Random Ephemera

4 Disadvantages of Being a Big Guy

I've always been a big guy -- I'm 6 foot four inches tall and sturdily built. I think a lot of people believe that there's an automatic advantage in being a large person, but there is a downside that goes along with those advantages. Stuff like...

4. The World Is Scaled for Smaller People.

Ducking becomes second nature (hopefully) because doorways are often too low. I have to sit down in some showers because the shower head is mounted so that water hits me somewhere in the midsection. Low ceilings make me feel uneasy and claustrophobic. I can only imagine what it's like for my friends who are even taller, but anyone over a certain height really becomes aware of how most things in this world are scaled for people smaller than they are.

3. Finding Things That Fit Can Be a Challenge.

Shopping for clothes when you're a certain size is a challenge, particularly if you are built a certain way. I am tall and while not stick-thin, I'm not overweight, and finding things like jeans that fit well can be rough -- It seems that beyond a certain height, the assumption is that a person is also fairly large in the waistline, but that's not always the case. Things like shirts and jackets can be problematic, too -- either sleeves are often too short or the chest is enormous if they fit. Sizing gets weird, as I'm an extra-large in some things and an extra-extra-large in others. It seems like the standards get pretty vague at some point along the line. Yes, there are "Big and Large" specialty stores, but it's not just clothes that don't fit you when you're a large person.

For instance, I recently bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and I also owned a custom chopper. Now, the chopper was "raked and stretched" -- its length was effectively increased from a more typical stock size. That custom-fit me like a glove, and when I went shopping for a Harley, I figured it would fit well, too; after all, Harleys are big bikes, right? No, not really. There are things that can be done to make them look and feel bigger, but most stock Harleys are not all that big, and like most things, are really designed for people falling into an average size range. Big surprise, I'm now in the market for a new custom bike again.

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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.