About the Book

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."
Marilyn Wann
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."
Alan Cassels
co-author of Selling Sickness—How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients

Places to buy the book:

Barnes and Noble
Pearlsong Press


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

On Being

Chapter Six: Leap of Faith

Chapter Seven: Dwarfed by Everest

Chapter Eight: Life is Short and So Am I

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