Life isn’t always easier for tall people. Sure, we can reach things on high shelves, and can see above crowds of people, but most of the world isn’t designed for us vertically gifted folk. From life expectancy to door frames that are too low to consumer devices that aren’t made with taller proportions in mind, check out our creative solutions or life-hacks to the biggest tall people problems out there…
1. Lawn Mower for Tall People
Mowing the lawn is something that all home owners and renters have to do on a daily basis, but tall people have a much more difficult time of the whole affair. Push mowers almost never have long enough handles for taller blokes to use them without stooping over, and pushing a heavy mower while hunched over leads to back pain and long term problems. Luckily, there is a solution that every tall person can use. With a little bit of DIY creativity, you can take handlebar extensions from your old bicycle, or order them online, and you can fasten the extensions to your push mower along with a strap that allows you to use the mower’s throttle with a comfortable grip on your handlebars.
2. Bed too Short?
Are you a giant? Do you like to sleep? Tired of feeling like you’re throwing yourself on the floor every time you go down for a night’s sleep? Tired of having to awkwardly shuffle out of bed in the morning because there isn’t enough room to extend your legs when you sit on your bed? There is a simple solution for you. You can make “raisers” for your bed with a 4”x4” piece of lumber, just cut it to the height that you need and then drill small holes for the feet of your bed so the feet don’t slip off the lumber risers. You can also use cinderblocks. Whatever you use, make sure you put felt on the bottom so it doesn’t mark up your floors.
3. Giant Friendly Light Fittings
Why would you leave hazards dotting the ceilings of your own home? If you have control over your own environment – you should bend it to your will, removing long light fixtures and chandeliers and replacing them with recessed lights so there is more space for your headroom. If you rent, or you are staying in someone else’s house, you can zip tie long light fixtures to the ceiling or to their supports so they are a little bit shorter, and so they won’t fall off the ceiling when you whack your head on them.
4. Shower Head too low?
Extendable shower heads are basically shower heads that have a separate “arm” that you can move around, using it as a wand to bathe yourself, or attaching it like a taller version of your current shower head. Not only are these perfect for showers, finally letting you get your head under the water without having to crouch, but they are also flexible enough that you can take them off the shower to use as a dog-washing tool if you need to.
5. Low Ceilings & Stairs
Basement stairs and attic stairs are usually major risk areas for tall people because the ceilings are lower and there are all kinds of door frames and low hanging lights to hit your head on. One easy way to add a little safety to these stairs is to create bumpers for door frames and dangerous edges. Cut a pool noodle (one of the brightly colored foam pool toys) in half and use it as a bumper by duct taping it to the offending surface. You might still hit your head, but at least it will be foam instead of brick!
It’s a common misconception that tall people can walk around with total impunity. With great height comes great responsibilities. There are certain unwritten rules that come along with being vertically gifted. Such as our duty to help little old ladies reach items down from the top shelves at the supermarket or informing people when they need to clean on top of their fridge. Don’t get us wrong, they’re are definitely a lot of perks of being tall, but today we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest hurdles that we face being giants amongst men.
If you’re over 6ft than you have most definitely encountered the awkward hug in your time or what we like to refer to as the arse out hug. The bigger the difference in the height between you and the hug’ee the more awkward it becomes, similar to the likes of taking photographs with people much shorter than you.
The solution: Short of having all your friends carry around a step-ladder with them or removing short people from your life all together, the best thing to do in this situation is the lift up hug. Sweeping the other persons feet off the ground is the most comforting thing you can do as a friendly giant even if it is considered inappropriate in
certain most circumstances. If you have a bad back and don’t fancy heavy lifting – than you’re s**t out of luck. Unless of course you fancy moving to Dubai where all forms of public affection are illegal. In 2007 an unmarried Indian couple were given a one year jail sentence for hugging in the back of a taxi there.
7. Exercise Machines
Unless you live as a recluse in a 12th century castle – low ceilings, signs, doorways and other overhead obstacles are completely unavoidable. In fact, depending on the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed they can sometimes seemingly appear out of nowhere. If you’re one of the lucky ones you’ll wind up with some cobwebs in your hair and if you’re one of the unlucky ones – a few less braincells and a nasty lump on your noggin.
The solution: Whilst ‘mind your head’ signs are very courteous we definitely cannot rely upon them, particularly if you’re travelling around Asia. One must be vigilant at all times. If you’re thinking of letting your guard down or get completely inebriated than it’s recommended you look in to a helmet or the more socially acceptable snapback. It won’t always absorb the impact but it will definitely help.
