Yesterday, I was standing in a long line of people when directly behind me I hear, “Oh my gawd!! You are HUGE!”
I turned around, tilted my head downward to where the vertically challenged, twenty-something male was standing and said,
“Why yes, Gollum, I can see why you’d think so.”
Apparently, there were several Lord of the Rings fans in line--including Gollum’s friend--because I heard several chuckles as I dismissed Gollum and turned back around.
Gollum began to respond with an FU when his still-chuckling companion stopped him with, “Let it go, bruh.”
"Yeah, bruh,” I thought to myself, “let it go before I really hurt your feelings.”
Throughout my life, my height and/or size has been the subject for unsolicited comments from strangers and acquaintances alike. Do I always respond to such comments in a snarky manner? No. I know the difference between an innocent inquiry and an intended insult. Are my responses sometimes even more insulting than the aforementioned incident? Yup! Sometimes, it’s not only my duty to my Amazonian sisters, it’s a moral imperative.
I am not now, nor will I ever be, petite. I will never be cast as a munchkin in any remake of the Wizard of Oz. Santa will never contact me to be one of his elves. And, there is no question as to whether or not my lineage includes fairies or hobbits.
My normal, laidback gait is measured in yards, not feet. In a crowd of people, I am usually easy to locate. A good portion of women will torture their back, calves, feet, and poor baby toes by wearing six inch heels and yet, they will still be a tad shorter than I am.
I am a well-proportioned size twelve (size fourteen in the winter) who stands six feet tall. Since I stand as my mother taught me (spine straight, shoulders back, chin up), people normally guess my height at being an inch or two taller than I actually am.
My powerful body is a very good physical representation of my mental, emotional and spiritual strength. Even my laugh (booming and unmistakably real) and my voice (strong alto) “fit” the physical form I was given. As with all things in nature, I am in complete balance.
I am proud of my body. I totally rock this beautiful Amazonian frame of mine. I own it!
So, if I am as “comfortable in my skin” as I say I am, why the need to reply to Gollum as I did?
Because the Gollums of the world have no right to throw their mental and emotional baggage onto the backs of others. They have no right to make a doomed-to-fail attempt to feel better about themselves by publicly harassing another. They especially have no right to hurt or humiliate my young, blossoming sisters who are still growing into their striking height and their glorious curves.
I see tall, beautiful young sisters who walk with their shoulders tucked in, as if doing so will make them smaller, more “petite,” and/or less noticeable to those who would ridicule that great gift of height. I see gorgeously Rubenesque young sisters hunched in upon themselves; walking with their head tilted downward and wearing clothing four sizes too big--all in an attempt to appear smaller, more dainty, and less the “odd woman out.”
I see these beautiful, unique young sisters continually accept ill-treatment and "less" than their dainty, petite sisters receive. As if such acceptance is the Natural Order. As if the physical appearance they were born with made them “marked at birth.” As if it is their lot in life to suffer because the Gollums of the world have convinced them they lost the genetic lottery in life.
I can almost feel the internal pain these little sisters of mine unknowingly project outward. And it makes me see red! I want to hug them, protect them, and champion them against the Gollums of the world. I want to take away the shame they’ve been made to feel and I want to physically and verbally beat down those who have repeatedly brain-washed them into feeling that they are “less than.”
Perhaps even more upsetting to me is the fact that a good percentage of the Gollums in this world are other women! I think to myself, “how could you?” I mean, really. Almost all women have their own personal demons regarding some imagined, personal, physical flaw. So, seriously, how can they--in all good conscience--point out and ridicule the flaws they perceive in other women?!
And so, with sadness in my heart, I will continue to reply in a snarky manner to the Gollums, the Tiny Tims, the Twiggys and the Thumbelinas of the world, when necessity dictates it. With pride, I will take personal note each time I see one of my Botticelli-belly, Rubenesque, or Amazonian sisters rock that beautiful, strong, and unique frame of theirs. With a small smile, I’ll listen when one stands up for themselves and their sisters by saying FU to the insecure Gollum-ish twits who may cross their path.
Causes Kati Kline Supports
Operation Smile, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, and, doing my part to help the less fortunate (whenever an opportunity to do so presents itself).