Thursday, 2 September 2010

Tall and Proud

I stumbled across an article on the Daily Fail website today, written by a tall woman offering 'support' to Malia Obama, who has recently shot up and is almost as tall as her 5'11" mother Michelle. The article is supposed to offer words of wisdom to her to guide her through her teenage years but somehow the author confused the words 'support' and 'discourage'.

I was a tall teen. I pretty much stopped growing when I was 14 - I think I maybe grew an inch between then and turning 18/19. I'm now 5'11" and proud of it.

Being a teenager in the 90s at my height was tricky... shops like Long Tall Sally were virtually non existent back then (I remember being given my first Long Tall Sally catalogue by a similarly tall friend in 1998 and almost crying with relief!), and trying to find shoes for my proportionally large feet (size 9) was a nightmare.
But somehow I never let it get me down. I was a head and shoulders over practically everyone in my school at one point! I will never forget being lined up in height order for our whole school photo aged 14... guess what? I'm in the MIDDLE of the photo.

I have never slouched, never been ashamed of my height. Frustrated yes. Ashamed, never. When I went to see an orthopedic consultant about my hypermobility (yay, tall and super bendy!) and he was very impressed by my posture, which, thanks to years of my mother telling me to "stand up straight, shoulders back" is apparently very good for someone my height.

If I experience problems because of my height, like banging my head on the ceiling of a pub, or not fitting in an airline seat comfortably because my legs are too long - then its because the world is wrong, not because I am.
The boys at school used to call me bean pole. I told them to be more original. A friend starting calling me Elon (as in elongated) which I thought was cool, at least it was different.

I personally don't think it matters whether you are tall, short, fat, thin, clever, whatever, when you're a teenager there is always something that someone else will pick out and try to make fun of. The trick is to hold your head up high and be proud of who you are.
Like father like daughter: height runs in the family

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