I’ve been thinking a lot about my self confidence and how it relates to my height. Actually, perhaps it’s the opposite – I’ve been thinking about my height, 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, where Georgina goes into detail about why she would never “hate on” skinny women, why slender women and curvy women shouldn’t be pitted against one another, and why body snarking is so utterly ridiculous. Whilst I found myself nodding along in agreement, it was her sign off that stuck with me;
“every woman has the potential to be perfect in the eyes of someone else”.
Now, everyone has personal preferences. Hey – you’re entitled to them. From food, clothes and sexual positions, to height, shape, or weight – one man’s/woman’s/gender non-conformist’s ‘trash’ is another’s treasure. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Some women prefer their boyfriends to be taller than they are. When it comes to my figure, I personally feel more confident around a size 12 than a size 8 or 16. 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 if 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 truly can’t change, that you have to learn to love like nothing else; it’s something that will barely alter after 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 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”. It’s also something we do to each other all the time. We judge people by their appearance more than ever before – through blogs, through social media, and particularly through Instagram with hashtags like OOTD and WIWT…is it any wonder that everyone is a little on edge about their looks?
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 by surrounding yourself with inspirational women, it’s hopefully one that we can climb together.
You’re so 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 tipsy girls in the queue for the toilet decided to tell me they wished they were as tall as me, but the majority of the time I hear the words, “you’re tall”, it comes with a negative undertone. 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
Why not? Because it makes you feel inferior? This kind of attitude pisses me off because it’s something a lot of women – and young girls – will listen to and carry for the rest of their lives. 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.
Don’t you find it hard to get a boyfriend?
You might be surprised 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 single life in one fell swoop, and for what, being Amazonian? 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’s 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.
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 my queens, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to be aesthetically compared to one, because when those words come from a straight man, they don’t mean it in a friendly way.
You could be a model if you tried
Ah, the double edge sword, the backhanded compliment. Men have tried to chat me up this way, and honestly? It’s incredibly embarrassing. The pure focus of the ‘compliment’ is aimed at my height, which immediately makes me defensive, and puts me on edge about the rest of my appearance. When women say it, it can be 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.