Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

March 14, 2007

Amazonians in the Subway?

hey there. i came across your blog and have been reading it all day! keep up the good work. i'm enjoying it! i'm 4ft10 also, and about 95lbs. i live in ny too, on the upper east side. and while i agree with all the things you say about the fashion industry, the one thing i want to get off my chest to someone who can relate is what is going on with all these 6ft plus tall women, and why are they all wearing heels? i know they say average height is 5ft4, but to go by my neighborhood i would swear it's more like 5ft8. every time i ride the subway in flats i feel like i'm in the land of the amazons. it seems like a few times per day i see women have to duck their heads down to enter or exit the subway car. crazy. is it just me or have you noticed the same kind of thing as well?


Hey Nancy, thanks for reading my blog and writing me! I totally agree that it seems like everyone on the subway in much taller than me - but I wonder if it's because we are particularly sensitive to it? I also live on the UES, and I would posit that my impression is about 5'6" for women on average - but as you point out, everyone seems to be wearing heels anyway. I also suspect that the shorter riders in your subway car do what I do - try to find a seat ASAP so they don't get smothered by the giants around them!

Women wear heels for a variety of reasons - and I would say that gaining height is NOT the first on that list for most people. It's not for me either! I personally wear heels because they make me feel more dressed up and sexier. Certainly, there are height advantages, but I've stopped believing that anyone is fooled into thinking I'm really 5'4" by wearing 6" heels (I don't). The tall women you see probably feel similarly - flats won't make anyone think they're shorter, so why shouldn't they just wear their heels and feel good too?

Also, I want to just point out that the UES isn't exactly a fair sample of what is average in the city, much less the country! I suspect if you go out to the outer boroughs, you'll notice that people are a bit more diverse (in every way).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's funny you say this because i have noticed the same thing except on the upper west side. it's not that uncommon to see women have to bend down to avoid hitting their head on the door to the subway car. this is just a guess, but it's got to be something like 6ft2-6ft3 high? i bet when they built the subways 100 year ago they never anticipated this being a problem!

March 14, 2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're right about it being annoying having to stand between a pack of amazons. amy, have you ever had the experience as i have of trying to leave a subway car and one of these amazons doesn't even see you so you walk right underneath their extended arm to exit?

March 14, 2007 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes! i think these super tall women do that on purpose. they pretend they don't see us so that we'll just walk under their arm which will make us feel short and them feel tall. it's a total power and intimidation thing , don't 'ya think?

March 15, 2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I don't think super tall women like being super tall. It's usually considered a disadvantage when dating, for instance, and is only thought of as a plus when playing basketball or being a runway model. Practically speaking, it sucks being a lot shorter than everyone, but socially speaking, it's harder being really tall (as a woman).

Now if you mean tall guys, I can definitely agree that it's sometimes a power and intimdation thing!

March 15, 2007 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that used to be true but that today tall women have a different attitude. i dont think they're afraid to be tall at all for the most part. a girlfriend of mine is 6ft2 and often wers 3 inch heels because she enjoys being tall. heck, half the girls i work with are 5ft8 and over and they all wear heels too. i just think its alot different to day than in past generations.

March 15, 2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i beg to differ. i am one of those super tall women you refer to - 6ft3 and often seen wearing heels. not only do i love being tall, but i specifically wear heels to be even taller. and i have never had a problem getting a date because of my height. on the contrary. sorry if it upsets you to hear this my little 4ft10 friend.

March 15, 2007 11:18 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Ah you lucky lady! Height advantage and the pick of the men too! I must say I'm curious though - what else on this site interests a tall woman like yourself?

March 15, 2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous tall woman said...

just curious to see how the other half lives. i'm curious about something myself. what makes you assume that super tall women (especially ones who are wearing heels!) do not like to be tall? where did you get that from? all my tall girlfriends love their height.

March 16, 2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Obviously, everyone feels differently about their height/appearance/whatever. I can only speak from experience. It's good that you feel good about your height - a lot of the tall women I know usually complain about it in regards to finding clothing long enough for them and dating. Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure if it's their tallness or the fact that there are therefore fewer guys that are taller than them!

General guy statements also seem to indicate that they'd also prefer be taller than the lady.

March 16, 2007 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its also incredibly annoying that these amazons can reach that top bar in the subway so easily to hold onto. really bugs me for some reason.
i can just about reach it myself if i really have to but its a stretch (ha ha).
i'm a little taller than you though amy so now i'm wondering: can you reach that top bar to hold onto or is it too high up for you to reach?

