I wanna get this off my chest. I struggle being extremely tall woman in America. Phew. There, I said it. I get it though, you’re probably wondering, wait what? Why?? Why in god’s name would you be tired of being so tall? Doesn’t every woman in the world want to be tall? Every man wishes he could be tall, but, why would you ever say this?
Well, I am not just tall, I am 6’6. Also called, EXTREMELY tall. The kind of tall that is referred to as “uncomfortably tall”…especially for a woman. The kind of tall that means I should only date men my height or taller and god forbid I deviate from that norm. Oh, the staring that follows!
I, am the kind of tall that sends shivers down the spines of short men who can’t handle when I walk by as they push their necks out and stand up straighter when I walk by.
I am the kind of tall that when I was growing up as a child and a teen, I was excluded from friend groups because “I was too tall”, or as I understood it, “too weird” to be included and liked. That didn’t internalize at all…
I am that kind of tall that causes the world to have to stare, even if they don’t want to.
I am the kind of tall that seems to trigger humanity in levels of gender and womanhood.
“She can’t be that tall as a woman. She must be a transgender”.
This is not a slant to the Trans community, those are actual words that have come from people I’ve dated or talked to because my height draws these questions out of people.
I’m the kind of tall that isn’t represented in media unless it’s an olive oil kind of chick, or over sexualized chick, or a warrior goddess…and even then, have you ever really seen a 6’6 woman on the BIG screen?? Not yet.
Maybe, yes, it is changing slowly by the hard work of all the extremely tall women who are now putting themselves out there to share our sides of this human story…but, I am still questioned daily, “do you play basketball?” and “how tall are you” as if there are only two careers for women like me…
I am tired.
My energy can’t take it anymore.
I am mostly tired of always feeling like I have to validate other people’s incessant staring, comments and questions with polite answers…
And, I know, “you can have fun with it”, I do. I swear I do. I joke around with all kinds of people. I get to know strangers in a way that feeds my soul.
But, I get tired too.
I get tired of people asking me if I play basketball.
I get tired of people asking me how tall my boyfriend is assuming my sexual identity is straight.
I get tired of men walking up to me at stores, standing next to me and staring at me until I acknowledge them when I am just trying to buy some tampons for christs sake…
I get tired of women saying to me “I wish I were tall”, as if they are just click baiting me into feeling sorry for them or encouraging them as I typically say “you are beautiful the way you are”…
I get tired of hearing whispering and comments from the sides of my ears, or seeing people try to snap photos of me when they think I can’t see.
I get tired of being extremely tall woman in America where 5’6 women yell out “I can’t wear heals, then I’ll be too tall and I’ll be standing over my boyfriend!” right in front of me and I have nothing to say except shut the f*ck up!
I get tired of being tall woman in America where suddenly, due to social media, all the photos that get “likes” are photos that emphasize my great big feet or my lengthy legs…
Not the photos of my art, or my poetry, or of me sharing my creative ventures, no, no.
Those things, they don’t matter to casting directors. Just my body.
I’m extremely tall woman and suddenly I am supposed to be okay with being called Goddess, Amazon and Giantess when I don’t even know what a Giantess is…
From the time of being a child, all I’ve ever wanted was to be seen like the rest of people in this world, human.
To be treated “normal”, but I have no idea what that is and I’m not here to whine about my blessing, I am merely introducing a side of being extremely tall that not many have voiced.
The darker side where time and time again I am receiving unwanted attention everywhere I go from people. Let me not even mention what it’s like to be extremely tall and have PMDD inducing anxiety and panic attacks because for crying out loud, dear world let me walk to my car without you needing to know how tall I am!!
And no, I don’t want to get any messages from anyone on social media comforting me for being tall. I love who I am and I love the platform of being this tall because I can use it to spread encouragement.
And, this attitude comes from a much darker place than anyone could ever realize, because for years I lived with depression, believing that my height meant that I was some sort of freak that didn’t deserve good things, that didn’t deserve to have friends or people that loved her. That’s how it felt to grow up “different” in my experience.
On a larger scale, I think what makes me saddest is that part of me wishes people wanted to know more about me than just how tall I am and if I play basketball. I wish we all would want to know more about each other, to connect to each other. I think this is what bothers me the most about being so tall. That I could be a successful lawyer or doctor, or a painter or video game designer and all people would care about is if I played a little hoops…
And, no I didn’t feel like this all the time. In fact, when I was a basketball player, I reveled in it. I loved the attention because I could talk about something that mattered to me…
But, now, six years after quitting basketball, which was one of the hardest decisions of my life…which I don’t like talking about, I am constantly still being reminded that I can never fully escape that time of my life…
This is the REAL struggle of being extremely tall. Moving on from internalized emotions from being bullied, picked on and tormented by humanity because of my “different” and into a space of total acceptance, body love, self-confidence and turning that into a speech that empowers others to take the horrible times of their pasts or present and to transform it into a ladder to their best self.
That is why I am here.
This is what my blog will be about,
Sharing experiences, tips and advice from overcoming darkness and attempting to walk in a way that encourages others to face their darkness with kindness. To keep going no matter if you have ten people cheering you on, or no people cheering you on.
Tall Woman Power