Sarah, 6'1 1/2": Shoes, clothing and other problems

sarah b"Helena has always avoid wearing high heels because everybody told her that she was too tall anyway. Then she tried on a pair of Louboutins and doesn't want to take them off". I found this quote on Facebook and shared it immediately because I could sympathise.

I know this from my youth

Somehow it reminds me of my past... and it reminds me of other tall gals und women I know. I noticed that I am not the only one because there was a lot of agreement. It's probably got something to do the fact that a lot of tall women were lacking self-confidence when they were young... and some are still lacking it today and are not at peace with their height. Why is that so? What can I say? When you as a child are approached aggressively by adults who claim you are too old to be in Mum's arms... or are generally treated like a much older child you suffer to a degree. It's not productive.

When you are taller than your teacher at elementary school and your feet are big enough for you to wear Mum's shoes it's party funny - but not all the time. Tall always meant that you had to behave "older", more sensible, more grown up. Teacher's treated what your achievements as not worth mentioning whereas the smaller, cuter kids enjoyed all kinds of protection and received a lot of praise.

Clothing - a pain in the backside

When you are tall you stand out. Especially when you are surrounded by short and tender people - and you feel it even more. Don't get me started on boys. They often just reached your belly button and because of societal norms you rarely felt at ease around shorter guys. Another important factor that makes life difficult for tall girls is the fashion industry. Every woman knows what it's like to wear something beautiful and sexy. She feels desirable, beautiful and, of course confident. I know it's not only tall women who have problems finding clothes that fit but pants that are too short can't be easily lengthened and the "I'm a little too cuddly here" or "too small there" problems others have just add to the dilemma.

I'm really pleased that tops have become longer (especially the sleeves). Even when shorter clothes were fashionable they were always a little too short on me. They weren't exactly comfortable and - considering my physique - they didn't look too good on me. Apart from the length of tops their cut often caused me problems as well. And when I was recently complimented on wearing a "great top" I had to laugh while thanking the person. It was - and many of you may know it - actually a dress... but short enough to fit like a top.

The topic: shoes

Even worse are the problems tall women encounter when looking for shoes that are large enough. Ever since I was a teenager I had a love-hate relationship with shoes. You wanted to love them but in fact you hated them since you couldn't find a nice pair that you really liked. I could never find a nice pair of shoes when I wanted to go dancing as a teen. Sure, you could find shoes in your size but they looked like your granny would wear them. And you would never feel comfortable when wearing them. My Mum once bought me a pair of shiny men's shoes with a buckle which I wore with my dress. You can imagine that I didn't enjoy putting them on. And I didn't wear them very often either.

You may say that is not really ideal but then tall women stand out positively... and are pretty much treated like goddesses. And how many short women would love to be tall and want to stand out from the crowd. Indeed, that is the case. But first you need to realize that there are positive aspects to being tall. After all you have mainly experienced the negatives. You need to enjoy standing out and not think "Oh no. Everyone is watching me because I'm not normal but trampling along like a giant."

We need to be comfortable in our skins

How does this work? When we feel good... when we wear the clothes we like. When we can find feminine shoes that are fitting for the occassion, suit our type and our mood. I often talk to women in my store who never wore a pair of beautiful women's shoes before. Their faces light up, they start smiling. They feel like a different person. Beautiful shoes are a symbol for femininity and add to your self-confidence. That way women can finally get past comments like "Wow, she is huge. Is that a guy?" and finally clearly hear compliments like "Wow, what a woman!".

So love yourselves the way you are... don't allow society or the fashion industry to bring you down. Embrace being different and make it a positive in your life. We are grand.

About the author: Sarah Brabender lives in Essen, Germany, is 6'1 1/2" 

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