Stand Up Tall: An up hill battle

Just recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my self confidence and how it relates to my size. Actually, perhaps it’s the opposite – I’ve been thinking about my size, and what effect it’s had on my confidence over the years.

A few weeks ago I came across this blog post over at Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust (which I INSIST you read after you’re finished here) where Georgina goes into detail about why she doesn’t hate skinny women, why slender women and curvy women shouldn’t be pitted against one another, and why the body snarking war so utterly ridiculous. Whilst I found myself nodding along in agreement, it was her sign off that has really stuck with me;

“every woman has the potential to be perfect in the eyes of someone else”.

Now everyone has personal preferences. You’re entitled to them. From food, clothes and sexual positions, to height, shape, or weight – one man’s/woman’s ‘trash’ is another’s treasure. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Some women prefer their boyfriends to be taller than them. When it comes to my figure, I personally feel more confident as a size 12 than a size 10 or 14. My body has changed as I’ve got older – it changes when I exercise, it changes when I eat a weeks worth of cake in one sitting, and it will change when I have children – but the one thing that hasn’t changed since I turned 14 years old is my height. Many of us have those “I wish I was thinner/curvier” moments, but your height is one aspect of yourself that you cannot change, that you have to learn to love like nothing else; it’s something that will barely alter you’ve gone through puberty.

The idea that every woman has the potential to be perfect in the eyes of someone else is a beautiful concept, but unfortunately it’s something humanity has lost sight of thanks to a constant onslaught of media telling us who has “piled on the pounds” or become “scarily skinny”. To be fair to the press, it isn’t entirely their fault; this is something we do to each other all the time. We judge people by their appearance more than ever before – through blogs, through Facebook, over Twitter, through Instagram with hashtags like OOTD and WIWT…is it any wonder that everyone is a little on edge about their looks?

tall girls

Over the years I’ve been on the receiving end of some rather ridiculous comments, and I wanted to share a few with you. Why? Because it’s cathartic. Because it will hopefully encourage you to laugh at the haters, to give them the middle finger, and reclaim your confidence. Because it’s not about being perfect in the eyes of someone else, but feeling happy in your own skin. Yes it is an up hill battle, but with inspirational women like Georgina out there, it’s hopefully one that we can climb together.

“You’re tall”

You’re…observant? Seriously, what is the response to this supposed to be? If I had a pound for every time someone has pointed this out to me, I’d be a millionaire. There have been the occasional moments of positivity, like when a group of slightly tipsy girls in the queue for the toilet decided to tell me that they wished they were as tall as me, but for the majority of the time I hear the words, “you’re tall” it comes with a negative undertone. Would you shout “you’re fat” across the road to someone? I hope not. I could go on and on about how men who are the same height at me never get asked this question/aren’t starred at in the street…

“You shouldn’t wear heels”
Oh really, why not? Because it makes you feel inferior? This kind of attitude really gets on my tits. For me, this pessimistic view comes from the same group of people who think that all curvy women should hide behind baggy clothing. It’s absurd. I am 6’1 and like to wear 6 inch heels every now and again – so shoot me.

“You look like a drag queen”
You might snigger, but this has happened to me – and many of my tall girlfriends – on more than one occasion. Now I LOVE a good drag queen, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to be aesthetically compared to a man.

“You could be a model”
Ahh, the double edge sword/backhanded compliment. Men have tried to chat me up this way, and honestly? It’s bloody embarrassing. The pure focus of the ‘compliment’ is aimed at my height, which immediately makes me defensive. When women you don’t know say it, it’s even worse. If you respond with a polite thank you instead of automatically being self-depreciating, will they think you’re a self-centered bitch? Yeah, probably.

“Do you find it hard to get a boyfriend?”
You might be surprised how often I’ve been asked this, and how willing people are to just come right out and say it to your face. It’s kind of a shock to the system…like someone is judging your self-worth and condemning you to a life of singledom in one fell swoop, and for what, being Amazonian? Sure I’ve dated men who’re are my own height, but I’ve fallen for guys who are shorter than me too; I can’t change who I fall in love with anymore than you can. To be honest, it can be difficult to find a man who doesn’t care if you’re taller than him. Call it intimidation, call it an inferiority complex, call it childish; it is what it is. On the opposite end of the scale, I’ve been hit on by men who have a fetish for tall women. I’ve been offered money to walk across a mans back in nothing but a pair of heels. I’ve missed out on dates because guys are too shy to approach a girl of my stature. I’ve been groped inappropriately and I’ve even had guys start fights with me because I’m at their eye level.

7 Comments on Stand Up Tall: An up hill battle

  1. Sam Sparrow
    September 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Amy. What a truly thoughtful and heart felt post, and I for one agree with it. As you know I am completely the opposite of you in the height stakes, and when I stopped growing at school I became the absolute butt of everyones jokes and a target for bullies. It has taken me years and years to feel comfortable in all my 5 foot nothing glory, and years of making up for it with my big mouth/loud clothes attitude.

    I’m just about to hit 30, and finally I don’t do the “I wish I was taller/I wish my boobs were bigger” (the other thing I can’t change without drastic measures) mantra in the mirror.

    As will all things about the female aesthetic, the rudeness that mainly other women heap upon each other is astounding. When I first met you my first thought was “holy shit wow” but not in a bad way. But in a massively awesome – you work it girl and you are absolutely stunning way! Wear your heels, wear your brilliant fringe and take heart in the knowledge that although you can’t please everyone in this world you can please yourself and that is all that matters.

    xxxx

    Reply
  2. Sammi
    September 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    The drag queen comment is one I’ve suffered for years. I get so many saying “you’re so tall and you’re curvy, it must be amazing!” oh, if only they knew the shopping woes..

    Reply
  3. Siobhan Watts
    September 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Great post Amy! As I’m 5ft, I can assure you it goes the same way for short girls too. So. Many. Short. Jokes. I’m so envious of you for being tall, but you’re right – your height is something you can’t change so you have to learn to accept it. Tall or short. If you ever have some to spare though, I’ll happily take 5 inches off you. xx

    p.s you’re gorgeous just the way you are!

    Reply
  4. Amy
    September 4, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Sam, Sammi and Siobhan (all the S’s!)

    Thank you so much for reading my essay of a blog post, and for your wonderful comments.

    Sam, I know that it is just as hard on the ‘opposite end of the scale’ so to speak; tall and short girls shouldn’t be measured against each other, they should stick together! This casual bullying and female against female mentality is just so un-nessassary. You’re absolutely beautiful lady – thank you for your ridiculously kind comments (how did I know that you would mention my fringe?!) xxxx

    Sammi, I hope you don’t let the drag queen comments affect the way you carry yourself in public – keep your head held high and be proud of your height. When people say “it must be amazing” all they see is the legs and boobs in my experience; they don’t have to suffer the back aches or the shopping torment!

    Siobhan – I was going to start by saying “I’ve always got spare inches for you”, but oh my life, that sounds so wrong… Do you know what I love about our meeting? That we didn’t even know how short/tall the other person was until we’d been chatting for hours! You are stunning darling xx

    Reply
  5. Feyi and Natasha
    September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post.

    Feyi
    Uncovertheuntold.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
    • Amy
      February 7, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you Feyi 🙂

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave
    October 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Fascinating read. As a bit of a shorty (as I’ve been called a few times) I didn’t really have much of an idea what it’s like to be at the other end of the judgemental scale. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such awful things said to you. It’s such a shame we live in a terribly rude society. It never crossed my mind that tall women shouldn’t wear heels and I imagine the people that think such things totally have an inferiority complex.
    Definitely need to share this post!
    x

    Reply

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