I’ve pretty much heard that phrase all of my life… “Don’t worry, one day you’ll love it.” Yes, while there is some advantage to being tall, and I do like it some days…I’m still not quite sure that I “love it” yet! Ever since I was young I’ve been in a love-hate relationship with my height. I’m sure everyone has that one thing they would like to change about themselves, and mine was always my height.
For those of you that are 5ft 10in+ I’m sure you can relate to the below list of 20 tall girl problems:
- Unable to cross your legs while sitting at a desk
- By the time you find pants that are long enough, they’re 5 sizes too big
- Being asked once a week… “Do/Did you play basketball?”
- All the cute short dresses that would be an appropriate length on other girls barely cover your butt
- Having to stand back 10 ft. or bending over in order to see your outfit in a full-length mirror
- Floor length dresses… more like mid-calf tunics
- Getting a backache from stooping down to wash dishes
- Having legs longer than some of your friends’ bodies
- If people don’t know your name they call you “Tall Girl” (in my case this was a high school teacher–worked wonders for the confidence)
- Hugs can be awkward (hard not to smother people in your chest)
- When you look like a hussy in shorts or skirts because of your long legs (I only wore shorts 1 day out of my 4 years in high school– the very last day as I had technically already graduated)
- Not being able to borrow your friend’s clothes because they are too short.
- Stretching and hitting your hands on the ceiling fan.
- Getting your pants pockets stuck on doorknobs… Yes, this actually happens! I’ve ripped a couple pairs.
- Trying to sit Indian style — HA, right!
- Getting stretch marks on your legs at 14 from your growth spurt
- Airplane seats – Nuff said!
- Being asked…”How tall are you?”
- Using razors faster because you have so much leg
- People tell you you’re tall… like you’re unaware!
Growing up I was always taller than most (yes girls and boys for a while… you know it takes the boys a while to get going) I felt like I stuck out in a crowd and always wanted to slouch to try and fit in with others my age. Shopping with my mom always brought strange looks. You see, my mother is 5ft 1.5 inches tall (don’t forget the 1/2) so when we went to Petite Sophisticate to shop for my mom, people would just look at me like, “What are you doing in here?” I’m pretty sure I was close to my mom’s height in 3rd grade, I know we wore the same size shoe that year. Middle school dances were the worst, being a head taller than everyone in the crowd when you have NO rhythm is SUPER FUN, let me tell you!
If I were tall and proportionate I might have learned to like it a little more, but being all legs and arms can be a bit difficult when purchasing clothes. You see I have an inseam of 35″ (if I want to wear flats) and 36″-37″ if I want to wear anything with a heel. I had a doctor tell me that if my body was proportionate with my leg and arm length I would be 6ft 4in. So my pants are usually too short and my arm length on shirts and coats are usually too short.
I did a little research and found out that the average height for women in the US is 63.8 inches or 5ft 4in (rounding up). The average height for men in the US is 70 inches or 5ft 10in. So, standing flat foot at 71 inches (just had my husband measure me to get it right) I guess I’m technically taller than the average man and woman in the US. That made me curious about averages in other countries. I searched for the countries with the tallest averages and found that women in Latvia stand at an average height of 5ft 7 in (rounding up) and men in The Netherlands stand at an average height of 6 ft. (again, rounding up) So, you could say that I’m on the taller side of most.
My son has the potential to be tall as well. At his last Dr. visit (8-year-old check-up) when the doctor pulled out the growth chart he told us that he is taller than 60% of 10-year-olds at his age. Our first pediatrician (before we moved) gave us an estimate of 6ft 5in. For an athletic little boy who is truly ambidextrous and LOVES baseball… this is a very positive thing.
I’ve been watching my oldest daughter (10 going on 11) the past 6 months as her little girl body is starting to stretch out and form into a young lady’s figure. While I am NOT ready for that AT ALL (… and my husband just says, “I don’t want to talk about it…”) I recognize that she is going to be a lot like me, TALL, disproportionately tall!
I’ve pretty much had a self-confidence problem ever since I began to stick out as “the tall girl.” For a very long time, I wished I was dainty or smaller. My height made me feel masculine, and clumsy. People (including me) have a view of how things are supposed to be, the man is supposed to be taller than the woman! There was even a dad of a good guy friend of mine growing up that told my mom we could never end up together because I was just too tall for him. I recently read a quote that said, “Sometimes, one of the toughest mental health challenges we face is simply learning to feel good about ourselves.” ~ Tara Parker-Pope This is SO TRUE, and definitely, something that I want to help my daughter with as she grows.
I’ve found the best way to teach my kids, is by example. Their little eyes are always watching and their ears, always listening. Therefore, I’m making it a goal to love myself more this year. I want my daughter to see that I have self-confidence and that I’m comfortable in my own body so that she can learn to build her own confidence. Instead of complaining about all the challenges of being tall I’m going to focus on the pros of being in the top percentile for height. Being tall has a set of perks and I’ve not thought about those enough. So I’m going to start focusing on those and I’m going to start showing some self-love because I have a very special gift.
Surprising perks of being tall:
- Even if you aren’t good at sports you were probably at least put on the team. All you have to do is show up and you’ll be relatively good at sports – I Can’t tell you how many times I heard growing up, “just put your hands up.. you’ll block them or get the ball”
- …AND people always assume you were good at sports just because you’re tall
- You can always be comfortable standing in a pool… even in the 5-6 ft. area
- You don’t HAVE to wear heels
- …But when you do, you feel like a super model
- You can walk places super fast (long stride)
- You can go on all the rollercoasters
- More organizational space–you can reach the top of cabinets or closets
- Drive through windows are NO problem
- You can see in a crowd
- …AND at the movies
- Cash Money – research says those who are taller make more money!
- People pay attention to you
- Lightbulbs are a breeze
- You SLAY at Maxi dresses — no need to gather up one side to walk or tie a knot so you don’t trip
- Best seat in the car – SHOTGUN… only place your legs will fit!
- No one can steal your shoes or clothes
- People notice you and take you seriously from a young age
- Saftey– you’re less portable so creepy men won’t mess with you!
- You can take the stairs 3 at a time
Thinking back to another post I Said to Myself, it’s all about the way I talk to myself. In moments when I start to feel awkward, I just need to tell myself that I’m beautiful in my creator’s eyes… he made me perfect! I need to hold my head high and help my daughter do the same because every thought we think is creating our future. I want her to see a bright future, stand tall and have the self-confidence of a strong confident woman. One day she’s going to be able to see over the crowd… I hope for now she can keep her head high and above all the clutter.
Oh… and I’m happy to report that I did find a special man that I happen to look right in the eye’s, flat footed, my inseam is longer than his… and I can generally reach things he can’t because my arms are so long… AND he loves to stand next to me in heels! Love you, babe… thanks for helping me daily with my self-confidence!