There are obvious shortcomings to being tall. First off, a lot of jeans fit like capris. And, subsequently, a lot of capris fit like Bermuda shorts. And Bermuda shorts fit like something out the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue. Second, you always get asked if you play basketball. And, lastly, heels are consistently an issue. Not necessarily because you’re self-conscience about being tall, but because your center of gravity is so far from the ground that walking becomes a life or death scenario.
There are also a lot of upsides to being tall. I mean, you can reach EVERYTHING in the grocery store aisles without asking your mom for help (Flintstones Push Pops, here I come). A lot of days, you don’t have to worry about how your hair looks because it’s outside of people’s regular line of vision. Finally, the Halloween costume possibilities are great! (Mother Willow: Pocahontas –or– Jolly Green Giant: General Mills)
I have been 6 feet tall since freshman year of high school. I am aware that this is not obscenely tall, but when the average height of a freshman guy leveled off at around 4’11’’… ya, 6 feet was pretty damn tall. It also didn’t help that freshman year I owned not one but three pairs of bedazzled platform flip-flops, a new-found adoration for camouflage and an unhealthy obsession with Gaucho pants. I now refer to this compilation, lovingly, as the unholy trinity.
I had several nicknames in high school that paid homage to my height including “gigantor”, “stretch”, and “hey you, tall girl, move your head, I can’t see.” Okay, so my peers lacked some creativity. Don’t blame them. Blame the California public school system.
From personal experience and casual conversation, I have discerned that some of the biggest anxieties for high school girls are affiliated with formal and/or prom. The most pressing concern is locating a dress. How difficult is it to find a dress that translates your signature laid back, boho style as perfectly your favorite pair of camouflage Gaucho pants? Answer: very hard.
The second biggest anxiety, after a dress, is finding a date. Oh, the dates. Out of the six dances that I attended in high school, my date was shorter than me for five of them. Not to mention, I was also on crutches for three of these dances, which was most likely a product of my attempt at wearing heels to a prior dance.
My dates would always ask me to take off my shoes for pictures so the height difference wouldn’t be so glaringly apparent. I was happy to oblige. I whole-heartedly agreed with their request, I wanted to be taller than them about as much as I wanted to listen to Soulja Boy on repeat. I never thought anything of it until my senior prom.
Because it was his last dance, this date decided that he wanted to wear a white tux with a pale blue ruffled tuxedo shirt and a pink cummerbund. I think it was supposed to be ironic or something. My shoes for the evening were lime green and maroon paisley, cork wedges. I, unfortunately, was not trying being ironic.
When it was time for pictures, I reached down to begin taking off my shoes. My date asked me what I was doing. I told him I was removing my heels so the height difference wouldn’t make us look ridiculous in our new Facebook profile pics. He looked down at his outfit and said, “Does it look like I care about looking ridiculous?”
It took me four years and a guy in a pink cummerbund to realize that being tall wasn’t a disease.
The best advice that I can give any high school girl struggling with their height- whether she is tall or short- is to truly appreciate whatever height you are. Focus on the upsides (i.e. Flintstones Push Pops). And, if it’s a viable option, find a guy that has an affinity for ruffled tuxedo shirts.
The second best advice that I can give any high school girl is to steer clear of pairing your camouflage gaucho pants with your sequined navy blue platform flip flops. Looking back on it, I think the only reason the guys asked me to prom was because they appreciated my killer fashion sense.
Image via Global Times Forum