I haven’t shared much about my height as of yet. Actually, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned it at all, other than the fact that I’ve dubbed myself “Curious Tall Girl.”
That’s probably because I honestly don’t think about my height all that much. I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I’m 6-foot-4… I wonder what I should do with my super long limbs today!” And while my height is a shocking revelation for others, it doesn’t really phase me. After all, I’ve been close to this height since I was thirteen years old, so I’ve had the past twenty or so years to get used to it.
I clearly remember the first day of freshman year basketball practice… yes, I played basketball… I know, such a stereotypical tall person thing to do. Our coaches were handing out our jerseys, filling out our stats, and calling us up one-by-one to get our measurements. This was the first time that I can remember getting a panicked, sinking feeling in my stomach strictly due to the uneasiness I felt about my height. I knew that there was no hiding it now… after years of speculating, everyone would finally know exactly how tall I was, including me. I was also in the dark about how tall I was, because I had avoided all measurement devices since my last painful growth spurt.
My coaches were calling us up in order of the position that we played: point guard, shooting guard, forward, and then the tall person’s position, “center.” I was the last called… the grand finale. As I sheepishly made my way to the front of the gym, I could feel my legs getting heavier and my face getting warmer. I quickly removed my shoes and placed myself against the wall, ready for the inevitable reckoning to take place. As my coach, who stood about 6 foot 5 was measuring me, I remember thinking, “I’m not that tall! I’m way smaller than him!” And I was smaller than him, by at least a hundred pounds… but alas, only two inches shorter.
“Six-foot-three!” he thundered like a triumphant warrior signifying the start of battle. My eyes widened like saucers, but not because of the public service announcement. My ears had suddenly filled with the unexpected sound of cheering and clapping, which had erupted from my teammates. I couldn’t believe it. I was a damn celebrity! While this little scenario could have been a source of major embarrassment for me, I instead took it as a grand gesture of camaraderie from my team. I was fortunate, this outpouring of support came at a critical juncture in my youth. My height had been validated instead of condemned. I’m sure that others have had a much rockier road to acceptance.
I think it was those moments, and in the encouragement of my friends and family that made me realize that being tall is amazing. After all, growing up is often brutal! We all have our own personal hangups, and it seems that our biggest ones are about things that we can’t change, namely our physical appearance. I still have major contentions about my thin hair, but I don’t let it stop me from going out in public! I’ve learned to embrace my height, and had an abundance of positive feedback as a result.
I have very few pet peeves, and don’t let little things get under my skin. However, when I read an article about the trials and tribulations of being a tall woman, it really irks me. This kind of article does NOT help the “plight” of being a woman of advanced height, instead it tends to encourage social stigmas. Very tall women (above 6 foot) are extremely rare. I remember one of my friends in high school running up to me after his statistics class, and was positively elated to tell me that women over six feet tall made up a mere .01% of the world’s population.
Thanks dude, so I’m a freakin’ unicorn! Good to know!
Most of the tall women that we see in society today are either pro athletes or models. They are like mythical creatures, having some semblance to that of a siren, or a really attractive giraffe. Women who are over six feet tall are hardly ever spotted out in the wild. It’s true! I’ve only come across a few dozen in my lifetime, and every time I get super excited. Tall women are mesmerizing and slightly intimidating to me. However, I get over the intimidation factor quickly by offering up a tall girl hug or high-five, and then striking up a conversation, inevitably about where to find clothes. Although no one seems to know better than the statuesque goddess, Alicia Jay.
Needless to say, it sparked great interest in me when I stumbled upon an article in New York Magazine written by a women who’s 6’2″. I read the article hoping to hear about the benefits of being tall, only to ultimately be let down by her self-deprecating diatribe about the (very few) annoyances of being a tall woman. She even went as far as to point out some of the disadvantages to being tall to a young person who was complimenting her height!
The article ended up bothering me so much that it caused me to write a comment. Here was my response to this article:
Wow, thanks for such a “relatable” story about being a tall woman!
This article simply points out the pitfalls of growing up as an awkward (vertically enhanced) teenager, and the unfortunate run-ins with strangers that greet you with the conversation stopper, “You’re tall!”
I’d love to actually read an article about the ADVANTAGES of being a tall woman, because while it may be nearly impossible to travel without your legs being folded up into a pretzel, there are several amazing perks to being tall as well!
Tall people statistically earn more money and report higher levels of happiness compared to their shorter counterparts. We also get a lot of attention from being tall (wanted or not). My favorite perks include: compliments, drinks, dates, giraffe hugs, modeling in fashion shows (okay, this only happened twice), tall guys, being able to see over people’s heads at concerts, advantages in certain sports, and rocking most of the latest fashion trends… hello maxi dresses! I realize that you don’t know what some of these things are, but that’s because you’ve been projecting your insecurities on tall adolescents instead of exploring the awesome potential of your height!
So, to the author of this article… I invite you to gain some confidence, learn to love your long legs, and then call a slightly taller sister up so I can teach you to see yourself as the enchanting unicorn that you are!