04/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Trials Of Being Tall

I've always been tall. At 16, I topped out at 5'11". An inch shy of six feet, I was told I had two occupational choices: modeling or basketball. I chose neither, mostly out of spite.

In my mind, tall equaled big. I longed to be petite. Adjectives that were supposed to define girls, like "dainty" or "cute," don't seem to coexist with "tall." And in fairy tales, the princess never towers over her hero. He has to be able to scoop her up onto his white stallion to save her from the foul dragon. While other girls were looking up at guys batting their eyelashes, I found it was impossible to look coyly standing eye-to-eye.

In college, a nightmare scenario loomed all too vividly in my mind. I could see a dashing young man across the room, our eyes meet; there are instant fireworks; dramatic music begins to play; he approaches....the record scratches. He is looking directly at my chin. Thus, while other girls were "shoe fanatics," I merely lusted after gorgeous shoes I could never wear. I couldn't bear the thought of being taller than even more guys than biology had dictated.


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