8. Small Beds
Unless you’re an NBA player that can afford to air freight your 8-foot custom made mattress around with you everywhere you go, you’re going to encounter plenty of mattresses that are too small in your life time. As a tall person you get pretty use to having your feet hang out the end of the bed, some even wear socks. The real problem is when this isn’t an option. Rigid bed ends and mattresses that are flush against a wall at the end are public enemy number one for tall people.
The solution: Sleep diagonally and don’t book a Japanese capsule hotel unless you’re under 200cm.
There are a lot of perks about being tall at a music festival or concert. For starters you can always see what’s going on on stage and can easily be spotted by your mates through the crowd. The downside? Not that people behind you can’t see – that’s their problem. Rather, the requests from drunken people to climb on your shoulders. At first it may sound like a great idea. After all what’s to hate about having a drunken girl on top of your shoulders? It begins with their muddy feet all over your clothes, spilling their drink all over you and people lobbing bottles in your general direction. It ends with a sore back the following morning, #yolo.
The solution: You know how the council puts all those spikes on top of bus stop signs and street lights to keep the pigeons away? They also make them for people, they’re called spiked shoulder pads and they’re definitely making a come back.
10. Fitting in Seats
Legroom is a constant struggle for us giants. It doesn’t stop at economy class aeroplane tickets either. It filters all the way through. From fitting your legs under desks to fitting in to a sports car – seats are just not designed with tall folk in mind.
The solution: If you’re after tips specific to making aeroplane travel easier on your long legs check out our travel tips for tall people blog post. Thankfully nowadays there are also plenty of cars on the market today with enough legroom.
11. Playing Sports
For the most part being tall gives you an advantage at sports. You can block easier in volleyball, cover more of the court in tennis, stretch out further in the swimming pool, stride further on the track and throw down mad dunks on the basketball court. So the when is being vertically gifted a problem in sports you ask? Well when you don’t actually play nor have any interest in sports than it can become pretty annoying. It’s almost guaranteed to be the first question anyone you meet asks you about as well as what they insist you take interest in.
The solution: Get yourself some of these nifty tall business cards, problem solved.
12. Bathrooms & Mirrors
Bathrooms really are a beast of their own. Mirrors that are too low for you, chest height shower heads and of course the worst of all is if you’re a tall bloke trying to take a stand up piss in an aeroplane bathroom – forget about it.
The solution: There’s a few “band-aid” style fixes to this one like a portable vanity mirror or getting a lawn-chair and having sit down showers but if you want a long term solution you’re going to have to get a repairman in and raise everything a good foot or two!
Yes there is a fear of tall people in case you were wondering and it’s called gigaphobia. If you suffer from said condition the best thing you can do is arm yourself with an umbrella. As a tall person there is nothing more daunting than walking through a crowd of umbrella wielding people, all the pointy bits directly at your eye level.
The solution: Again, the brim of a hat should help defend your eyes from getting poked out. If you want a more sure fire way we suggest investing in a pair of old fashioned leather flight goggles.
14. Finding clothes that fit
For the most part taller people are proportionate. You will very rarely meet a tall person with a small head or feet. As such shopping for our entire wardrobe is difficult work to say the least. From shopping for hats, to shoes and everything in between the struggle is definitely real. Particularly jeans and t-shirts.
The solution: Luckily we stock a wide range of longer length clothing, including elongated tees, tall hoodies, long-sleeve tops, longer length tank tops and more – all at very reasonable prices. If you’re after bigger size sneakers feel free to check out our blog post about where to find them.
15. Walking with People
It’s not rocket science to understand that the taller you are the bigger your walking stride will be. If you’re walking with a shorter person this can often lead to moments where you will look back over your shoulder and they’re suddenly fifty metres back and have not heard a word you’ve said.
The solution: Either you can moderate your gate ie. walk slower or politely ask them to pick it up… In a situation where neither party wants to change their pace it could be worth investing in some of these bad boys for your vertically challenged mate.
For the individual of above average stature, everyday life can present unique challenges, obstacles and hazards that need to be navigated at every turn. While most of these wouldn’t present a challenge for your average Joe, for people over 7ft each day can be like an installment of The Hunger Games, where you must overcome and outwit these obstacles in order to ensure your survival. What I will do now is take you through your most common hazards and give you some suggestions as to how best navigate them.
