Measuring Up To Your Peers

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Discrimination Measuring Up To Your Peers There was only a week left in school, and the summer to come was greatly anticipated. Todd couldn't wait until school was over. How terrible the year had been! Todd was what a lot of people liked to call a "beanpole".

Todd was about 6'4" yet he only weighed a measly 140 pounds. You see Todd suffered greatly from the oppressions of those around him. It seems that almost every average teenager has beanpoleaphobia. Beanpoleaphobia is the fear of the tall and skinny, and tall and skinny is exactly what Todd was.

Ever since he was entered jr. high school, things started to change. He began to grow upward, and upward, and upward a little more. By his eight-grade year, it was hard to do normal things.

He had enormous feet because he had to support his tall body, so it was hard to find the kind of shoes he wanted to wear.

It was also extremely difficult to find shorts that had a small enough waist, while maintaining a moderate length. One day his mom bought him a pair of shorts too short. "Mom, please take these shorts back," Todd said.

His mother replied, "but Todd, they are the longest pair they had, you'll just have to live with them." It was hard to buy any kind of clothes. It's hard to fill out extra large shirts when you only weigh 140 pounds, but they are needed for the length of the arms and torso.

It seems as if the world didn't care about tall, skinny people like Todd. Kids at school would make fun of him and call him beanpole and other names. Every person he met commented about his height. The only thing that had ever seemed to be a positive influence of his lanky body was that he was quite flexible and could use his these advantages in wrestling.

Even this had its setbacks. It was extremely hard for Todd to build excess muscle on his elongated body, and many of his teammates made fun of him about this also. His metabolism was extremely high, which even made gaining weight a problem.

Todd didn't understand why anyone would not like him because of his height and weight. He shouldn't have to understand this, because it is wrong to discriminate someone for having an extremely long reach, or stride, or a tall stance.

All of this was very hard for Todd to deal with, and he couldn't wait for summer to come. Summer was one of the times he got to put his height and long reach to use. Todd was a crew leader for Ken Bublitz's detasseling crew. He could see over the corn and reach the tassels missed by his crew from standing in the middle row, with great ease.

Summer also gave Todd some time away from the discrimination of his merciless peers. Even though he had many friends, even they joked about his skinny, tall body.

"Hey Todd, why don't you hang some clothes on that coat rack of a body," his friend Josh once told him.

"Would you just lay off Josh, I'm getting tired of your stupid jokes," Todd hastily replied.

It wasn't only the kids who bothered Todd, but coaches too. They would advise him to play basketball (which he hated), or to play football, or wrestle.

"If we could fill that frame out of yours, you could be one heck of a football player," one of the coaches said to him in the weight room.

"Well that would be great, but I doubt that could ever happen," Todd scornfully replied.

Todd finally decided that it was time to change his ways. As soon as school had let out, he began to workout very hard every day. He kept good nutrition, and began to gain some lean mass. He was starting to look very good.

That summer Todd filled out his tall body. He was no longer made fun of, but he was admired for his great muscle tone and bulk. He was one very large kid. He ended up playing on the football team, and remaining a wrestler on the school's squad. Todd managed to overcome beanpoleaphobia, but there are still many others who suffer from the effects of this phobia. Todd's friends learned that this phobia was a stupid one, but will others? Let's hope.