Birthday: May 31st, 1981
Location: United States
I grew up in a military family so we moved around a LOT! Of course, for someone really shy and a head taller than everyone in her grade this was quite difficult. I got teased a lot because I was way taller than everyone and painfully skinny. I cried to my mom all the time but she couldn't really understand because she isn't that tall (only 5'6"). It didn't help that I soon outgrew my older sister (by two years) and was constantly being compared to her. She was beautiful and perfect and good at everything and I was gawky and awkward. People thought I was older than I was because I was so tall and would act shocked when they found out my age (which is weird because now, like you even said, people think I'm much younger than I am!) My height was the topic of every conversation with people I had just met (it doesn't ever occur to people that there is more to you than your height and that every idiot wants to discuss it and that you are sick as hell of talking about it!!) None of the boys liked me. I actually used to wish I would become disabled and have to use a wheelchair so maybe no one would know how tall I really was! Crazy, huh?!
As an adult, things got much easier. I grew into my body a little better and developed some curves. I had boyfriends and started to feel pretty. My height was still an issue and to this day people still comment on it a LOT, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much. In fact, now I kinda like it! It's just annoying when some short guy asks how tall I am and when I tell him he insists I'm much taller because HE'S 5'10". So I must be 6'3"! Uh, hello people? Don't you think I would know? I've only been measured 80,000 times since I reached my full adult height! And I certainly wouldn't lie about it! If I was 6'3" I would say I was 6'3" with PRIDE!! So now when people do this I ask their name or some other personal fact and when they answer I say "No, that's not it." And I love that one I learned on this site where when someone asks how tall you are you say " I don't know...how much do you weigh?" That's a great one!
Interestingly, I've never been particularly attracted to very tall men. I don't like dating men MUCH shorter than me, but I have dated men a few inches shorter and it was fine! Most often I dated guys right around my height. I am now engaged and my fiance is about 5'11" so we're pretty much eye-to-eye. I just won't wear heels at our wedding! (But to all the tall women out there who DO wear heels...I wish I had your confidence! Good for you!!)
All and all, most people react favorably to my height. When strangers comment on it, I don't think they intend to be rude, although I do get extremely tired of hearing "How tall are you? Do you play basketball? Do you model? Are your parents tall?" and when I was a cashier "Are you standing on something or are you really that tall?" I just smile and try to be pleasant about it. If you act like it's a good thing, people will see it as a good thing!
I think we women have got to have confidence in our bodies, no matter what they look like. If you are good at sports (by the way, I SUCK at basketball) then by all means, use your height to your advantage that way. I was a competitive swimmer and it helped me concentrate more on what my body can do, rather that what it looks like. One thing I would NOT recommend, though, is modeling. My parents got me into this thinking it would improve my confidence and make me see my height as a good thing. It backfired. At 5'10" they said I needed to weigh less than 110 pounds (they called me a "very heavy girl" at 130) and pointed out every flaw I had from my head to my toes. Needless to say, I abandoned this idea very early on. It's just not healthy, physically or emotionally.
I am now 4 months pregnant with a little girl. If she inherits my height, I hope she doesn't suffer through childhood and adolescence the way I did. I hope I can teach her to be proud of her stature and get her involved in healthy activites that make her feel good about herself and her body. I hope I can lead by example that tall is beautiful and unique.