by Dr. Patricia Keith-Spiegel
“Grandma, I don’t want to get any taller.”
That’s what 14-year-old Eve said to me as we inspected a pair of denims in a shop at the mall. She is just over 5-feet-8 inches tall.
My son is 6 feet 4 inches and my daughter-in-law is almost 6 feet. I didn’t know quite what to say to my granddaughter, so I simply told her she was beautiful and not to worry about it. But my mind flashed to the research indicating that most teens have appearance issues, be it their weight, body shape, facial features or complexion, or height. Being different from the norm of the day, according to many studies can result in a negative self-image that often persists well into adulthood. I wanted Eve to see beyond any feelings she might have about being a taller girl than she is now. I wanted her to feel good about who she is.
Right after that shopping trip, I searched for a book about the advantages of being a tall girl. I expected to find many to choose from. I was surprised to find nothing at all suitable for a teenager. Being taller myself when I was younger, I thought “Well then, I’ll write it!”
As a social scientist I combed the medical and psychological research literature for physical and emotional correlates to height. I read every article I could find in the mainstream media. I interviewed scores of tall young and older women. I hung out in online chat groups and information exchange sites catering to teenagers. I wanted to learn the advantages of being tall and share them with my granddaughter Eve.
The evidence could not be more clear.
Tall people get immediate attention, and that is a source of great power for those who care to use it to achieve their goals. Some people go to extremes just to be noticed, and that is not a problem for tall women. People remember tall women, which can be helpful in so many ways. Tall women are perceived to be strong, smart and to possess leadership skills. Research proves that tall women as a group earn more money. They are better at many sports. Tall women look great in almost any outfit—and those legs! They can wear heels or not—their choice.
I wove the research, the readings, and the many stories that tall girls and women told me into my 13th book and dedicated it to Eve. “Awesome Advantages of Being a Tall Girl” brings together the overwhelming powerful evidence that tallness is highly desirable. I do cover some of the downsides (such as those annoying questions and jokes and problems fitting into the clothing and physical world of things made for shorter people) and offer suggestions for dealing with them.
I hope that “Awesome Advantages of Being a Tall Girl” may be helpful to other teens who need to know what is in store for them and can start relating to those advantages while they are still young. I am grateful for the many positive reviews the book has received and for some lovely notes from girls expressing appreciation.
Dr. Patricia Keith-Spiegel
I was excited to connect with Dr. Patricia Keith-Spiegel as she was writing this book. You might even find a few words from me in there:-). A book inspired by a Grandmother’s love for her growing Granddaugther. Filled with facts and resources, I cannot wait for you all to read it! How exciting that there is an actual resource book available for our #TallTribe! Order it now on Amazon.