Dare to Ask: "Hey, How's the weather up there?"
By Phillip Milano
The Florida Times-Union
As a short person, I've always wondered: What is it like to be tall?
C.P., 21, female, Montreal
I am 6 feet tall. If I go to a concert, I always have a good view. I can
reach the top shelf at the supermarket, and when I was pregnant, I hardly
showed. However, with dating, it used to be a problem. As a teenager, when I
used to get asked to dance, the guy's face would fall when I stood up.
Nevertheless, my fiance and the father to my child is only 5 feet 5. We get
pointed at in the street, which I find funny.
Sarah, Ennis, Ireland
I'm 6 feet 3. My pant inseam needs to be 38 inches; that isn't easy to find.
I also need a sleeve length of 37 inches. So clothes are always a challenge.
Finding a comfortable car isn't easy. But I like being able to see (and be seen)
over a crowd. I can pack on a little extra weight, and it isn't so noticeable
since I'm vertically enhanced!
Mark, 38, Dallas
For men, being taller has many advantages, whereas the opposite would apply
Christopher, 23, Arlington, Texas
Christopher: why would it not be an advantage for women to be taller? I am
tall and really enjoy it. I don't feel vulnerable or intimidated by men, and I
have no trouble getting partners. OK, so small women have a wider choice of
partners (if you like men taller than you), but there's enough to go 'round, you
Beth, 24, United Kingdom
We can't list all the ups and downs (that'd be a tall order), but here are
some from 6-foot-3 Arianne Cohen, author of "The Tall Book."
Ups: Tall people get noticed in the workplace, earn more (about $789 per inch
per year), can eat 3 billion or so more calories per lifetime (about 100,000
servings of ice cream), live longer on average, are a tad smarter (factors that
lead to taller, healthier bodies also make for healthier brains) and, if men,
enjoy a dating boon because women tend to be attracted to height.
Downs: Tall people get noticed in the workplace, live in an alienating world
that doesn't fit them (think city buses and public toilets), have a hard time
finding clothes that work (the only major women's retailer is Long Tall Sally)
and have lower birth rates (tall females usually want to "date up" and have
trouble finding a taller mate). They also see a lot of dirt and grime because
few people clean above about 6 feet or so.
Oh, and though it's not related to height, tall men can feel under-endowed.
"If you're average in that department, but it's on a 6-foot-8 frame, it may
not look all that impressive," Cohen said.
Sex can also be great -- or challenging.
"[Relationship expert] Betty Dodson noted that the Kama Sutra was created by
small Yogi people. There are a lot of positions in there no one should be doing,
let alone tall people. There's certain positions that work well if you're tall,
and certain ones you can't do."
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Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
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