Andy Crossett’s Celebrity Legs Gallery has been running on the World Wide Web for just about as long as there’s been a World Wide Web to run it on, and each fall he polls the readership. Jennifer Aniston won for about 130 years in a row, and then finally newer specimens began showing up in the count. Last year it was Taylor Swift, followed by Ariana Grande; this year it’s Ariana Grande, followed by Taylor Swift.
The proffered explanation is that last year, Tay had a huge hit record and Ariana didn’t; this year, Ariana had a huge hit record and Tay didn’t. What perplexes me most this year, as it did last year, is the big 10-inch height difference between the two: Grande is officially listed at 5’0″, which suggests to me that she might well be 4’11”; Swift is supposed to be 5’10”, though I’d swear she’s carrying another inch.
Now it’s always seemed to me that your hypertall gals with legs that go on for days would have an advantage over the spinners who barely have time to squeeze in a long lunch — but just the same, Gidget and company can lay claim to a more easily measured Cute Quotient than, say, the strutting Elle Macpherson, and I speak as someone who once (okay, more than once) dated a woman who was almost, but not quite, too tall for the dwarves’ union.
And really, finishing high in the poll is not necessarily something you want mentioned on your tombstone. Novelist Lionel Shriver, taller than Ariana and shorter than Taylor, is worthy of contention, but she’s quick to tell you that she doesn’t consider this an accomplishment, exactly:
The most fetching parts of our bodies came that way in the box. I am merely fortunate. The sculptural rhythm to these narrow ankles, full calves, and slender knees is not of my making. (Since the fundamental shapes of all our bodies are neither to our credit nor our fault, it’s peculiar that we ever conflate our looks and our selves.) After all, when someone else is generous and tasteful enough to give you well-proportioned wine glasses for Christmas, the appropriate response is gratitude, not arrogance. So for me to submit that I was blessed with fine stemware is not a boast. All that falls within my power is to ruin them — to drop the glasses on the floor.
In the long run, this is probably the most healthful attitude.