“Stand up straight!”
My mother was always very strict about posture and walking correctly. As a result, I’m told I have a rather distinctive gait or strut as some people put it. I walk tall, because I am.
And why not strut your stuff?
I often notice that far too many people slouch or shuffle along half-hunched over, especially the taller ladies among us and I had to ask myself why. Are they ashamed of being tall?
My answer came unexpectedly, in the form of a chance meeting with an equally tall woman in the Ladies room of my favourite Indian restaurant, just the other weekend.
As I went to wash my hands, she said “I just wanted to say how lovely you look in your heels.”
I turned around to say thank you and the lady went on to explain that she was 5’11” and had never felt comfortable with her height. She couldn’t bring herself to wear heels although her husband had often tried to encourage her to take the plunge.
I realised the woman was actually half an inch taller than me, but I was towering over her in my 3″ heel Jessica Simpson peeptoes. I looked down at her rather dowdy, understated flats and felt a wave of sadness.
We had a long chat about what it’s like to be a tall woman, shoes and attitudes towards tall women.
I had to agree, it’s not easy being a tall woman. For starters clothes shopping is a nightmare, you stand out in every crowd whether you want to or not, and then there are all the silly comments like:
“Oh you’re so lucky to be so tall!” …Er why is that exactly?
And the often rather angrily asked:
“You’re so tall already, why do you need to wear high heels?”
My answer is always “Because I can.”
Last time I looked, shoes were something you wore on your feet to walk in and hopefully look good. Why should I not be allowed to wear the latest fashions and pretty heels that give me shapely legs? I LOVE shoes! Why should I be somehow punished for being tall, by being forced to wear ugly, flat shoes because somebody a bit shorter than me has “height issues”?!
Let me put it into perspective. That would be as ridiculous (and darn right rude I might add) as me saying:
“Oh my, you’re so short, why on earth are you wearing flats?!”
Well here’s the deal people. We are all different shapes and sizes. I’m a pretty tall woman and there’s nothing I can do about that.
There have been many times in my life when I would have killed to be an average height (pretty much every time I go clothes shopping *sigh*), and I have even been bullied for being tall.
Some people also think it’s unfeminine to be tall and believe me, it cuts down your choice of men!
Being tall at school meant that the teachers were psychologically less pre-disposed to offer me help, and people wrongly assume I’m tougher and more masculine than my shorter peers, so cut me less slack and are harder on me in the work place.
So once and for all, being a tall woman is no bed of roses and it certainly doesn’t make you lucky, it just makes you tall. End of!
But I believe that no matter what height you are, you should walk tall and proud. Hold your head up and show the world how fabulous you are! Height does not, or should not matter when it comes to picking footwear. Wear the shoes that you love, that make you look and feel great, and to hell with everybody else.
I relayed this to my new tall friend in the Ladies, and she practically hugged me. She asked me if I would email her teenage daughter and tell her the same thing? I happily handed over my business card and said I would be glad to.
So, it’s back straight and no more rounded shoulders ladies! Walk tall and proud!
And if you want an instant self esteem boost, pick out your fave killer heels, put your head up and strut your funky stuff!