Highly scientific drawing.
Eliot and Jackie are best friends who frequently disagree. But sometimes, they team up to give advice, or to formulate a magical new system of classifying human beings. This is slightly more specific than "introvert"/"extrovert" and slightly less scientific than "ectomorph"/"endormoph." We think they're writing some kind of managment technique book that involves Bea Arthur. We're not sure. Just read. Jackie: Since Eliot and I were in high school, we’ve had this theory about how there are three different types of people: Minis, Normals, and Giants. In high school, we both claimed to be Giants, but I think now we can agree that we’re Normals, as our personality dysmorphia has waned with age. Finally.Eliot: It should be made clear that, forever and ever (amen), we have suffered from a pooled, demented lack of self-esteem that has kept us hyper-judgmental of ourselves (and sometimes others). Jackie has suffered from actual eating disorders, while I have not (unless you consider “diabetes without a medical diagnosis” a “disorder”). But we both can safely say that, yes, there is a certain level of body dysmorphia that has us believe that these three categories are pretty much standard.J: BUT, before you sign in to your Disqus account and engage caps lock, let us explain. These categories actually have very little (if anything) to do with body type, stature or build. They are tools that are useful descriptors of a person's ENTIRE being.As we see it, a Mini is a person diminutive in character (and, often, but not always, height). Technically, anyone who is “always cold” and likes to grip mugs as if s/he requires heat for fuel is a Mini. A well-behaved child is a Mini. Someone who organizes tea parties and wears a lot of wool caps and probably lives in Portland is a mini. Hipsters are almost always minis -- think about it: when’s the last time you felt intimidated by someone who makes jewelry or cupcakes for a living?E: But the true, standard Mini is most often a petite girl who is best described as “cute and mousy.” Now that may not necessarily be something she’s going for, but it, nonetheless, remains. And everyone else is secretly jealous of her because, even though she’ll complain about being “so small and weak,” we all know life would be so much easier if, at the end of the day, we could be written off as “cute.” And not just because it means you’re traditionally attractive in a non-aggressive way, but because it’s a sort of catchall that suggest you are, by default, pretty.J: It would also be great to fit into tiny spaces, for sleeping and other purposes (such as Sardines tag, which is a really fun game.) (Hi, I work with children for a living.) Still, it’s not as simple as it sounds, though. A Mini isn’t just a short person. A Giant isn’t just someone who towers over you. It’s way more holistic than that, and it incorporates crucial elements like personality, presence, voice, and wardrobe. A woman can be 6’2” and still be a Mini.E: Bea Arthur was humongous and wore Kente-patterned caftans, but she was also allegedly soft-spoken off camera. How about that? A total Mini!J: [Refuses to respond, since apparently she doesn’t think The Golden Girls is the best thing that ever happened to society as a whole.]E: In fact, a guy can be definitely a Mini, too. I went to college with a guy who was medically diagnosed as a giant (or unhealthily tall, I guess?) (sorry, the only doctor I know is Pepper, M.D.). He was almost seven feet tall, and just the kindest, most soft-spoken guy, who hated nothing more than for his enormous height to be made the center of attention, if brought up at all. And not just because he saw it as an embarrassing flaw, but because his “mini-ness,” if you will, kept him eager to fade into the wallpaper, neither seen nor heard. So, yeah, we had to stop calling him “Tall Kevin.” But Tall Kevin was, in fact, a Mini!The Giant, on the other hand, is someone who cannot be avoided. I would safely say that 99% of actors are giants. 100% of reality show contestants are giants. People who feel it necessary to tell you that you look like their cousin or roommate or “like Rosie O’Donnell, but thinner” is a Giant. A Giant must be seen. A Giant must be heard. Snooki is probably, what, 2’9”, and, yet, she’s a giant. That friend of a friend who will not shut up in the middle of a movie/at a group dinner/even as Robyn takes the stage is a consummate giant.Ironically, Billy Crystal -- of My Giant -- is the Giant in that equation.J: A Giant takes up all the oxygen in a room. They are at times, appropriately commanding (Giants can often be seen in the role of influential college professor, or career-changing boss) and at other times, disruptive, and void of self-awareness. They will describe themselves as "a big personality" and "a straight-shooter," but you probably wouldn't use those particular words.You cannot avoid The Giant. S/he is ruthless, loud, and desperate for attention. Even if s/he plays coy and maybe acts like s/he’s on drugs, the Giant from within keeps that person super-annoying and eager to cuckold all conversation and attention.E: Giants are, by nature, the worst. Just the worst. Giants could care less about your feelings, which is why they don’t let you finish sentences, and also why they think you want to be called “boss” or “chief” or “captain.” They also love to be overly formal, conversationally. They often use their big, loud, boomy voices to imitate different accents. Often poorly.J: Why do guys think speaking like that is charming? One of my oldest friends recently slept with a Giant. I never met him, but I imagined him wearing green velvet pants and playing a lute to woo her into having "coitus," which is the word I imagine he used when attempting to bang her. Overly formal language in a casual conversation is a trademark Giant move. For example:Text from normal guy who wants to bang you: Hey, how's your day going? Wanna get a drink later?Text from Giant who wants to "know you biblically" (something they would say): G'day, lady. If it suits you, I'd love to accompany you to a local watering hole of your liking, and shoot the proverbial "shit." (Ugggggggh, yuuuuuck.)E: And that, least but not least, leaves the Normal. A Normal is just a person with flaws and idiosyncrasies. Most people are normals. You can be morbidly obese and be normal. You can be “the little guy” (see: Portlandia) and be a Normal. You can be a tiny, unemployed baby or a retired milkman or even a Malaysian bounty hunter, and you might be a Normal.Normal consists of everything that falls in between the scale of Minis and Giants. “Normal” constitutes someone with a healthily balanced amount of self-awareness, but doesn’t let it get in the way of their personality showcasing some color, some zest!J: If you wonder what you are, you're probably a Normal, because Minis and Giants don't consider things like that. So good for you!E+J: NORMALS 4 LIFE! Safe travels!