Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I am eighteen years of age and my problem may seem very petty, but to me it is a great deal. My father is six feet tall and my mother is five feet and three inches. I am five feet nine inches tall, but it is very difficult for me to accept the fact that I may never reach my father’s height. I still have about six months to go until I turn nineteen, however, and I am going to try my very best to gain as much height as possible. My father suggests I swim, which I did and in the past and put on an inch in a month. My question is, do I still have a chance of at least putting on two more inches if I swim? I do not have that sense of inner satisfaction until I can get somewhere close to my father in height. It’s a burning desire within me to show him that I can still do it.
A Dear Sid:
Wow. Quite a dilemma you have there, young man. In my humble opinion ~ and I know I’m not your father, but you did come to me for advice after all ~ five feet nine seems awfully close to six feet. Please promise me that you’ll spare yourself the struggle to gain height and just be.
The following is from a 1950s health textbook titled You’re Growing Up.
1950: Accept Yourself
As your body grows and changes, so must your thoughts and feelings about yourself grow and change. Then you will be able to regard yourself as you really are – to accept yourself and to make the most of your personality. . .
Think over your own friends. Do you choose them because of their height and weight, or because they are friendly, interesting, and pleasant?
Look at the boys and girls who are liked in your school and in your neighborhood. You will find that this group includes both tall and short, slender and stocky. . .
You will discover that body build and success in life’s activities show no relationship. You cannot help being tall or short. But whether tall or short, it is possible for you to be happy, healthy, and successful in some undertaking of your choice.
Source: Shacter, Helen, Gladys Gardner Jenkins, and W. W. Bauer. You’re Growing Up. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1950.
~ pp. 41, 44 ~