“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”
~ Dr. Seuss.
20 Ups & Downs of Being the Tall Girl.
While it’s true that I was discovered by a modeling agency when I was a tall, skinny university student living in downtown Toronto, and while it’s also true that I can reach items on high shelves without standing on tiptoe, being the ‘tall girl’ is not as glamorous as it sounds.
This blog was inspired by a Doghouse Diaries cartoon about the Pros and Cons of Being Tall. Here are some of mine, from the tall girl’s perspective.
When I was ready to start dating, I came to the horrible realization that I was taller than 99.9 percent of the guys my age. They eventually caught up (at least some of them did) but it seemed like a long wait. It was a rare guy who didn’t mind being shorter than his date.
2. Posture. (See 1. Dating.)
Tall girls tower over everyone else for several years after they become tall girls. The need for self-preservation means learning how to slouch while standing and walking—this is necessary in order to appear shorter. After doing this for several years, I had to learn to stand up straight again or risk being permanently stooped. Yes, ‘less tall’ girls, that is correct—I always envied you.
Hello, giraffe legs. While shopping, there’s nothing worse than finding the perfect pair of jeans that fit just right in all of the right places—except the length. There is inevitably that moment when the salesperson asks if I’m doing okay with sizes when I have to ask, “Do these come in long?” Of course, I already know the answer to that question.
4. Shopping, Part 2: Shoes.
Tall girl equals long legs…which equals long feet. Doc Martins? Blundstones? Nope. Have you seen those things in anything larger than a size six? Would you wear them that huge?That joke, “why don’t you just wear the boxes?” comes to mind. Yes, I’ve heard that one. It’s funny. Really.
5. Shopping, Part 3: Coats.
I live in Canada. In Canada we have winter—lots of winter. We need coats that reach all the way to our wrists. This is not a problem for me if I am willing to upsize about six sizes—but then, while my arms are fully covered, there is room for another small person inside said coat along with me. Long gloves need to come back into fashion. Soon.
By any mode of transportation, travel can be cramped for the tall girl. Picture being folded like a pretzel on an airplane or resting your chin on your knees in the back seat of a car. It’s easier and more comfortable to take up bicycling…not to mention better for the environment.
7. Gravity is not My Friend.
I slipped on an icy sidewalk a few weeks ago and landed on my butt. It hurt. A lot. I know, it would hurt a ‘less tall’ girl too, but I have further to fall. There’s greater opportunity for gravity to do its work. I would also argue there is a greater impact. Truly.
8. Design is Often Biased.
The world is designed to fit ‘less tall’ people. Standard counter tops and bathroom sinks—oh my aching back. Don’t even get me started about my feet sticking out of the bed. It’s not pretty…or warm.
9. I Could Not Become a Jockey or a Ballet Dancer.
There was a time when my life was all about horses and horseback riding. I also love dance. For obvious reasons, these were not viable career choices for me as much as I dreamed they could be. Picture it…I know, funny, right?
10. My Feet and Hands are Always Cold.
While I’m sure there are many who would cite a medical reason for this, my family doctor told me once that it just goes with the territory. Cold hands, warm heart, though.
And now, in no particular order, the “ups” (pardon the pun) of being the tall girl:
1. It’s not a problem when tall people sit in front of me at concerts, movies, etc.
2. I am easily able to fulfill my quota of good deeds by helping people reach stuff.
3. No short jokes. Ever.
4. I rarely have to shorten pants.
5. Dressing for a flood is no problem, there’s always at least one pair of pants in my closet that is just a little bit too short.
6. I learned to sew. Sometimes it’s just easier to make it yourself.
7. I have empathy. I know what it’s like to not fit in…or to fit. Period.
8. It’s easy for people to find me in a crowd—I’m almost six feet tall when wearing heels.
9. I can ride any ride I want at the amusement park.
10. Yes, I do think the air really is better up here. Thanks for asking.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Wikimedia Commons