March 16, 2007 12:55 PM  
Anonymous tall girl said...

no way at 4ft10 she could reach that. :)

March 16, 2007 2:49 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Tall girl, since you left no email address for me, I'll publicly say that you should think about writing posts here once in a while about how the other half lives. "Fair and balanced" I say!

Although, upon reflection, I'm not sure if you'd be able to offer any "the grass is always greener" comments as you seem to love being tall....

March 16, 2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't reach that bar either. :(
if i can't get to one of the poles to hold onto it's hopeless for me. and why is that bar so high anyway? i think you have to be over 5ft tall to reach it, right?

March 18, 2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Unfortunately, I hate to point out that most people (and I even include children) seem to be above 5" :)

The tall bar is for the majority of the population....

March 18, 2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm only 4ft9 so i can relate to being squased next to much taller women on the subway and all that goes with that. i'm short enough to sometimes have sometimes other women's waist levels at my chin level. i don't dare look up in a situation like that. i might get dizzy trying to make eye contact.

March 19, 2007 3:32 PM  
Anonymous jane said...

this reinds me of something else. have any of you ever bought coffee from one of those street vendor type coffee carts? why do they have to make the window so high? i have to get on tip toe to pick up the change and grab my coffee. i think some might be higher than others, but have any of you also experienced the same thing?

March 19, 2007 4:35 PM  
Anonymous nancy said...

i also have trouble at the teller window at some banks. you're supposed to slide yor paperwork under that little window but its so high up that i have to do it by feel more than by sight!

March 20, 2007 8:43 AM  
Anonymous vanessa said...

at the union square station on the east side i'm always seeing model types with legs up to my neck. i wonder if a lot of them get on and off there because it's near modelling studios.? or maybe there are just a lot of very tall girls living in th east village? but either way, yeah, the subway is a place where very tall people stand out because of the cramped quarters. and i have certainly seen many women taller than the doorway to the subway car.

March 22, 2007 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what? why isn't the upper east side a fair example to use??

March 22, 2007 10:57 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

It's unfortunate that every measurement becomes standardized for pre-fabricated items(i.e., more convenient for the "average" person), because very short/tall people find chairs/counters/lightswitches placed at an awkward height! What I think is funny about the coffee stands is that most of the people working behind the counter also find the window too high!

I've had to fax a few things over at Kinko's recently, and I couldn't see what I was punching out on the number pad because it was over my head....

And the UES is definitely not demographically "average" for NYC. Yes, that does effect things like height and nutrition outcomes.

March 22, 2007 11:11 PM  
Anonymous tall girl said...

as i had suspected, the concensus seems to be that all of you short women would wear heels just to be taller if confronted by a greater percentage of us taller women every day. well, almost all of you.

March 22, 2007 11:13 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Actually, that's interesting.... The post was originally about how tall women make themselves taller, but I'm wondering if it's because of the tall women or just tall people in general that make you guys wear heels?

(Man or woman, if you're taller and if I'm shoved into your armpit on the subway, I'm not happy!)

March 22, 2007 11:34 PM  
Anonymous tall girl said...

that's interesting too. does it bother you to see very tall women wearing heels amy?

March 22, 2007 11:37 PM  
Anonymous holly said...

really? i never go to kinkos. why would they possibly have a key pad for something so high up? form what you describe it sounds like someone even as tall as 5ft2 might not be able to see the keypad either. what gives?

March 23, 2007 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know about amy but it bothers me when very tall women wear heels. do you really need to be THAT tall?

March 23, 2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger deelaina said...

For those of us that don't deal with reaching for the top bar to hold on to on the trains, what about on planes? I never carry on anything that I know I'll have to fit in the overhead bins because I would have to ask for help putting it up and getting it down anyway.

Oh and you know you're really short when you're on a plane and you can stand up all the way without your head touching the overhead bin above your seat.

March 24, 2007 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or what about driving a car? in some cars i have a really hard time reaching the pedals when my body is in the best position to see out the window and in the mirrors. they actually sell pedal extensions but i feel weird even just thinking about getting them.

March 24, 2007 11:11 PM  
Anonymous emma said...

speaking of cars do you know about the new booster seat laws? they say that a child must continue to use a booster deat until 8 years of age or until they reach a height of 4ft9. that's practically my height! i only qualify by an inch to be out of the booster seat height range? whoa. if you don't believe it take a look at

March 25, 2007 3:33 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Had I known about those pedal extensions when I drove, I totally would have sprung for them!