16. Hobbit Holes
Let’s start with an obvious one. Your standard doorway is only around 7ft tall, so for anybody taller than that ducking your head will be required in order to avoid brain damage. Luckily as most tall people will tell you, this is a natural reflex and you develop an almost sixth sense as to when you need to duck. Unfortunately, in my experience this ‘sixth sense’ can be severely inhibited by the effects of alcohol, so if you plan on drinking it might be a good idea to attach padding to the top of all doorways before doing so.
17. Ceiling Fans
Ah the ceiling fan; never was there a device more intended to maim and cull the tall population than this. Due to the variance of roof heights out there, whether or not these will present a challenge will have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. If it is established that the fan height will be an issue, exercise caution at all times, and avoid jumping or standing up too quickly. Another thing to be mindful of is construction material: a metal fan hanging anywhere around head height is a decapitation waiting to happen if you are not extremely careful. While I’m on the subject, decapitation is exactly what should happen to the inventor of said device, but I digress. It would be my suggestion not to drink in such an environment, however if avoiding alcohol is not an option wear a crash helmet at all times.
18. Friends with Small Cars
While it may be a temptation to buy something older, smaller and cheap to operate, comfort and safety should take priority here. If you were to be involved in an accident, it is far better to have the front of the car absorbing the impact rather than your knees. Look for a driver’s seat that not only extends back, but also low enough to give you additional head and knee room. When investing in a car remember it is something you will be spending a lot of time in. So don’t be tight: spend a little bit more and get something you will be comfortable in. Many new small cars have equivalent interior space to family sized cars of 15 years ago. While on the subject, choosing the right car is something I can definitely help with in my line of work, so feel free to shoot me a message before purchasing anything if you’d like to work out a great deal on a great product! Because at the end of the day, none of us want to be like that guy on The Simpsons, you know the one I mean! 😉
Annoying Questions & Remarks
Written by guest blogger and Australia’s tallest man Kewal Shiels.
The comeback is a crucial weapon for any tall man to possess, and this article I will attempt to help you ensure its correct and accurate deployment should the need arise.
Generally speaking, the taller you are, the more comments you will get regarding your height, and the more absurd these comments will be. This correlation could be shown in a parabolic line graph such as this:
You may be asking what the unit of measurement on the left is, and that’s a fair question. The answer is I’m really not too sure; I just had to punch in some numbers in order to be able to show a spike.
Now in the instance that you are confronted with an absurd question or remark regarding your height, it is perfectly acceptable to come up with a sassy response, if for no other reason than to encourage proper social etiquette from them in the future. Lets run through some scenarios of ‘common tall person questions or remarks’ and some suggested responses, by yours truly.
19. How tall are you?
Suggested response: There is many ways to respond to this one and you will need to play it by ear as to what is an appropriate response. You may just choose to answer the question, but point out to them that they only get one question, and verify if they wish to use it up. Politely limiting people to one question will leave you with more time to get on with life. You may also choose to vary your response, and see how far you can push it while still having people believe you. It is quite amusing to see somebody’s response when they genuinely believe you are 8ft2.
20. Do you play basketball?
Suggested response: Always say yes, even if you don’t. If you say no they will try and convince you that you need to immediately pursue this as a career, and educate you as to the financial benefits of doing so. You could then tell them in mock wonderment that they should be a career counselor and that you will be quitting your job immediately to take up this sport that you had never previously heard of, but it all becomes rather long winded. Just say yes, and wait for the follow up of ‘Yeah I thought so, you’d have to at your height!’ This will again leave you with more time to get on with your life.
21. Watch your head! (when walking through a doorway)
Suggested response: Firstly, it is important to note that whoever says this doesn’t give a brass-razoo about your welfare. It is in fact simply an attempt to wow you with the observational humor that whoever gave the warning is capable of. Nonetheless, you may choose to play along. Thank them sincerely from the bottom of your heart for warning you. Act as though they have just saved your life, and that in your (insert age here) years on the planet you have never encountered a doorway before. You may even add that you are forever in their debt and ask if there is anything you could ever do to repay them. This is showing that however insincere they may be, you can more than match it.
22. What’s the weather like up there?
Suggested response: Being that this is perhaps the oldest tall person question in the book, you may be tempted to hock up some flem, spit on their head and respond with ‘a chance of showers’. This will however, likely cause a violent altercation to ensue, so you may want to try a gentler response. Take their hand, look them deep in their eyes and simply say: ‘you can do better than that…’ You will see the guilt and remorse immediately etched on their face, unless they are just a terrible person, in which case revert to option A.
