So…most of what exists on the web-webs for tall women is about pants, shoes, and dudes, but there is one writer and artist who writes and arts beautiful. nuanced words and pictures about being tall. She is Tall N Curly, and I recommend going to read and look at everything she’s made at tallncurly.com, because it’s rad. Below is one of her posts, called “I’m Tall–Now What?” I hadn’t read this when I wrote my “about” bit, but dang there are some echoes. She’s 5’11 and 1/2.
– How tall are you?
– What did you eat to be tall like that??
– Are you a model?
– Do you play basketball?
– Do you play volleyball?
– At least you don’t miss a thing at concerts!
– Hey! The tall girl! Move! I can’t see a thing!
– It must be very difficult to find a man your size.
– Did you grow up since last time??
And the simple and classic :
– You are SO TALL!
What? I’m tall? Are you sure?
Yes. I’m Tall. No no, Tall is not my name. I have a name. I even have a surname with the whole genealogical tree to go with it. But it seems like nothing comes before that. Before the fact that I am TALL. It’s my main occupation.
Oh I see. You thought I hadn’t noticed. That’s why you apparently told yourself : “Maybe I should go and tell her, just in case… Like… In a FYI kind of way…”
And there you go : – Hey! You’re TALL!!! And then : – How TALL are you?? Why wouldn’t you ask me after all. You don’t ask his weight to a big man, you don’t go to someone with a big nose and say : “What a biiiiiiig nose!”, but saying to a tall girl that she is tall, that’s fine. Being tall is not a flaw. You can say whatever goes through your mind to a tall girl, she’ll be fine with it, because being tall is like being part of Claudia Schiffer’s family. And we looove Claudia Schiffer… People who think like that never stood in a tall girl’s shoes.
I should make some special business cards.
It would feature my surname, my name, my phone number, my email address, and, above all, my occupation : Tall. I’m a professional tall person. And I’m GOOD at what I do.
Anywhere I go, I NEVER forget to be at least a head taller than everybody else only to grab everyone’s attention. By the way, girls, it’s useless to put your high heels to compete with me, I never go out without my extra-long tibias.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. When people talk to me, another part of my job is to not listen. Actually none of what you say gets my attention, that’s why I put my Tall Girl Costume everyday, so I can look over your head straight to the horizon and ignore you intentionally.
Yes. Tall Girls are so pretentious aren’t they? Always there standing high above everyone else, looking into the distance, showing themselves, looking down on everyone… Well I have a scoop people : if we look down on you, it’s only because technically, we are above you.
We would looove to look you straight in the eyes, from a 5’5″ to another 5’5″, be part of the gang and all, but that would implies that we bend our knees and our backs just to be sure we don’t upset the misses, who believe we are only trying to steal the show, nor the misters, who simply believe that we are showing off. We can’t even bat our eyelashes from below for God’s sake!
I tried not to be tall… but it didn’t work
Actually, thinking again, I am even quite average… compared to my family members only!
Compared to the population’s average size, I’m sooooo way beyond it, with my 5 feet… Here we go again. I was gonna say I’m 5 feet 10. As I’ve been saying it for years.
– How tall are you?
– 5’10? Are you sure? Because my brother is 5’10 and he seems shorter than you…
– Well have him measure himself again. I’m 5’10.
Well NO. Today I say it out loud and proudly : I’m not 5’10. I’m 5 feet 11 inches AND A HALF! So I’ve said it.
Usually, girls like to glean a few inches here and there. Those who are 5’4″ will say they’re 5’5″, those who are 5’2″ end up at 5’3″, and the 5’6″ girls even manage to reach the modeling 5’11” size… with heels!
With Professional Tall Girls, it’s just the opposite.
The 6’3″ are 6’1″, the 5’11 and 1/2 aim at 5’10” – anything to stay as far as possible from the 6 – and for some, well… it’s simply impossible to know how tall they are. They don’t even know it themselves, right girls?
Everything depends on to what degree the shoulders can bend when the measurement occurs.
Or on to what degree the lower back can curve in, way more discreet under a wide t-shirt.
Or on the skeleton shrinking level. Yes ! The skeleton shrinking trick, every tall girl knows this. It’s a very commonly known technique where if you can manage to lean on only one leg, curving the lower back in while shrinking down your spine and bending your shoulders to the limit at the same time, you can make yourself believe that you’re not that tall after all.
Ok… I can already see some throwing up their hands in horror. “Is she kidding me? What is she complaining about ? She’s tall and she’s annoying us with her “problems”?” Well yes maaam I aaam.
This goes along with the widespread thought that you’re kind of lucky when you’re tall.
Being tall is beautiful. Being tall is elegant. Models are tall. “Everybody wants to be tall”!
But you see, I’m not talking about girls like “Oh how lucky, she must be what… 5’7″?” here! Noooooooo. I’m talking about US. The REAL tall girls! The GIANTS! The 5’9″ and up! Those who seem to get vertigo when/if they wear heels!
And let me tell you this : sometimes they do! NOT because the ground seems further NO. Because most of us have ALWAYS been tall, and believe it or not but it means A LOT. Let me explain.
As far as I can remember, my extra inches have always been a way for others to single me out.
At 5, in kindergarten, the teacher put me in the back for the class photo. “Small ones in the front row, tall ones in the back!”
The word “small” instantly became a quality when “tall” suddenly appeared as a fault. Why would have I found myself pushed in the back otherwise?
At 8, other kids started to give me “friendly” nicknames : giraffe, ladder, skyscraper… But that was before the way more creative “tall asparagus” and “empire state building” of when I was 10.
