Starting in the 8th grade I had a huge growth spurt that left me at a striking 5’10. I was the tallest girl among many middle school girls, but what I didn’t realize was that while all the girls around me had stopped growing at around age 15 I kept growing during high school.
My height has become an emphasized character trait wherever I go; at Trader Joe’s, on the sidewalk, at school, at a party, on the bus, among my family, among my neighbors, and in restaurants. Everywhere I go random strangers make comments about my height, I’ve learned to just smile and nod and tell them that I know I’m tall.
I don’t think people understand the heightened insecurity of being a tall female. When my height is one of the only things people talk about with me, it makes me wonder if its only thing they see about me. Meeting someone for the first time, I know they will mention my height within the first few minutes.
Attending a school that is predominantly Asian most of the females are an average 5’3. I feel like I stand out among the other females, causing me to feel like I might be unintentionally intimidating. I try to focus on having an outgoing personality and a caring spirit so people remember me for something more than just my height, but I often feel my height overshadows my personality.
Beyond insecurities, there are also a number of stereotypical assumptions that people make, like whether I play certain sports (basketball, volleyball, and track) or suggesting I should become a model just because of my height. It’s frustrating to hear people talk about how I should live my life or how I should use my height for certain things.
Despite all my insecurities about my height, I’ve grown to realize being tall is not entirely negative. One thing I like about being tall is always appearing confident, even on days that I feel self-conscious. Another plus is the appearance of maturity due to being mistaken for being older than you actually are. I found out that tall females are looked at as authority figures in the business world, which puts me at an advantage in the future.
Being a taller female makes you feel less vulnerable, while at the same time makes you stand out even when you don’t want to. As I get older I have come to the conclusion and appreciation that my height is a gift and I have learned to embrace it and focus on the perks of my height even when people stop to remind me of just how tall I am.