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Researchers' giant study - is it a big problem for tall women?

Friday 22 July, 2011 by Sondra

According to a study released this week, tall women face an increased risk of a wide range of cancers compared to their shorter counterparts. Not only that, the million women study found that taller women tended to be of higher socio-economic status, heavier drinkers, more active and have fewer children than shorter women.

Sounds like tall poppy syndrome to me, a conspiracy concocted by (I assume) short researchers trying to avoid tripping over the hems of their lab-coats.

I turned to the internet to see if I could find out more about heightism. To my surprise, I found that the anti-Amazonian movement had gone viral. There were wild claims about how tall people are more successful, more attractive, nauseatingly wealthy, acclaimed writers, philosophers, artists, adventurers, better conversationalists and so on (look I'm digressing and I might have exaggerated most/all of those attributes, but as the saying goes, bigger is better).

However, amongst all these (tenuously factual) tales of unbridled success and happiness there's an untold story.

I'll accept, begrudgingly, that taller women may be of higher socio-economic status (um, newsflash, we are higher by definition). And I'll accept that we have greater opportunities in some industries like professional sports and fashion modelling. But it's not all popping flashes, red carpets and multi-million dollar modelling and sporting contracts up here. It's time those tall women had a voice.

Imagine, if you will, towering over every potential suitor; the humiliation suffered as a teenage girl having to bend down to dance with your beau-as if those dances weren't awkward enough. Imagine the nightmare of having to belt in jeans two sizes too big, just so they'd gently graze the top of your Converse All Stars. The monikers-‘statuesque', ‘Amazon' and ‘bean pole' haunt me to this day, as they do for many tall women. Take for example the headline coined by a British tabloid when Sophie Dahl, at 5'11', started dating Jamie Cullum, at 5'4': James and his Giant Peach.

And they thought Napoleon had a complex...

The point is, there's not much you can do about your jeans; it's a lesson tall women learn early on. Equally, there's a not a lot you can do about your genes. Or as Morrissey puts it, ‘some girls are bigger than others'.

So hold your head high, even if it is markedly higher than most others, and work on the things you can change to reduce your cancer risk. Don't smoke, moderate your drinking and try to maintain a healthy weight.

 

Attack of the 50-foot woman

 

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