My Giant Life is a reality show that means well but is far from good. The program is about four white, American women who are six foot, six inches or taller. The program attempts to get audiences interested by offering up their stories but a series of bad camera angles and scenes that highlight their heights and sizes make this offering feel like side-show alley.
The four women are strong and likeable characters. There is Nancy, a 17 year old from Texas who is an amazing basketball player. She’s six foot nine while her brothers are all over seven foot and her Mum is six foot seven. She longs to be asked to the senior prom and it’s hard for her because she has a crush on a boy who’s a lot shorter than she is.
Haleigh doesn’t mind dating a short man. The 22 year old volleyball player is dating Bryan who is five foot, eight inches. The two seem very much in love and Bryan proposes to her during the second episode, even though Haleigh’s father doesn’t really approve. Unfortunately, Colleen/Coco is not as lucky in love. She’s a beautiful woman who used to play volleyball but she’s also finding it tough dating men online.
Lindsay is an actress who is very outspoken. She holds the Guinness World record for being the tallest woman in a leading role and she’s been estranged from her father for well over a decade. All of the women talk about the difficulties and challenges they face every day, from the looks and snickers from people in public to things not being built or designed for tall people like dishwashers, aeroplanes, washing machines, cars, clothes, etc.
The show is supposed to educate people to not be so awful and to make us feel empathy towards these girls (who often present challenges that people may not have even considered). That said, there are some cringe worthy moments, like the women being forced to pose for photographs in public, a prospective date running away from a girl and things being shot and placed in such a way as to inflate their already large frames.
While this show may help people struggling with body image issues associated with being tall there is a huge disconnect between the show’s intentions and its actual execution. My Giant Life is ultimately very one-sided (it’s about four White American women after all) and they represent a marginal fraction of society. In all, this apparent celebration of tall, strong women fails to do as it planned as it seems to be poking fun at the stars and that’s what they already have enough of in their daily lives. This is a real shame on the show’s part and a missed opportunity.
Review score: TWO STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
My Giant Life premieres on the Foxtel’s TLC channel on October 6.