I Thought My Life Was Hard Until I Watched Tall Girl
By Anita Li '21
Rating: 5/5 Stig Mohlins
On September 13th, 2019, my life was changed forever with the release of Tall Girl on Netflix. Ever since the trailer for Tall Girl appeared on YouTube in late August, I had been counting down the days to its release. I was enthralled by the poignant storyline featuring a white, middle-class, female that’s 6’1 who thinks she’s ugly because she’s a bit tall (a real source of hardship for teenage girls, far worse than eating disorders and depression). For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have not seen the cinematic masterpiece that is Tall Girl, the movie is about a girl named Jodi Kreyman who’s ostracized for her height by her classmates. Because of her height, guys don’t like Jodi except for this Shawn Mendes lookalike named Dunkleman who’s had a crush on her since forever, but obviously he doesn’t count as a real romantic interest because he’s short. Luckily, a tall attractive Swedish international student named Stig Mohlin arrives at Jodi’s school, but he’s taken away from Jodi by the evil Kimmy Stitcher, who realistically represents high school bullies with an entire Sephora store’s worth of makeup on her face and a complete blowout. The rest of the movie shows the immense barriers that Jodi overcomes to realize that wearing size 13 Nikes is okay. She also gets a boyfriend, because who is a woman without a man?
I’m so thankful for a movie like Tall Girl because it has shed light on the systematic oppression that afflicts tall white women and I honestly feel so ashamed that I wasn’t aware of that before. There are already so many movies with minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other demographics that face discrimination every day. There is already so much awareness around poverty, hunger, and a lack of potable water in developing countries but before Tall Girl, there was no conversation around the misery that tall women experience daily. We need to see more tall white women on the big screen! As an Asian-American who is already heavily represented in pop culture and media, it saddens me that young tall white girls see no one that looks remotely like them on TV. Luckily, they now have this amazing movie.
Jodi Kreyman is a great role model for young girls to look up to! It is so admirable how she stands up for herself by kissing Stig even though he is already dating Kimmy. Additionally, I love how she rejects a guy who’s liked her since childhood because he’s shorter than her. She’s the perfect representation of how a 21st century woman should act. Jodi also deals with adversity flawlessly. When Kimmy ruthlessly prank calls Jodi, she hides in a bathroom stall in embarrassment. Also, when her parents try to boost Jodi’s self-esteem by introducing her to a club for tall people (ugh, parents can be so rude), she locks herself in her room and refuses to talk to them. Her courage and kindness make her a true hero. We should all be like Jodi Kreyman.
Besides the exceptional content, the script of this movie is also phenomenal. Here are some of my favorite Tall Girl quotes:
I hope I’ve convinced everyone to watch Tall Girl. It has changed my life for the better in more ways than I can count. Recently, American media has started to increase representation and Tall Girl is a tremendous step in the right direction. I hope directors and screenwriters continue these conversations about how height discrimination causes massive emotional damage.