07/07/2014 03:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It Ain't Easy Being Tall (Or So I Hear)


My husband blames the media.

He's tired of turning on the TV and opening magazines, only to be bombarded with the same body type. He's tired of seeing the same shaped mannequins at the store. Always the same. Disney is the worst, he says. The character archetypes are always the same. He's tired of clothes that don't fit.

Here's his confession: My husband is tall. Without heels, I don't reach his chest.

That's right. He's lanky and has exceptionally and borderline-disproportionately long monkey arms, and no buttocks whatsoever. Just a flat leg-back connector.

He's not big and tall. Just tall.

There are no stores for just tall people. I mean, do you have any idea how hard it is it find a pair of Lululemon pants with a 36-inch inseam?

A stranger recently offered to help him pull up his pants. He might have kindly accepted the offer, except then he would be wearing denim capris. You see, the darling father of my daughter doesn't want to sag like a '90s gangster; that's just the only way his pants will come close to his ankles.

Instead of commenting on his visible boxer shorts, feel free to write a letter to department stores on his behalf, asking them to please stock his unicorn of a pants size: 34-by-36. Seriously, try to find that size in a physical store (not online, where the fit-success rate is 0.3 percent). You can't. There is only one pair at a time in the entire world.

While you're at it, helpful stranger, write a letter to Disney. Think about the skinny, lanky Disney characters. Scar in "The Lion King." Jafar in "Aladdin." Cruella de Vil in "101 Dalmatians." Claude Frollo in "Hercules." Doctor Facilier in "The Princess and the Frog." Maleficent in "Sleeping Beauty."

Know what all of these tall characters have in common? They are villains. And if they aren't villains, they are portrayed as dumb, like Goofy. Here we have Mickey Mouse. Most of his companions are Mickey's same stature. But Goofy? Tall, slim, no butt. His name says it all.

"You're tall!" That's the first thing nearly everyone exclaims upon meeting him, as if he hadn't noticed, as if it's cool to immediately point out a person's nontraditional body features before asking their name. "How tall are you?"

Then there's the grocery store.

His explanation: "For all you shortys, have you ever been walking down the aisle and been approached by a 7-foot-tall man and asked to bend down to the bottom shelf to retrieve his Preparation H? No, you haven't? Then get your own syrup off the top shelf, because I'm busy trying to wrangle my 4-year-old away from the princess shampoo she can't live without."

Airplanes are the worst. My husband's femur is actually longer than the width from seatback to tray table. Even if your circumference is 5 feet around, you still have choices: You can buy any two seats on the plane. But there are only eight seats with extra room for his seemingly 5-foot-long legs, and they're always filled with 4-foot-8 elderly ladies. That means 3 inches of legroom for the giant. His little toe is longer than the allotted floor space. And, no, he cannot move his knee out of the aisle, Flight Attendant. Not unless you want him to cut a hole in the seat in front of him or, better yet, rip out the entire seat.

What, he's overreacting?

That's just the way it is?

You can't do anything about it?

It's not practical or financially viable to expect every business to cater to his rare size?

You can't please everyone?

Funny, because that's not stopping other people from ranting about their disenfranchised body shape, or demanding that every store carry clothing in every size. It hasn't stopped the constant flow of memes proclaiming that "real women have curves" and criticisms about Disney's portrayal of fill-in-the-blank type of person. "Disney princesses are womanizing our children?"

Maybe. Or maybe the real thing ruining our children is our own incessant, entitled whining.

The truth is, my husband has never complained that his body size will never fit in with society's mainstream offerings. Everyone has something about them that's different than the mainstream. Everyone is a freak in their own way; and in that, everyone is a gem.

And Goofy, albeit a total moron, is my husband's favorite Disney character. My husband knows he defines himself. Not a fictional talking dog.

If our daughter grows up to be curvy, she will be beautiful, and if she's petite and athletic, she'll still be a "real woman." If she grows up to be tall and lanky and have no butt like her daddy, she will be just as beautiful. Equally as marginalizing as making mannequins that all look alike is the self-righteous glorification of whatever norm you want to be accepted as, at the expense of others. Yes, even if every yoga shop does not carry your size. Because, guess what? I'm only 5 feet tall, and most don't carry my size, either. I can't expect them to. That's OK.

Real women do not have curves; some women do. Tall people are not goofy. Tall people are tall.

One last thing, for those of you who are about to ask. He's 6-foot-6 ¾ to be exact.

How much do you weigh?

This story originally appeared
in the Boulder Daily Camera. Read more stories from the weirdest city in the world, Boulder, Colorado, here: Only In Boulder.

Photo by Molly Plann.