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Hattie Clarke
Writer and arts marketing professional working in London.

News released today by leading scientists at the University of Brobdingnag have proven that women who are above average height have more intense orgasms and make exceptional sexual partners.

Bullshit? Yes it certainly is. But now you’re here and I’ve got your attention.

I’d like to tell you about tall women and the mighty problems we face. As a card carrying 6ft tall member of the Tall Women Brigade I want to share my own experiences of an above average view on life.

It’s fair to say that probably every woman on the planet has received inappropriate comments about her appearance, and the battle to combat the barrage of idiocy online and in our workplaces is hard for everyone. When your height is above average in not only the women’s charts, but also the men’s, your chances of minimising sexist stupidity is nil.

I can’t remember the last time I met someone (a man) who didn’t comment on my height. I can’t remember the last party I went to where someone (a man) didn’t comment on my choice to wear heels. I wish I could say this is a recent discovery, but when you’re a tall woman you started as a tall girl.

At primary school I spent every lunchtime dropping one hip so I wouldn’t stand out amongst the other girls in the playground. I was taller than every boy in my class. I was constantly aware of how feminine I appeared, more conscious to be seen with the right colour pencil case and one of the first to paint my lashes and practice fluttering.

Being confident and tall is an incredible feeling, you are naturally seen because your physical presence fills the room and people are drawn to watch you. There’s a reason that my brother, a 6 ft 7 twenty-something, is now an actor. But for those of us tall women who are less sure of ourselves, or who are just having a bad day, not being able to blend into a room seriously sucks. On my blue days I find myself dressing in baggy clothes and layering myself into a tent-like cover-up, as if trying to hide some newly gained weight. But this doesn’t hide anything. In fact it just makes you more visible, you’re just a tent that’s taller than all the other tents.

I would never give up my height, it is integral to who I am. I come from a long line of tall people (see the Vikings), and I love it when I see women on the street or the tube who are as tall or taller than me. I want there to be a society for tall women where we can all moan about terrible trouser and sleeve lengths (my god, I have cold wrists 24/7) and about how shallow men can be, intimidated by any woman that doesn’t fit into the petite section. These are most likely the same men that single you out at a bar and want to go back to back to prove to his mates he must be taller than this giraffe-like woman. It takes a great deal of patience not to scream, “I’m not trying out for your basketball team, I came here to drink!”

Reaching a book on the highest shelf, spotting my husband/brother/other tall person is of use in a crowded station and always being offered the passenger seat are many of the great advantages of being a tall Woman. It is also an urban myth known throughout the tall woman hive mind and online community that as a tall woman you are less likely to be harassed on the street. There aren’t any statistics to tell us whether this is a fact, but from a straw poll of friends of all heights it seems that as the tallest I have gotten away with the least unwanted attention. It also seems likely that a harasser might see a tall woman as more intimidating, or be mistaken for a man. This is a mistake one could cultivate at any height - take it from experience, short hair and a tweed coat is all you need. Sadly, this does come with side effects, like being called ‘Sir’ by a shop assistant in the dairy aisle at Tesco.

Despite it all the Tall Woman Brigade is certainly here to stay, with the average height creeping up year on year. We are constantly recruiting members, from the tallest girl in her reception class to the wall Woman who always stays sitting down at parties. You are not alone in living the hazards of a tall life, and remember there are always the benefits (superior orgasms included). So don’t go it alone. Hear our heavy tread, see our long shadows and keep looking up.

Follow Hattie Clarke on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HattieLC

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