Archives– May 2009:

How to Not Look Like a Preening Giraffe in Photographs
Posted May 30th, 2009 @ 8:06 pm PST

I attended a high school swimming reunion today, an all-day orgy of reminiscing and photosnapping with 400 guests. All was going swimmingly until a lovely friend pointed a camera at me and said, "Can you squat down or something?"

For the record: Nope.

I'm tall, and your photographs might indicate as much. Ask me again and I'll stand on my tip toes.

However, there were a few photographs in which I wanted to meld in--mainly in the group shots with former teammates, where sticking out would be attention-grabbing and obnoxious--and for this, there are a few good tricks:

Step Back. Pose with everyone else. Then take a giant step backward, away from the camera, so that you're standing behind them. In the photograph, it'll look like you're standing in line with everyone else, and at approximately the same height.

Also, stand up straight. Super straight. It sounds counter-intuitive, but nothing looks taller than a slouching tall person.

Lastly, when in photos with petite types, place their bodies partially in front of yours, to avoid Double  Wide syndrome--no need to appear double the girth of everyone else in the photo, even if that's the case due to your lovely tall-person waist.

What Products Don't Fit You?
Posted May 28th, 2009 @ 5:45 pm PST

What are the products that you really wish were sized differently? (I know I know, airplane seats. Besides airplane seats people.) Is there something that you just feel isn't made for tall people? This can be anything--the seating at Starbucks. The elliptical trainer at your gym. Kitchen appliances that don't fit longer fingers. The seating on your city's public transportation.

We're making a list of companies to contact over at the Tall Activisim page, so please email in your ideas.

Shoot an email to, with the Subject Line "Tall Products," and we'll make a little list here.

Why You Can Skip the Kama Sutra
Posted May 10th, 2009 @ 5:45 pm PST

Just fyi, the Kama Sutra is purely aspirational for tall folks. Don't feel bad if you've never done anything in it.

"It was designed by a culture of small people who did yoga," says Eric Amaranth, a New York City sex consultant. "There's a lot of energy consumed, and it requires flexibility that most people don't have. So it's not really relevant for taller people, particularly anything that involves lifting."

There's today's public service announcement.

The Secret to Non-Awkward Hugs
Posted May 8th, 2009 @ 5:45 pm PST

Sometimes it's awkward being tall. Such as when it comes time to hug/kiss/otherwise-greet folks that are much smaller. This is particularly true when you're a tall woman (me!) hugging a much shorter man, and you fear smothering them in your cleavage.

I learned a secret while researching the book: Do it first. If you throw your arms out for a hug, you're deciding that there's going to be a hug, and which way the arms are going to go. If it's someone you don't want to hug (such as the opposite gender), clasp your hands behind your back and lean in for a cheek kiss. If you want to shake hands, throw your hand out for a shake. In short: Just do it, and do it first.

This strategy was a breakthrough for me. I wish someone had told me twenty years ago. Would've saved me some incredible awkwardness, like the time I was leaning in to cheek-peck my much-shorter New York Magazine editor goodbye, and he suddenly turned and I kissed him on the mouth. 

the Book
The TALL Book [signed copy]The TALL Book [signed copy]
by Arianne Cohen

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