It was Sunday. Mothers day, to be exact. Sunshine and fluffy clouds, a light breeze and the sound of church bells.
I was a sophomore in high school. Another growth spurt had come, my head hovering around the height of my dad’s chin – that 6′ 6″ father of mine. I come from tall southern stock, so being just south of 6 feet wasn’t a surprise.
I donned a pair of heels that Sunday morning, enjoying the view above people’s heads during service, admiring the clip-clop noise they made as I walked on the brick pathway outside.
“You’re a tall drink of water,” my friend’s grandmother said, looking me up and down.
I suppose that’s one way to describe my stature. To tell you the truth, I like it.
And what happens when you have a tall girl and a pair of high heels? Well, she becomes even taller.
Typical responses – “Why are you wearing those? You’re tall enough already!” “I can’t stand next to you now because I feel too short.” “Now you’re taller than the guys!”
While I know girls who are taller than me, I feel like I can speak for us tall girls and say that when we reached the milestone of being able to wear high heels, we all heard some comment that made us feel like we shouldn’t. Some of us had been ostracized because of our height before heels were added to the mix. Standing out of the crowd (or above it) became something we feared, rather than embraced. (I met a man in Starbucks today who told me his tall daughter slouches in order to blend in with her friends. This is real life!)
I’ve asked a few of my tall friends about how they feel. All of these beautiful young women are six feet or taller. They did collegiate athletics and have careers in education, sports marketing and nutrition and wellness. They wear business casual clothing which styles well with a pair of heels, they get dressed up for weddings and elegant dinners, and sometimes they wear something that just looks too cute not to wear heels with it.
Here’s what they have to say about their height + heels…
“My biggest frustration is this – who are they to comment on my (our) physical stature and/or appearance and what it should or should not be?
I feel like a million bucks walking around in them because I know how great I look. I now take any looks my way as looks of admiration and not anything less. It wasn’t this way in middle or high school- it took my empowering collegiate teammates to help me to think this way.”
“I love wearing heels and if I get any stares or comments, I just shrug it off. I feel that I was blessed with my height. There is no need to be ashamed. When people ask, ‘Why are you wearing heels?’ my response is, ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ It does not bother me any more, plus I feel it is an advantage especially in crowded areas. I will never get lost/separated from my group.
Now the only thing I don’t like about wearing heels is trying to find them in my size…”
“Life for tall women is no fairy tale. It’s growing up with cruel taunts and stoic stares but thankfully, like Anna, I had family and friends who taught me to embrace my height.
When people make comments this typically indicates their own level of insecurity. I’m at an age where embracing all of me means caring less about others opinions of me. There’s an aura around women who exude confidence and for those of us that are vertically gifted that means walking taller than most and rocking heels while doing it.
Wearing heels as a six-footer is a talent and a curse….your friends can easily locate you, you can joke with men that you’re on the national croquet team or help a roommate use high cabinets with exceptional ease. Just this past week I met several of my cousins friends at his wedding. I packed four heels ranging from 2-4 inches….they came in handy dancing with fellow six footers.
I highly doubt glass slippers come in a size 13, but the beauty of it all is that life with a view is more than I could ever read or dream as a child.“
This is just the response from a few of us who are considered a “tall drink of water.” Fellow ladies -tall and short and right in the middle- wear shoes that make you feel good, whether heels or wedges, flats or sandals, sneakers or those Five Fingers contraptions. Don’t be ashamed of the way our Creator created YOU. If you like wearing heels, go for it! It’s your choice.
If you’re tall, heels are going to make you taller, but that’s perfectly alright. In fact, it’s wonderful! Be that tall girl that you are and wear those heels with confidence.