Its a novel feeling reading about kiki's demons, because where i come from we associate height with elegance
That's generally true in the US, but I don't know how many lovely tallish women I've known or heard of (including * blush * my own mother) who felt hideously self-conscious as gawky teenagers, especially at that stage when adolescents are growing at wildly different rates (and at first girls are often outpacing the boys).
I think part of it is how much Japan still has the "nail that sticks out gets hammered down" mentality.
Edt: Plus the height averages in Japan are shorter than I think any Western country? Though I might be wrong there. I also don't think being tall is part of the beauty culture in Japan...but I might also be wrong there as well lol