Friday, April 9, 2010

The Long and Short of It


First Lady Michelle Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer, a fashionista credited with bringing brands like J. Crew back from oblivion, and the mother of two seemingly well-adjusted children, is being lauded for her … height?

People is pointing out that the 5’11” Mrs. Obama is the tallest First Lady on record—tied for the title with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Compared to the other wives of presidents, Mrs. Obama is a towering figure. Dolly Madison was a mere 5' 4," Abigail Van Buren 5' 6," Jackie Kennedy (who was considered tall) 5' 7" and Bess Truman a "sturdy" 5' 9," says the article, which also offers Mrs. Obama's take on the 5' 5" Hillary Clinton – whose legacy, she says, "left a space for me to be who I am today. She left open a broader possibility of what a first lady could be."

So how does this translate to the land of celebrity? How do women famous in the biz (sorry in advance about the bad pun here) measure up? Here is a list of highs and lows (sorry, I’m in rare form today …)

Female celebs 5’10” and over include Geena Davis, Macy Gray, Taylor Swift, Brooke Shields, Anna Nicole Smith, volleyball’s Gabrielle Reece, Kim Cattrall, Mandy Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Brigitte Nielson, Kelly Killoren-Bensimon, Courtney Love, Jordin Sparks, Nicole Kidman (especially when placed in close proximity to former husband Tom Cruise), Tyra Banks, Maria Sharapova, Rebecca Romijn, Kimora Lee Simmons, Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, Julia Roberts, Jerry Hall, Venus Williams, Liv Tyler, Padma Lakshmi, Lucy Lawless (she’s a warrior princess—no surprise there), and Gisele Bundchen.

Under 5’2” are Erykah Badu (whose new album is amazing), America Ferrara, Fergie, Paula Abdul, Kellie Pickler, Christina Milian, Pat Benatar (Is there going to be a movie of her life as a singing waitress on the heels of The Runaways?), Kristen Bell, Ellen Page, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Janeane Garofalo, Tila Tequila, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Duff, Salma Hayek, Jada Pinkett Smith, Judy Garland, Nicole Richie, Lil’ Kim, Eva Longoria, and Nikki Blonsky.

Any surprises here? I, for example, would have sworn that Charlize Theron was at least 5’11” …