Are You A Giant?

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Image: Ivy Prosper

This blog post if for all those tall girls who have had similar experiences.  When I was a young girl, I would have been really upset by what the guy in this story said, but now it doesn’t phase me because I’ve embraced who I am.

I walked into the green room at a TV station to find a young man and a woman already sitting there waiting.  They were also going to be guests on the morning program I was there for.  I was going to be a guest talking about blogging for both personal and business.  He was there as part of an organization promoting a film festival.  After a little small chat, the young man went on to say he wanted me to stand up so he could match his height beside me.

I was initially taken aback by his request, but then remembered the look on his face as I walked into the room.  He looked like a little boy sitting in a chair who quickly became captivated by a tall woman walking into the room. He looked at me like I was some freak of nature walking in the room, captivated by my every move until I sat down.

“Can you stand up?  I want to see my height beside yours.  How tall are you?”

“I’m 6’1” I said.

His eyes opening wider he said, “I don’t know how tall I am.”

Surprised I said, “You don’t?  How can you not know your height? Your doctor never measured you?”

He shook his head implying no.  I found it hard to believe because doctors always measure patients at least once for the initial visit or annual physical.

“I just know I’m very tall,” he said with his eyes still bugged out like he’s never seen a tall woman in his life.

“Well, you’ll have to wait,” I said as I was putting lipstick on in preparation for appearing on the morning talk show.  “I need to prep myself before going on air.”

He turned to his colleague, who happened to be someone I’ve met before.  We spoke a little bit and then I said I could fulfill his request; reluctantly.

As I stood up I could sense that he was feeling a little intimidation.  So I took off my heels and then he seemed to be more comfortable because in bare-feet he was taller.  Barely.  I noticed that when stepped out of my 4 inch heels, he was instantly relieved and felt more at ease.

I was slightly annoyed because I sensed this was going to be another case of a man who is intimidated by tall women.  I’ve experienced it so many times in my life that I just knew.

Sure enough when I mentioned that many men are intimidated by a tall woman, he agreed, “Yes. I find it intimidating.  I don’t like the way you are looking down at me when you have your heels on. Even in your bare-feet. You’re so tall.”  His body language was evidence of his level of discomfort.  He couldn’t wait to sit down.

Then he continued on to say, “You’re a giant.” He said it a few times. As if he was striving to make a point.  The more he said it, the more it made me think of what it’s like as a young woman who has yet to build her confidence.  These types of statements could push your confidence level right down.

When we continued talking and I said that I have family members taller than myself his eyes opened with surprise and shock.  “Is it a boy?” I said yes, and his face had a sense of relief as he sighed.  I said why do you look so relieved?  “Well, it would be bad if it was a girl because they shouldn’t be that tall.”  I asked him why and he just kept saying. “A girl who’s tall is a giant.”

“A giant?” I repeated?

“Yes,” he said.

I wanted to really speak to him about his choice of words, but the woman he was there with was also looking like she was a little irritated because the conversation meant she couldn’t prepare with him before they go on-air.  So I actually told him that as much as I’d like to continue, I see they need to get ready for the program.  We could talk about this another time.

I wanted to share this story because he represents what some people say and how they react when they see a tall woman.  I’ve been 6’1″ since I was 15 years old.  At that time of my life I wasn’t comfortable in my skin and wanted to be short.  So many things people would say about ‘cute, short and petite’ girls made me feel like I didn’t belong when I was a teenager.  I desperately wanted to be shorter to be accepted at that time.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I gained a level of confidence in who I was and embraced wearing heels.  Now if I like a shoe, regardless of the heel hieght or if they are flats, I buy them.  Why not?  I shouldn’t restrict my style because others feel uncomfortable with my height.  Over the years I often have people telling me I am too tall to be wearing heels.   I love who I am so much that I really don’t care what others say about it.  There are so many things said by people throughout my life that could be hurtful and oftentimes actually quite rude.  I let it deflect off me and sometimes even make jokes about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I do have those days when I get upset at people and let them know they are being rude. But that doesn’t happen often.  You’d be catching me on a bad day if it does.

I’ve learned to ignore the things people say and NOT allow their thoughts and words to validate me.

I wanted to encourage all you women out there who are tall and feeling awkward.  You are uniquely you.  Being tall sets you apart from the crowd.  It’s an advantage in many ways that you may not see, but will learn to recognize.  We’ve all been given certain gifts in our life and your height is something you have been given.  You can’t change it, so you may as well embrace it as one of your great assets.

If someone calls you a giant, just say, “Thanks.  I’m part of the 5% of the world. And proud to stand out.”

What are some of your experiences as a tall woman? I’d love to hear.  Share them in the comments.

 

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