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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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Benjamin Allen
Benjamin Allen

Tall Girl

Jodi Kreyman is 16 years old. She has been tall for her age since she was three, which has made her insecure her whole life. Students regularly joke about her height. In contrast, Jodi's older sister Harper is of average height and has won multiple beauty pageants. Jack Dunkleman, a life-long friend, frequently asks her out, but she is reluctant, partly because he's much shorter than her.

tall girl

Stig Mohlin, a Swedish foreign exchange student, joins Jodi's class, and she is immediately interested in him, along with most girls in her school. However, Kimmy Stitcher, her bully, starts showing him around. Dunkleman is distressed to learn that Stig will be staying at his house as the host family. Jodi asks her sister for help getting Stig to notice her. Harper and their mother help her with a complete makeover.

Jodi finds her father has organized a meeting of a club for tall people in their house, which she finds upsetting. Stig calls, and at first, thinking it is another prank call, she yells at him, but he invites her to watch a musical. She turns up to Dunkleman's house, and he becomes jealous when he realizes she is there to see Stig. He continually interrupts their evening, but as Stig escorts Jodi home, they kiss. Later, feeling guilty, Stig asks Dunkleman for advice, and he tells him to focus on being with Kimmy. Jodi gets angry at Dunkleman when she learns this.

Parents need to know that Tall Girl is a comedy about fitting in that's set in high school, where the pressure to conform can be overwhelming. At six-foot-one, 16-year-old Jodi (Ava Michelle) literally will never "fit"; she's endured merciless teasing about her height since elementary school. The message she constantly hears from friends and family is to walk tall -- but it's hard to ignore the characteristic that's defined her self view and (she feels) doomed her to social oblivion. Friendship and family support are given high value here, as is the need to achieve self esteem. With its heart in the right place, the movie may speak to teens who feel marginalized, isolated, or even bullied, but watch out for too-easy answers to difficult questions. Teens kiss, a fight breaks out at a party (resulting in a black eye), and language includes "crap," "biatch," and "pissed."

Jodi (Ava Michelle) is the title's TALL GIRL. At 16, she's an accomplished pianist and a bright student with a dry sense of humor (mostly directed at herself). Despite her gifts, she can't shake what has become the central and defining fact of her life: She's six-foot-one and a stand-out in exactly the way many adolescent girls don't want to be. Her best friend Fareeda (Anjelika Washington) encourages her to stop slouching, but Jodi stoops ahead, resigned. When Stig (Luke Eisner), a tall, handsome Swedish exchange student, appears at school, Jodi is instantly smitten -- as is every other girl in her grade. Jodi has spent years doing her best not to be seen, hiding behind sweatshirts and attire from men's shops, looking like a "very large little boy." Her sudden desire to be noticed by Stig brings her to beauty-contest-winning big sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) for advice on glamming up, a collaboration that creates new family loyalty and closeness. Stig, who has been snagged by Jodi's long-time tormenter Kimmy (Clara Wilsey), nevertheless takes to Jodi when they meet accidentally in a piano practice room where she plays for him. A sweet kiss follows -- and so does the guilt of pursuing a guy with a girlfriend, even an evil one like Kimmy. Jodi's short friend Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) is jealous and tries to steer Stig away, which leads to awkwardness, misunderstandings, and a black eye. The rapid-fire highs and lows of the typical high school crush play out from there.

This romcom will resonate with teens who feel different at a time in life when blending in is often the goal. It's a relatively impressive feature directorial debut for music video (Jay-Z, Kanye West) and TV (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) director Nzingha Stewart, despite some of the limitations of the script. Believability is one problem. Being unusually tall certainly might make a teen girl feel awkward, but the relentless mockery directed at Jodi would seem far more credible if she were closer to seven feet. These days, tall girls so dominate competitive sports and fashion runways that it seems counterintuitive to view them as an oppressed minority. A more credible alternate universe might just as easily admire Jodi for her stature.

While watching a film that harps on the inconsequential problems of privileged teenagers might be a fun distraction for an hour and half, in reality, the production makes a mockery of people who face tangible problems on an everyday basis for the way they present or identify themselves. At the end of the day, people like Jodi have an upperhand in the real world, and trying to pretend that Jodi faces true societal backlash just for being tall is simply misleading.