23. OMG are you on stilts?
Suggested response: As this question is often followed by a hand physically molesting one’s leg to verify its authenticity, kicking away their groping hand is a perfectly acceptable response. At this point you may want to respond with a question of your own: ‘OMG, were you on the biggest loser last season? You’re looking great man!’ After this some embarrassment will likely be evident.
23. I don’t mean to be smart, but you’re extremely tall!
Suggested response: This one is very straightforward: ‘That’s OK, I don’t think you’re smart.’
This is just a sample of a few responses to the most common questions you will encounter, I hope it has been useful, or at the very least amusing. Of course there are plenty more, and if you are really in a quandary as to how to respond to a question or statement that you regularly receive, please feel free to contact me in the comments section and I’d be more than happy to offer my 2 cents!
Where to Buy Fashionable Clothes for the Tall Man
For tall people, clothes buying might as well be a treasure hunt – where they must search through department store after department store in hopes of finding some “hidden” clothes in their size. Most clothing stores simply don’t carry the types of sizes that tall people need – and if they do have larger sizes, those pieces of clothing are normally boxy or baggy to accommodate individuals that are just as wide as they are tall.
24. What about Big and Tall Stores?
Sure, there are a few specialty retailers that purport to carry clothes specifically for tall people, but these stores usually leave a lot to be desired. Big and Tall stores either carry clothing that is designed specifically for the stores (and usually lags behind the most modern styles by a few seasons) or is the leftover clothing that wasn’t sold in regular department stores and outlets. Big and Tall stores are great, and they definitely provide a service that many other clothing stores just completely ignore, but they don’t have the variety of clothing that you can find online.
25. Regular Department Stores
Department stores have a wide variety of clothing… until you start to look at the sizing. In a way, it’s understandable. Department stores have a limited amount of space to display and sell clothing, and they measure the success of the store based on its total income per square meter of store space. When a department store places an order for each season’s worth of clothing – they follow a pattern of orders based on the way that the items sold in the previous seasons. Since most people buy clothing that is “medium” in width and height, that’s the majority of the store’s inventory. There might only be a couple items of clothing for each style that fit tall people – so halfway through the season the stores are typically sold out of all but the least desirable options.
26. Tailoring is too expensive!
Furthermore, if you buy clothing from a department store or from most other retailers, “tall” also goes hand in hand with “wide.” Tall people are forced to settle for clothes that are designed for generally large people, so tall people that are also thin have to get their clothing tailored if they don’t want to wear ill-fitting and baggy clothes. Tailoring costs add up – with the typical shirt adjustment costing more than $12 in most cities – so tall people end up spending a fortune just to get a wardrobe that fits.
27. Ordering Online
By far, the best way to find clothes that fit your taller frame is to look online at websites that are specifically designed for taller people to find clothing. Plus2Clothing, for example, is one of the only companies in Australia that brings forward thinking fashion and hip styles to tall men – and there are a few other companies (for example, for formalwear) that cater exclusively to tall men and are able to offer lower prices than custom-bespoke companies because they appeal to a national or global audience rather than the strictly regional reach of the department store or retail outlet.
Out and About
Getting out in the great outdoors certainly has some advantages to being tall, like taking longer strides or been able to wade through streams easier, where the challenge in lies is with your accommodation for the night. If you’re camping next to a fire and staying in a tent or swag than it’s always an issue for the vertically gifted (don’t even get us started on the sleeping bag situation).
Number 29 is a bit of a misconception really. Most people think that because you’re tall you’re going to be able to easily reach other rocks/nooks to make climbing easier. Whilst this may be the case, let’s also remember that being larger in height means that you weight more than your shorter counterparts and as such the weight distribution makes doing any kind of climbing or exercise that much more strenuous!
If you’ve done yourself a mischief recently whilst out drunk or twisted something at social league basketball than you’re in for a world of pain – literally.
Crutches and basically everything else at the hospital just isn’t made for us giants. You’ll definitely want to make sure that you get yourself some of the cuff style crutches rather than the traditional axilla ones as they more than likely will not reach your armpits and just become a pest.
31. Dropping your belongings
32. Spiders webs
33. Public transport
34. Air travel
fitting on benches
35. Foreign countries
36. Working remotely
Guide for ergonomics
37. Fat fingers