STANDING TALL – Tall women… we are not giants
Tall women rock. We are Height Goddesses! I am 6ft, unique, love being tall and wouldn’t trade my height for anything. Three years ago I was selected Tall Woman of the Month for a website dedicated to support and empower tall women. I confess it used to make me feel very uncomfortable when I was in school and in my teens. Looking back at all my school pictures I was the tallest, given the nickname Big Bird from Sesame Street.
Then in my early 20’s the light bulb came on and I started to embrace my height, and i've never looked back. I am very confident with my height, in fact I am proud to be tall and often am seen wearing 4 or 5 inch heels. Many tall women won’t wear heels but I love them.
Height envy or is it a magnet?
For women here in the UK, the ‘average height’ is 5' 4.4" (163.7 cm). My 4 inch heels make me 1.93 cm. When I walk into a room I turn heads and have a presence - very beneficial to me. Standing out in a crowd is what so many women have said to me that they would love to be able to do. I am used to people staring and even stopping in their tracks when I walk past them, and once had several men stare with their mouths open, making me check that my dress wasn’t tucked into my knickers. My height is a magnet for short men. They are attracted, and are not frightened to approach me, even ask for date!
In the workplace
I have always worn high heels in the workplace; 99% of the time I have been the tallest where I have worked. It never occurred to me that people would feel intimidated by my height until recently when I observed the body language of three women at three individual meetings. I am used to shocked expressions – if they first meet me when I am sitting down and then stand up. Shorter female bosses feel more intimidated than shorter men. Tall women I have spoken to use different coping mechanisms some will get to a room for a meeting first to be the first to sit down, and sit in strategically placed seats as to avoid contact with certain short people. One even sits down in meetings with her boss, while he stands. Others refuse to wear heels even with skirts, they wear flat shoes all the time. I always wear heels in the office, and why shouldn’t I?
My height has never been a problem while working with men. I work with many senior police officers with whom I often literally have eye to eye contact, which is great, and they don’t feel intimidated by my height.
Does extra inches means extra salary?
Reading several articles recently, they identified that tall women are consistently more successful in the workplace, earn up to £3800 more, and are more likely to be in leadership positions. I think next time I ask for a salary raise I will cite as the reason that it is because I am tall, and then produce all the research material to back up my request.
No one puts ‘baby in a corner’
I will continue to embrace my uniqueness and often speak to women about embracing their uniqueness. Confidence comes with loving yourself - never let other people, be they friends, family members, co-workers or strangers, dictate how you should feel about yourself. This is not how to live life.
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