I’ve felt uncomfortable with my height for much of my life. In elementary school I was slightly taller than my classmates. By junior high and high school I hit a growth spurt and was taller than all the girls and most of the guys. As a quiet, introverted teenager, the last thing I wanted to do was stick out. I spent a lot of time slouching and hunched over because I wanted to blend in. But as time continued, and I entered my early twenties, I found close friends who loved my height and would tell me so. They were encouraging and never said things that made me feel awkward about being tall.
Being tall definitely comes with its challenges. To this day, I’m still approached by strangers asking how tall I am. I’ll usually reply with “it’s a secret”. I’ve heard “how’s the weather up there” more times than I can remember. I’ve been asked if I play basketball countless times. I have to bend over while showering because the shower head is usually at shoulder level. My legs are too long to take a comfortable bath. I smack my head on a lot of things. Shorts, dresses, and skirts are too short. And the list goes on.
But being tall also comes with many advantages. I love how long my legs are and I’ll wear heels if I want to feel classy (just not all the time because I like being comfortable). I can reach everything in the grocery store, including the stuff on the top shelves. I can see over most crowds. People can’t look down on you if you tower over them. People also take me more seriously since I command attention with my height. I’m still a bit self-conscious even now. But I’m working to improve my posture and stop slouching.
Last night I attended a Cha Cha class. Towards the end of the evening I was dancing with the instructor (who is also wonderfully tall) and he made a remark I appreciated. I usually hunch over when I dance, so he told me I needed to open up my chest more and stand up taller. He said that being tall, I’ve usually looked down on people (physically) because of my height. But he said that isn’t my problem and I don’t need to feel ashamed of how tall I am. It was a good reminder to be confident. I don’t need to let the insecurities of the past colour my life now.
Have you had similar experiences?