Netflix is at it again, with its awful and harmful representations of the modern teen, this time picking a new aspect of physical appearance to mock, perpetuating all the things that make young women feel like trash.
It's as if they realised they were no longer allowed to make fun of people's weight (a lesson hard learned from Insatiable) and so turned their lateral thinking vertical and decided to pick on tall girls instead.
The resulting film - imaginatively titled Tall Girl - follows a tried and true teen movie formula in which the outcast girl lusts after the popular boy while ignoring her best friend who's been in love with her forever, before figuring out that the popular boy is a massive douchebag and settling for the best friend.
The point of difference is that the reason this girl is an outcast is simply because she is tall.
I can't even begin to express how harmful this is. The world Netflix has created hates women above a certain height and the way its main character Jodi is treated simply for being taller than average just creates a problem where there really doesn't need to be one.
Hollywood is already doing a good enough job of brainwashing us all into thinking women must be shorter and more petite than their male partners. We must be able to tiptoe daintily to steal a kiss, we must fit into his hands and tuck our heads under his chin perfectly.
It's always been like that and I can tell you right now, that takes a toll in the way we see ourselves and the way we feel when we are in relationships that don't fit that standard.
But the thing is that teens today don't have the decades of programming to battle that I do. For all we know, with idols like Taylor Swift, Sophie Turner, Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman, tall girls could've been wandering around feeling totally at peace until this movie pointed out how "bad" it is to be tall.
Tall Girl opens with Jodi being rejected by a boy because she's taller than him, then jumps to her parents taking her to a doctor - as a small child - to "fix" her height, with her own father ready to sacrifice her fertility in order to stunt her growth.
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Jodi's height is the bane of her existence. Sure, she is pretty, thin, straight, white, cis, able-bodied, smart, talented, from a fairly well-off family with a still-married mum and a dad, yet some of the opening lines in the film are: "You think your life is hard? I'm a high school junior wearing size 13 Nikes - men's... beat that."
Teens are literally killing themselves over sexuality, gender, race and bullying. Malala Yousafzai risked her life to take on the Taliban and the queen that is Greta Thunberg just checked the entire UN on climate change, but sure, Jodi's biggest problems in life are being called "Taller Swift" and not being able to find a boy to date who is taller than her.
Even when the film reaches the point where Jodi settles for her best friend Jack - who, by the way, has been harassing her for years despite her expressing her complete lack of interest; another great message, Netflix - what is supposed to be the moment in which she accepts and embraces her height is totally destroyed by a milk crate.
Yes. A milk crate. A wooden crate that her best friend carried around everywhere so that one day - and I kid you not - when he finally got his chance to kiss her, he could stand on top of it and be taller than her.
The message? Yes, you can embrace your height and wear heels and live your best life but
only if whoever you kiss still technically stands taller than you when it happens. Good job Netflix. Crushed it.
Don't get me wrong, like I said; being a taller-than-average woman sucks. Fitting in public transport and plane seats is a painful affair, as is finding pants long enough, shoes big enough, and men secure enough. But it is not as bad as the level of angst that's portrayed here.
This is a whole new and deeply irresponsible level, which only serves to brainwash young women into finding yet another thing to feel insecure about.