March 25, 2007 10:26 PM  
Blogger deelaina said...

Emma, yeah I saw a billboard that had that booster seat law info on it.

"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends children use booster seats until they are at least eight years old or more than 4-feet 9-inches tall. Children older than 12 years old can sit in the front seat, and do not require any special seat if they are more than 4-feet 9-inches tall. However, the back seat is always safer."

As far as the pedals, I have that problem with most cars, too. I just bought a Mercedes coupe and when I pull the seat all the way forward so I can reach the pedals, I have to reach a mile behind me to get my seatbelt.

March 26, 2007 10:56 PM  
Anonymous holly said...

spotted in the subway today: woman in flats who had to duck down a fair amount to enter subway car. insane. how tall would she have to be?

March 28, 2007 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would say she'd have to be at least 6ft3. a girlfriend of mine is 6ft1 and when she wears heels she has to duck to avoid hitting her head on the doorframe.

March 28, 2007 10:14 PM  
Anonymous stacey said...

this is a great post! what bugs me so much is when i'm trying to leave the subway car and some super tall woman steps back but leaves her arm extrneded and holding onto the pole so that i have to walk under her arm. yeah i can easily pass under but thats not the point.

April 26, 2007 4:05 PM  
Anonymous nancy said...

i know some will disagree but i think that kind of rude behavior is a way of tall women trying to exert power over us shorties.

April 26, 2007 5:23 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I don't think it's particularly fair to assume she's doing it just to piss you off. Are you sure you're not projecting your own insecurities? I've found, over the years, that no one really cares about how short I am but me. We fixate over the tall/short divide because it causes inconveniences in our lives. Otherwise, why would anyone think about it particularly?

And in terms of her still grasping the overhead bar, it may even be for safety. I actually had a tall friend graciously ungrasp the pole to let people pass, only to be pushed to the subway car floor because everyone else was shoving him aside!

April 26, 2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous stacey said...

i dont think i'm assuming too much in this case i dont think amy.the train wasn't moving and this
tall woman even looked down at me and still made no attempt to remove her arm from the bar. seemed intentionaal to me for whatever reason. this has never happned to you?

May 01, 2007 5:37 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I don't think you're necessarily wrong; I just don't think that's the case the majority of the time!

I've definitely been on the train and had people intentionally not moving because they wanted to hog the space around themselves. I admit, that I sometimes do the same when people are trying to shove me into things!

Of course, you probably didn't verbally ask her to move. I know I'm guilty of just standing there fuming about the same thing...but if you don't ask, they can't pretend they didn't know! And if they still don't move, then you'd be correct in thinking they're just big jerks!

May 01, 2007 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting. so how often would you NY girls say you see a woman tall enough that you do a double take to try to do a quick mental calculation on how tall she might be? once a week? once a day?

May 19, 2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous tall girl said...

amy i think its great that you're giving us tall girls the benefit of the doubt, but i have to admit that sometimes very short girls get on my nerves and i do purposely "force" them to walk under my arm in certain situations. all the tall girls i know do the same thing as well. sorry to disappoint you, but this one of our little ways of getting back at you shorties for dating all the tall guys.

May 21, 2007 10:39 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

You know Tall Girl, it's funny you say that, since I thought you'd previously mentioned that tall women don't seem to have any trouble finding guys that are interested in them! In fact, according to the comments posted about the short reporter, it seems like the celebrities love them tall too!

And yes, I'd like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt!

May 21, 2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous tall girl said...

amy: we just don't want any of your shorties trying to steal our tall guys out from under us. after all, we can't see you all the way down there! lol. anyway, next time you walk under some tall women's arm on the subway just dont be so sure she's not making you do it on purpose to make you feel short. :)

May 21, 2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

forget new york, you should try going to texas if you want to see tall women. in dallas i bet average height is something like 5ft8. i have never felt so short in my life as when i was there last year. i'm 5ft2 and i literally did not see one woman there who was shorter than me. and after a while i was looking too. i was so glad to get back home and feel "tall" again. really wild.

May 30, 2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was standing next to 2 amazon women on the subway this week wondering to myself how tall they were. then i heard one of them say to the other: "oh are you really 6'2? 'cause i'm 6'3 and i thought yo were shorter than that. must be the heels"
now in my mind i had been guessing that they were at least 6ft tall but hearing them say they were 6ft2 and 6ft3 just made me feel really really short!

May 31, 2007 11:03 AM  

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