the first one picked for basketball in gym class (even though none of those kids would talk to me otherwise). 

To make matters worse, I’ve always had a big personality too. I would get notes on my report cards not because I was a bad kid or a bad student, but because I would talk too much in class. Always trying to use humor to make people forget about how different I was and make them like me because I was funny. 

I was picked on in school and rejected by classmates because I’m the tall, loud freak with big feet who stood out. Combine this with the fact that adults were always commenting on my height as it would be literally the first thing they mention when they see me or meet me. “You’re so tall, you must be great at basketball and volleyball!” or “How tall are your parents? You’ll probably never stop growing!” or my personal favorite “You should be a model, you have the height for it!”

Dealing with this kind of stuff my whole life, I’ve just gotten used to never feeling comfortable in my own body. It’s embarrassing to have to ask for shoes in a size 11 and be told you might want to order them online, or to be taller than my 50 year old male teachers. It’s embarrassing to be the youngest sister of three and be a combined nine inches taller than both of my sisters. To say I’m uncomfortable in my skin would be an understatement.

Because of this, when I heard that Netflix was coming out with a new movie called “Tall Girl”, I was intrigued to say the least. I was happy there was finally a Netflix original that didn’t look problematic- what a concept. 

I watched the trailer and my first reaction was that this was super cheesy, but kind of cute. I didn’t want to like it as much as I did, but I was honestly excited to see it. 

The movie follows the main character Jodi (Ava Michelle), and you guessed it- she’s really tall. 6’2 and a junior in high school to be exact. She’s shy and insecure and keeps to herself, but she’s a kind and funny person. She also has a pageant queen sister named Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) who Jodi envies because of her height and success in the pageant world. 

Jodi’s best friends, Jack and Liz (Griffin Gluck and Paris Berelc) are always trying to defend her when she gets made fun of, and trying to make her feel more confident in herself. Jack has a huge crush on Jodi, even though he’s much shorter than her (I expected this to be part of the plot). 

An exchange student named Stig (Luke Eisner) from Sweden comes to their school and Jodi is immediately infatuated with him (as is every other girl in their school), because he’s TALL and attractive. I’m sure you can assume the rest of the plot, tall girl likes tall boy, but popular girl gets tall boy, and so on. Thankfully, Jodi learns to love herself throughout the movie.

Now other than the plot, what I genuinely enjoyed about this movie is that it turned out to be something completely unexpected- it was accurate. A lot of the experiences Jodi had were not far off from those I’ve had myself. 

I felt like I could relate to Jodi when she was getting bullied. Or when she tried on an outfit and felt confident, then the next morning, decided not to wear it because it made her look big. I could relate to her feeling like a complete outcast and being fed up.

I went into watching this movie assuming it was going to be really corny and hard to watch, but I was pleasantly surprised with a pretty accurate representation of the types of things tall girls experience, and it honestly made me feel a bit more confident in myself. 

Jodi delivers a beautiful speech at the end of the movie about finally loving herself, which inspired me to look at my height in a new perspective as well, again, not something I expected this movie to do. 

So let’s get a couple things straight. No, I don’t play volleyball or basketball; I’m in marching band. I don’t know when I’ll stop growing, but as of now, I’m 6’0 and OK with that. Yes, I have to order my jeans extra long online, and no I don’t want to be a model. 

Being tall can suck sometimes, but Jodi’s right. Us tall girls have to own it. Confidence is beautiful and being tall is just simply a part of who we are. We can’t change it; we can only learn to love it, which I think I’m starting to do. Thanks Jodi.