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Standing tall

Kelly Meehan | Friday, September 24, 2004

Being tall is more than just having a few more inches in height than the average person – it is a way of life. Since I am six-feet tall I am all too familiar with the struggle of finding long jeans or a date to a dance who is about my height. I have been above-average height for my entire life. I remember picture day back in elementary school when we were instructed to line up shortest to tallest. I would have a sinking feeling in my stomach, for I would so badly want to stand with my other girl friends in the front of the line. This would work for about one minute, until my teacher would promptly escort me to the back of the line to stand with all the awkwardly tall boys. Things really got out of control when I grew six inches during seventh grade, which is quite an amazing feat. It was at this point when I realized I would forever be the tall girl. I was questioned several times a day if I played basketball. No, I do not. When that was not a satisfactory response I was asked if I played volleyball. No, I am not athletic. It was usually about this point in the conversation when the person questioning me on the use of my height would get a disgusted look on his or her face to suggest I was potentially a waste of athletic potential – which, by the way, I am not, for I am extremely uncoordinated. Of course there was always the point in my life where random men supposedly from a “modeling agency” would approach me at the mall or in public venues to tell me and my parents that I would make a “great model” because of my height. It was somewhat flattering, but being invited to model by a random man in a small town in Ohio is not exactly the best way to break into the world of modeling. Shopping for stylish pants with a long inseam is a never-ending endeavor. I get very upset when I see short girls snatching up the long inseam jeans at Gap just so they could cut the bottoms off to achieve the “worn” look. And of course wearing high heels is always a questionable quest, for the extra inches they provide sends me towering above many of my “vertically-challenged” friends. And of course there is always the inevitable question about dating a guy shorter than me. I personally do not have a problem with it, but it seems that when I am with a shorter guy he feels uncomfortably inferior just because of a few inches of difference. In all reality I like being tall. It seems that when I meet people for the first time it always gives us something to talk about. I can always reach things on the top shelf. It is always reassuring to know that most women wish they were taller, and of course it is comforting to think that if I begin to shrink during my elderly years I will still be considered tall. It seems that being tall helps me make some fellow tall friends, with whom I can share the woes of being tall. So to all my fellow tall girls out there, stand tall and be proud of your height. And to all of you, who are on the shorter end of the spectrum, do not fret over the few inches you wish you had, and just make sure to leave the long jeans for us.