05 January 2007

Hey shorty.

I don't know why certain things wrench my heart so badly. Today, I read a news story that shattered me into a million pieces. It was about the practice of giving high-dose hormone treatments to young women to keep them from getting "too tall." This started back in the 50s when hormone treatment was the rage for everything from menopause to acne. What is less known is that it continues even today.

As few as 6 years ago 1/3 of pediatric endocinologists were still giving girls this dangerous hormone treatment that is likely to cause infertility issues.
After surgeries came cervical polyps and later giving birth at 24 weeks to an infant girl who lived an hour. She persisted and became pregnant again, only to deliver twin boys at 21 weeks, one stillborn and one who also lived for only an hour. At age 38, Waldvogel and her husband tried one last time, and after a problem-filled pregnancy, delivered her daughter, now 2. By that time she had met two other women who also had received estrogen treatment when they were girls to prevent growth; they found that among them they'd lost 10 children.(emphasis mine)
I guess it all works out in the doctor's minds. After all, tall women frighten some men. And if women can't get a man because they are too tall, they can't have a baby anyway. So it is either infertility, "excessive" height and health, or infertility, a slightly reduced height - almost normal, thank goodness - and shitty health. Life without a man is worse than poor health, obviously. So bring on the hormones! Little Janie will be so much happier little!

It just makes me want to bang my head on my desk. It is bitterly ironic to me that we still torture our bodies in unnatural ways in an attempt to become "more normal." That's food for thought.


super des said...

What is it with all these infertility blogs today?

Holly Capote said...

That's right, Suebob: anything to conform. I remarked to a friend that I can't tell many actresses apart: they all have the same face. I wondered if it were just me and then I saw a Mad TV parody of a teen show where the actresses wore name tags so you'd know who they are. In England, they treasure their eccentrics. In America, in many places, we punish those who differ.

Mr Stapler said...

Tall girls scare me. Short girls scare me. All girls scare me. Girls scare me. Don't get me started on grrls!

Lisa said...

This gave me goosebumps. Are these people SERIOUS? Giving girls hormone treatments so they won't be tall? How FUCKING STUPID is that!

(Sorry for the F-word but OH MY GOD!)

izzy said...

I had no idea there was something wrong with being tall and I wish I could tell some of these girls and their parents that once you get past puberty, whichi shard no matter what your height, it's actually quite nice to be tall. And FWIW, when I was a kid, I always wanted to be short and petite.

The point being...the grass is always greener on the other side. Be happy the way you are.

meno said...

This was done to me. I am still 6'1"
At what price?
And why the shame?
Because my mother thought she was doing me a favor. But she never asked me.
Here's a link to my post about it:

SUEB0B said...

I'm so sorry Meno. Your post was excellent.

suzanne said...

Another fine example of why I hate people and consider on a daily basis moving into a cave.

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