Tall girls and short guys are more normal among teens than you may think.

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Creation Tips Teen Topics: Bible advice for Christian teens
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Tall girls and short guys:
A normal part of growing up!

So I'm tall: So what!

Emilio and Christina were young teens who were often teased about their height. Emilio was the shortest kid in his class and it looked as though he was always going to feel left out of social events because he was shorter than the other guys. Christina had the opposite problem. She was the tallest girl in her class, and was even taller than most boys her age.

People hatch at different times

Fortunately, Emilio and Christina both saw a television program that told them about early developers and late developers. The program said many adolescents (young teens) become concerned unnecessarily about their height. Height varies a lot in adolescents, but when they reach 20, most are within the range for normal height.

The program showed a bird's nest high up a tree. Eggs were in the nest. A time-lapse camera filmed the nest and showed the chicks hatching at different times. The last bird to hatch, called a late developer, hatched much later than the first (an early developer).

When all the birds were several months old, you couldn't see much difference in their sizes. Sure, some were still smaller or bigger than the others, but the differences were less noticeable now.

People are like that too

People also “hatch” at different times. Emilio was the shortest in his group for years, and Christina was the tallest in her group for years. But when Emilio and Christina were 20 they realized they were not much different from their 20-year-old friends.

The problem, they said later, is that we each go through adolescence only once, and don't realize when we are going through it that things usually turn out in the long run. In fact, when they found out about early developers and late developers, they both had a bit of fun whenever someone mentioned their height.

“I'm not short,” Emilio would always say. “I'm a late developer. Don't you know about early developers and late developers? Let me tell you …” Usually by now the critic would start walking away, but if he didn't, Emilio would be smiling inside while he launched into telling the person a long version of the television program. The critics soon stopped because they didn't want to listen to a 10-minute lecture on early developers and late developers.

Some teens develop early and some develop late. You can't do anything about which group you fall into, and you shouldn't want to, because that group is the natural one for you. Just let it happen naturally, and don't try to force it or stop it.

Girls develop earlier than boys

Girls develop a little earlier than most boys, but when these awkward years are over no one cares whether you developed early or late. And even though some adults are taller or shorter than others, most rarely think about when they started growing into adults.

Your eventual size as an adult depends a lot on how tall or short your parents are. You inherit your parents' genes, so you will be like them in some ways. If your parents are both African Tutsi, the chances are strong that you will be taller than someone whose parents are Chinese. It just happens that way. Tutsis are tall, Chinese are short. Again, you can't do much about it, and you shouldn't want to because your natural height will suit you best anyway.

What you can do about your height

There is a wide range of heights among adults. Some are tiny dwarfs and some grow to be giants like Goliath in the Bible. There is nothing unnatural about any height — and if it concerns you it probably depends on who you hang around with.

Short guy running pic Tall girl jogging pic

If you are a short guy, you won't look out of place if you hang out with one or two other short guys. If you are a tall girl, you won't look out of place with another tall friend.

Whatever height you are as a teen, make the most of it and don't worry about it. There are thousands on thousands of people who are the same height as you, and some of them see only advantages.

Sabina, for instance, was a tall teen, and she said it was great to be in crowds because she could see over everyone's head. Thomas was short, and said it was great to be in places where he didn't want to stand out and in playing certain sports because he could sneak past tall players easily.

Someone loves you

Some guys love tall women and some women love short guys. If you develop a friendly personality, no one will worry about your height and you will attract a wider range of friends.

So work on being friendly if your height worries you. Try to develop a personality that people will enjoy. If your height concerns you (and it doesn't worry every short or tall person), then avoid obvious mistakes like these:

  • Short guys. Don't get big dogs as pets. And when you get your driver's license don't drive huge cars or trucks. This only makes your size more obvious. Get a medium-sized dog as a pet, wear the right sized clothes, and drive a medium-sized car or truck. Some short guys don't realize they are highlighting their shortness by always wanting big things, whether it's cars, clothes, guns, pets, or anything else.
  • Tall girls. Don't hunch over to make yourself look shorter. It doesn't work. It looks terrible, and if you do it for too long it may become such a habit that you develop a stoop without realizing it. Tall girls look elegant when they walk upright. Just look at how tall some fashion models try to look. It's OK to wear flat, thin-soled shoes instead of high heels if you don't want to look too tall. But if you accept that you are tall and don't seem concerned about it, you may find (as many tall girls have) that your shorter friends will wish they were as tall as you.

What does the Bible say?

Jesus told His disciples that no one, by being anxious, can add a cubit to their height (Luke 12:25) (a cubit was a measure of about 18 inches, or 45 centimetres). What you are, you are. So make the most of what you have instead of what you don't have.

In Luke 19 we read of a time when Jesus was passing through Jericho. There was a rich man there named Zaccheus who was trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus. But he could not see Jesus because Zaccheus was short. So Zaccheus climbed a sycamore tree (being small he was able to climb easily) and when Jesus saw him He gave Zaccheus the honour of letting Jesus stay at his house.

An important verse is 1 Samuel 16:7, in which we read that Samuel looked at David's brother Eliab and thought that surely he was anointed of the LORD. But the LORD told Samuel not to look at Eliab's appearance or at his height, because the LORD looks not at outward appearances, but at the heart. It's what you are like inside that counts.

And this is what counts with any reasonable person no matter what age you are. Accept whatever height you are. Work on developing your inward goodness and friendliness — it will bring you good that you would never get otherwise.

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