A touching, tender and at times funny account of a woman’s struggle for stature in a 4 foot 8½ inch
tall body, Beyond Measure speaks to the heart of soul-breaking attempts to fit an arbitrary and
elusive cultural ideal of physical perfection. Being short isn’t the problem, Ellen Frankel insists. Instead,
the real difficulties lie in the social bias against short people.
Ellen shares the difficulties of living short in a world in which stereotypes are based on gender and
size. She moves beyond her own experience into the political realm in revealing how pharmaceutical
companies—with government backing—are expanding the market for human growth hormone
treatment by reclassifying healthy short children as patients in “need” of such injections in hopes of
making them taller.
She shares the dilemma of being subjected to simultaneous messages that her physical body should
be bigger—that is, taller, but not wider—while her expansive spiritual body should be smaller. As a
result of too much attention on the external rather than the internal workings of the soul, Ellen flirts
with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with powerful males in an attempt to compensate for
her feelings of not “measuring up.” In the process, her real self slips farther away.
The path out of her dilemma lies in the shadow of the tallest mountain on Earth. It is through a
spiritual pilgrimage to Nepal that Ellen discovers her own strength and spirit, and that we are all dwarfed by Everest and beyond measure.
"If you have ever measured your height or your weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this
book. In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story
that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a
genuine solace for people of all sizes."
author of FAT!SO?—Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size
"Delightful and provocative both as a personal journey and as a candid look at how the social prejudice against short
stature has been reconfigured as a medical issue."
co-author of Selling Sickness—How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients
Table of Contents
On Being Short
Chapter One: My Short Perspective
Chapter Two: A Pinch to Grow and Inch and Other Tall Tales (or What I Did on My San Francisco Vacation)
Chapter Three: A Case in Point: The Personal is Political & The Political is Personal
On Being Seen
Chapter Four: Body Talk
Chapter Five: Selling Yourself Short
Chapter Six: Leap of Faith
Chapter Seven: Dwarfed by Everest
Chapter Eight: Life is Short and So Am I