Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature & Inner Growth

Biographies & Memoirs

By Ellen Frankel

Publisher : Pearlsong Press

ABOUT Ellen Frankel

Ellen Frankel
Ellen Frankel is an author and licensed clinical social worker. Her memoir, Beyond Measure, was published by Pearlsong Press in September 2006.She is also the author (with her sister Judith Matz, LCSW) of Beyond A Shadow of a Diet& The Diet Survivor's Handbook.


A touching, tender and at times funny account of a woman's struggle for staturre in a 4 foot 8 1/2 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. Self-destructive behaviors emerge from 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 discoveres her own strength and spirit, and that we are all dwarfed by Everest and beyond measure.
"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

"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