When the trailer for Netflix's Tall Girldropped, I received no less than five texts from friends saying: "Hey! It's you!" And they were not wrong. I stand at 6-foot-2 (and a half!), having reached 6-feet by the time I was 13 years old. A lot of my childhood experiences mirror those of title character Jodi, the 6-foot-1 "tall girl" played by Dance Moms alum Ava Michelle. I can easily recall the bullying (although Tall Girl's repeated "How's the weather up there?" is mild compared to actual insults of vicious teens), the lack of clothing options, being shorter than maybe three boys in my grade. These are all real inconveniences adolescent tall girls face. But, predictably, as soon as the trailer dropped, people took to Twitter to criticize the film's message, labeling it as problematic for its supposed portrayal of a tall, white girl being the victim.

What Jodi wants is a smart, sweet, tall guy to walk through the front door and sweep her off her feet. Totally unrealistic? Jodi thinks so. Until, that is, Swedish foreign exchange student, Stig Mohlin, enrolls at Ruby Bridges high.

Tall Girl Gose is a fruity, hot pink beer using Hibiscus, Lingonberries, Raspberry & Himalayan Pink Salt -pleasantly sour but mostly sweet & aromatic. We made this limited edition beer in honor of Transwomen, Femmes, Drag Queens & the all the tall queer girls in our community.

Everything changes when Swedish exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner) comes to town. Blonde, handsome and most importantly taller than Jodi, Stig is seemingly everything that a tall girl could want. Unfortunately for Jodi, he is everything the shorter girls could want, too. Before long, Kimmy Stitcher (Clara Wilsey), the most popular girl, sets her eyes on Stig, and the two must compete for his attention.

This validation from a male love interest seems to be the only way Jodi can become more confident in herself. She pines for Stig before she even knows him, and only on the basis of his height does she find him interesting. At the same time, she ignores the romantic advances of Jack because he is shorter than her and therefore unworthy. In this way, Jodi herself reinforces the idea that she needs a tall boy to feel secure as a tall girl and offers little in terms of growth and development throughout the film.

The romantic comedy is directed by Nzingha Stewart and features other stars like Sabrina Carpenter as Ava's big sister (Harper), Angela Kinsey as her mom (Helaine Kreyman), Steve Zahn as her father (Richie Kreyman), and Luke Eisner as the Swedish exchange student named Stig who steals her heart (and also happens to be 6'2"). Complete with mean girls, makeover montages, ride-or-die friendships, and other elements of high school nostalgia, it's a love story you didn't even know you needed, yet should binge watch the second it's available to stream on Netflix.

The official Netflix description of the teen rom-com reads: "Jodi (Ava Michelle), the tallest girl in her high school, has always felt uncomfortable in her own skin. But after years of slouching, being made fun of, and avoiding attention at all costs, Jodi finally decides to find the confidence to stand tall."

ESPN the Magazine's Nov. 28 "Tall Ball" issue, which focuses on the varied aspects of height and sport, prompted us to ask around about #tallgirlproblems. Not to stereotype, but tall women often have some specific challenges that they deal with. But even the most annoying stuff wouldn't make any of the women we spoke with want to give up even an inch of their height.

"It's mostly things like sleeves not being long enough. Or knee-high boots that are not knee-high at all on me. And I always say when we do push-ups it's harder if you are tall and have longer arms. Or doing pull-ups."

"I would say my No. 1 tall girl problem is that people have to ask me every day, 'Do you play basketball?' I've had people make comments about my height every day of my life. That can get annoying. I'm thankful for it; I used it. You don't go around commenting on someone's weight or size, so it's just really annoying. It's the kind of thing that people should just say to themselves: 'Wow, she's really tall.' But I don't need to be informed that I'm tall. I get it."

"A lot of jeans that come in longer lengths have flared legs. I hate flares. I hate wide legs. I feel like all tall-girl jeans should be skinny. So when I do find a pair I like that fits, I buy them in every color.

Has girls' embarrassment over being tall changed? "I hope it has. My daughter is around so many tall women, I don't think it registers to her that she's dwarfing her classmates. She's tall; she holds her shoulders back with pride. We tease her about her big feet, and she loves them and her long legs.

At the climax of the film, Jodi goes up to the stage during Homecoming and tells everyone in the room that she is more than just tall. This speech is the most valuable piece of the movie. It defines the meaning of equality and friendship.

Violence: A girl accidently kicks another girl in the face while trying to dance. Sexual Content: Teenage couples kiss throughout. A woman makes a brief joke about being fertile. Profanity: One mild expletive and seven uses of terms of deity. Alcohol / Drug Use: A girl makes a brief reference to slipping someone some Nyquil. 041b061a72


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