Then, at 11, while every other little girls were still buying clothes in the Walt Disney section (we didn’t have Lady Gaga or Rihanna to teach us about G-strings for babies at that time) I was the only one wearing a size 14 and pants that hardly managed to reach my ankles because my legs had decided to grow at their own pace while the upper part of my body was on hold.
And then came the wonder years of high school.
Do you know what charming power extra inches have on teenage boys? None. Nada. Niet. Zero.
So although I was the very first to be picked in gym class when it was a matter of playing basketball, I was simply left on the bench at school parties because no prepubescent worthy of its name would ever want to be seen dancing with a girl who could put her chin on top of his head.
And while other teenage girls dreamed of dressing like Janet Jackson or becoming an actress, I had much simpler dreams : wearing a size 6 for shoes and weigh the same as my girlfriends.
I wanted to be PETITE. Delicate. A feminine and endearing little thing anyone would want to protect and who could break like glass if you weren’t gentle enough… Instead of this I felt like a dislocated football player with abnormally long ungraceful members that didn’t seem to be certain of their purpose yet.
Who would have thought that this insecure teenage girl always hiding under her hood and wearing 0,01 inch heels not to make her case worse would become, at the end of high school, a threat for the ladies and beyond most of men’s means?!
And there she was, the same girl who used to anxiously wait for the moment to stand up in the subway, praying to cut short the unfolding process she had to go through before getting off at her station, here again was criticized and the target of prejudices and biases of others. But the other way around.
For the ladies, she no longer was that tall undefinable thing no man would ever want to come across, who, at the parties, spent the whole slow-dancing time straightening her skirt. No. For the ladies, she now was supermodel extract. A threat to oust as fast as possible.
For the men, she no longer was that big girl looking like nothing, to whom you addressed as if she was a representative of the third sex. Nope. In the eyes of men too, she had become supermodel extract. You know, those pretentious girls walking above us and apparently so confident? (Yes, because if they weren’t so confident they wouldn’t ALLOW themselves to be so tall.) Who would dare to talk to THAT? Sigh.
I know many tall girls will recognize themselves in these words. Like me, they know they need to smile a lot when they meet new girls – #1.defusing – and like me, either they try to be witty to show they also have brains (something we have in common with the blonde ladies maybe) – #.2 anchor – or they do not yet have enough confidence and are most of the time reserved and quiet, looking like everything they’re not : stuck-up b*tches – #3. hara kiri.
Keep calm and be tall
The first thing I would like to say to our shorter female fellows is that we generally feel bigger next to them than they feel small next to us. And the fact that God was generous giving us extra inches doesn’t mean our biggest concern is to get noticed everywhere we go. The problem is that we DO get noticed everywhere we go.
To this problem, there are only two solutions : either we feel bad about ourselves and we try to hide – and let’s be clear about this : the probability to succeed is very low – or we’re at ease with ourselves and stand tall and proud, just like you, but a little higher.
Please stop considering us like threats or tigresses. Or please stop looking at us as if we were some kind of ridiculous alien species. Most of us needed our whole life to accept ourselves as we are, while many tall girls still don’t love themselves and would happily get rid of a couple of inches… Not mentioning the fact that unlike us, YOU can shop ANYWHERE.
To the gentlemen : we are not that different from other girls, except that some of us even have a bigger lack of confidence. Please be kind, and don’t be so shy. Tall girls will be grateful to you!
To everyone : when you meet a tall girl, I bet that 100% of the time, you will indeed notice that she is tall. Is it a reason to mention it ? Speak of something else, for this too, the tall girls will be grateful. Or not. At the least, you’ll have missed an opportunity to be annoying.
To you, the Giants, the Amazons, who like me can’t buy clothes on sale on the web because you fear to get too short sleeves or too short pants, who spend all your money in only one pair of jeans that will fit your stilts, who don’t dare to wear heels and who think wearing flat shoes you’ll get less noticed, who wear your hair long hoping it will bring you closer to the ground, or your hair short because you think long hair stretches you out, who sometimes feel manlier than your man and who hate dancing in a club because being on the dance floor is like being a tree in a mushrooms field, to you all : LOVE YOURSELVES!
Stand straight and walk with your head high! You won’t vanish because you slouch your shoulders you know. People won’t notice you less. The only thing people will see is that the tall girl, over there, who’s trying to hide, she feels bad about herself. And that sometimes draws attention even more.
Forget about ballerinas and flat boots! People say tall girls are elegant? Well I have a scoop for you : we’re even more elegant with a pair of high heels! You’re already tall, what risk are you running anyway?!
You’ve probably seen a tall girl wearing high heels before, walking proudly, maybe nonchalantly, not caring about what people have to say, and I’m sure you envied her, that tall, beautiful, elegant and above all FREE girl. Well BE that girl ! Your feet on the ground and your heads high in the sky! 😀
Listen to me, and next time, when you enter a room dreading people’s gaze, wether in the subway, in a restaurant, in the dentist waiting room… stand straight, stretch out, walk proudly. Then look at the people who are looking at you straight in the eyes. I can promise you all you’ll see in their eyes will be admiration. Tested and approved by me. 😉
To all the Amazons who enjoy themselves : JUST KEEP ON DOING YOUR THING!!! :DDD
Lastly, to all the young Amazons out there, those ones still struggling in school and highschool, feeling like aliens who don’t belong anywhere, do not worry, fear no more sweethearts and stay strong, because if you can manage to understand what I’ve just said and to give it the time to grow in your minds and hearts, you’ll soon see that things will only get MUCH BETTER. 😉