My journey to self-acceptance began with my parents teaching me strength and confidence since I was granted access onto this planet. My mother — a 6′ woman with a big bright forehead, a gorgeous gap tooth, and a calm yet jokey spirit — made sure that I felt loved and beautiful as long as I can remember. She, like many other tall parents, was not surprised when I came out of the womb with an inseam probably twice the size of every other newborn. Coupling her height with my father’s, she knew that I was bound for a unique life and was always proactive in making me realize that while I am”different,” I am abundantly blessed.
“Height is to the Gods,” my father would write to me often as a reminder of the stock I came from. Because of his encouragement, I never felt “bad” about my height, but I did question how I would “fit” into a society that caters to people shorter than me. Would I be able to find a mate? Would I be able to find clothing that suits my style? Would I always feel awkward in a crowd or have to bend and slouch in order to be around my group of friends?
Those questions lingered in my brain for years as I questioned my own degree of comfort in my skin. Representation is so important for me, as we often see ourselves in others. Because I didn’t see many women my height to relate to, initially I had to answer the aforementioned questions on my own. Soon “fitting in” became less of a viable option so I nixed that idea and put my energy towards cultivating my own individuality. Mirror work became my best friend. Funny, because I can’t even see my entire body in most mirrors, but that’s another conversation for another day. ☺
I would tell myself that I am beautiful the way God made me. That my limbs were created with extra love and hands, hence why I am extra long. And that my height doesn’t need to be validated by anyone except myself. A turning point for me was in college when I truly realized I had been given a privilege. I stand out in a crowd because I am inherently unique. My style can’t be mimicked because my body is different and special. And my spine, when straight and at attention, can reach any entity in the sky. At 25, I constantly remind myself to stand up with perfect posture — to be conscious of my stature and to be proud of it.
To my beautiful tall women, I will tell you this: Never slouch. Never bend. And most importantly, never cut down your own strength merely for the comfort of others.
Remember that being tall is a privilege. Being tall is a gift. Being tall is a blessing.