How Jezebel Just Lost my Readership, and Maybe Yours

Those of us women over 6' tall in the U.S. (I'm 6'4") only make up 1% of the population. That's about 3.2 million of us out there. It's not a huge number, but here's the thing about that number:
  • 99% of us are between the ages of 20 and 50
  • We are internet savvy because we had to be (to find clothes, communities, etc.)
  • A decent chunk of us tend toward the liberal because, again, we had to (traditional roles don't work with us, we faced a lot of bullying growing up, etc.)
  • We are constantly exploring the world around us for innovations (because we're looking for the world to offer things that work for us)
Essentially, we are the perfect demographic for Jezebel. And many of us are readers. In many of the tall communities I'm in, we share Jezebel articles frequently. We are still, above all, women who want to connect with others and the world around us.

Well, Jezebel, you just lost us.

The quick spotlight Clover Hope wrote about the TLC series My Giant Life was bad.


It was dismissive, and the use of the word "gripe" was unnecessarily snarky.

But that's not the problem. No. The problem is Clover Hope and her response to the comments.

One commenter questioned the snark and Clover responded with, "how about you chill," as you can see in the screenshots below:

Kara Brown also commented:

The problem here is the lack of respect for readers. Especially those that represent the population on which are you commenting. Not that I ever mistook Jezebel for serious journalism, but does an outlet like this really want someone with a childish, "I know you are but what am I?" mentality representing them? This is digusting.

There have been over 500 comments in the couple hours since this article was posted. Thanks to Clover's offensiveness, a comment war between short and tall has now started. This is ridiculous.

This is not about Tall versus Short. This is about a wanna be journalist treating an entire population as if they don't matter. Several commenters brought up the similarity to race issues:

And now we have race wars. This is extremely unfortunate and I am personally disgusted that a contributor to a national outlet could be so dismissive and disrespectful of an entire demographic, and then not hear the concerns when they offer feedback.

You can read all of the comments here. 

Clover Hope has, in one comment, invalidated any good she has done in the past. I personally will not consume or share Jezebel content anymore, and I'm willing to bet that my sisterhood of tall women, and honestly - just women who have empathy for others - are with me.

And just to educate those of you who don't understand why tall women "gripe" about being tall, let me throw out a very small smattering of how it impacts our lives:
  • We are pushed into sports, whether or not we want it
  • We get unwanted attention all the time - people constantly comment on our bodies and our lives and tell us what we should and shouldn't be doing with it. 
  • We cannot fit into airplane seats, first class is expensive, and in foreign countries that isn't always an option.
  • We have to buy bigger cars.
  • They don't make pants or shoes in our sizes, we have to make them or wear ugly things. Even when we can find something, it doesn't actually fit right and it's very expensive.
  • Dating is hell - not because we want tall men, necessarily, just because of societal standards.
  • We get back problems, ankle and knee problems, and circulation problems.
  • We never ever ever get to feel "cute".
  • We can't hear our friends when we're out standing somewhere.
  • Want to go watch that baseball game or that movie? Prepare to have bruises on your knees the next day.
  • Our feet hang off the end of the bed.
  • The desk at work don't fit us.
The list goes on and on and on...

I've blogged a bit about being super tall before. You can read those posts here, here, and here

I don't complain about other populations "griping" about their problems. I try to understand them and empathize. I don't ask that you understand my issues - I just ask that you don't call us out as whiners. We are definitely not among the loudest voice of complainers in the world, and a lot of us have worked to change our world to address our issues.

So sure, Clover - I'll chill. But I'm gonna be chilling without Jezebel because of you.