I’m about to answer a question that I know has been eating at some of you for a while…
Just how tall is Alison?
Well, friends, I’m 6′1 (according to the doctor’s office) and it’s been.. interesting, to say the least.
I come from a tall family. My dad is 6′4 and my mom is 5′11. My older brother is 6′5. You could say that I’ve always been destined to be an Amazon.
Even though I’ve tried to make an effort to embrace my height (and try to make light of the situation), it has affected my life a lot, and honestly, it’s been a bit of a challenge at times.
Let’s go over some pros and cons, shall we?
–Tall girls get noticed. There are advantages to standing out in a crowd People know me and remember me as soon as we meet (even if they don’t always remember my name, they know who I am). I’ve never been mistaken for another person maybe ever (except for my sisters – but they’re tall too).
-I know genetics has a part in this, but it’s hard for me to put on weight no matter what I eat. Even though I’m not remarkably thin, I have long, thin arms and legs that make me look slender.
-Some people love tall girls
What is it like to be feminine? I don’t really think of myself as particularly “feminine” in the purely physiological sense. Femininity is associated with being small, delicate, petite.. and I’m none of those things. In fact, I usually feel a bit large and cumbersome most of the time. This is made even worse when I try on dresses that may as well be American Girl Doll dresses based on how well they fit me. It makes me feel like King Kong has descended on American Eagle.
Having group photos taken is the WORST. I think wedding pictures are my least favorite thing in the world. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times and nothing feels quite as bad as seeing the photographer scramble to figure out how to reframe the photo so you don’t completely ruin the composition. If you try and bend your knees to “cheat” and make yourself shorter, the camera WILL catch that and you’ll end up being the weirdo who looks like they’re popping a squat in the middle of a photoshoot
-You can never wear jumpsuits, rompers, or most one-piece swimsuits unless you want to be very, VERY uncomfortable (if ya know what I mean)
-I’ve been the target of some very thoughtless remarks. Most of them have been innocent mistakes, but it’s still rough to hear. (pro tip: women don’t like being called “huge” or “giant” no matter what the context is)
I used to try and make myself shorter by slumping when i was younger, and it’s been hard to break that bad-posture habit
-I think the worst part for me is the dating aspect. I live in Provo, Utah, which has a really strange dating culture without factoring in height. There is a dizzying amount of dating options here, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.
You already know that tall girls (as well as short men) have a major disadvantage in the dating game. And even though I feel like it’s almost a necessity for me to date someone somewhat tall-ISH (I just don’t want to absolutely tower over my significant other and be “that couple” that everyone jokes about), tall guys have virtually no reason to specifically go for tall girls. They don’t need my NBA genes, after all. So really, I’m playing at a total disadvantage here.
I dated a stocky 5′6/7 guy for a while, but the comments we were getting from total strangers were totally bizarre. Once, when we were at the grocery store together, I had sarcastically joked about being mad about something silly. The cashier piped in [to my boyfriend]: “What, did she find out you’re not going to grow any more?” It was weird and embarrassing for both of us.
All in all, I wouldn’t say that being a tall woman is a bad experience. Just like anything else, it’s absolutely what you make of it. My sisters are all tall, but they’re all confident and perfectly happy. I have another female friend who is 6 feet tall and wears high heels. I think it’s all about playing with the cards you’ve been dealt with. And despite its occasional downsides, I’m pretty much cool with it. Just don’t make me pose for another wedding picture.