iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Kimberly Couzens

GET UPDATES FROM Kimberly Couzens
 

How I Learned To Love Being Tall

Posted: 07/12/2012 9:00 am

For years, I've been plagued by a fear of heights. Specifically, my own height. I was in eighth grade when I started to notice that I was different from everyone else. I grew from 5'4" to 5'9" in a single school year and my subsequent awkwardness was obvious. I towered over my date to the dance that year -- and several more dates after that. The one place I fit in well is family gatherings. I'm 5'11" now, but I am actually the shortest person in my immediate family. I always tell people that if they think I'm tall, they should meet my relatives.

The worst part about being tall wasn't being teased for wearing high waters or being sent to the principal's office for wearing "short shorts" when other girls could get away with wearing the exact same style without discipline. Having "the jolly green giant lives here!" scrawled across my locker stung, but it was nothing compared to the discomfort I felt in my own skin. My height was an unavoidable reminder that I was different, and being different isn't cool or fun when you're a teenager who wants to fit in -- or simply shop for pants that fit.

Even after I finished college, I still felt relatively uncomfortable with my height. It's hard not to be self-conscious when you walk into a bar in heels and most guys are eye level with your chest instead of your face -- or won't look your way at all because you're too tall for them. If guys aren't interested in me because of my height, then that is their choice, just like it's my choice not to take an interest in guys with no job or a criminal record. We all have our preferences. I love to admire high heels, but I am so, so terrible at walking in them. I tried to make them work for me, but as a city dweller they only cramp my style (and my lower calves), so I own a wide variety of flats instead. I mean, women wear heels to look taller, and I am already tall, so instead of mourning the inability to participate in the traditionally feminine experience of wearing heels, I just accept that that's a good thing.

Ultimately, I felt that I was faced with a choice: I could either continue to hate being tall or I could embrace it, and hating it just seemed like a waste of time. There are aspects of our appearances we can change and there are those we cannot. Little by little, I started to see the perks of my awkward, difficult-to-shop-for self. I can reach whatever I want in a store, whether it's a can of soup at Gristedes or a pair of shorts on the tippy-top shelf at Express -- and that's a stretch, even for me. I can see over most crowds. On most days, I can walk down a crowded city sidewalk during rush hour and get where I'm going without ever being shoved to the side.

Maybe one day I'll be able to do it in heels.

Want more? Take a peek in our gallery below to check out how stars wear flats and be sure to check out Stylelist on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Ines de la Fressange

    Getty Images

  • Diane Kruger

    Getty Images

  • Kyra Sedgwick

    Getty Images

  • Naomi Watts

  • Elle Fanning

    Getty Images

  • Mia Wasikowska

    Getty Images

  • Grace Coddington

    Getty Images

  • Jerry Hall

    Getty Images

  • Naomi Watts

    Getty Images

  • Lily Cole

    Getty Images

  • Sophie Dahl

    Getty Images

  • Tina Fey

    Getty Images

  • Charlotte Rampling

    Getty Images

  • Chloe Moretz

    Getty Images

  • Carey Mulligan

    Getty Images

  • Amber Heard

    Getty Images

  • Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

    Getty Images

  • Julie Delpy

    Getty Images

  • Blythe Danner

    Getty Images

  • Natalie Portman

    Getty Images

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Getty Images

  • Anja Rubik

    Getty Images

  • Catherine Deneuve

    Getty Images

  • Isabel Lucas

    Getty Images

  • Kiernan Shipka

    Getty Images

  • Busy Philipps

    Getty Images

  • Princess Mary of Denmark

    Getty Images

  • Sofia Coppola

    Getty Images

  • Minnie Driver

    Getty Images

  • Glenn Close

    Getty Images

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal

    Getty Images

  • Susan Sarandon

    Getty Images

  • Kim Catrall

    Getty Images

  • Lana Del Rey

    Getty Images

  • Jaime King

    Getty Images

  • Tiffani Thiessen

    Getty Images

  • Cybill Shepherd

    Getty Images

  • Shailene Woodley

    Getty Images

  • Jane Fonda

    Getty Images

  • Vivian Wu

    Getty Images

  • Bonnie Wright

    Getty Images

  • Laura Ponte

    Getty Images

  • Shannyn Sossamon

    Getty Images

  • Jacquetta Wheeler

    Getty Images

  • Kendall Jenner

    Getty Images

  • Jayma Mays

    Getty Images

  • Mandy Moore

    Getty Images

  • Nicky Hilton

    Getty Images

  • Kristen Schaal

    Getty Images

  • Kathy Griffin

    Getty Images

  • Bebe Neuwirth

    Getty Images

 

Follow Kimberly Couzens on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KC_writes

FOLLOW STYLE