For the mental well-being of all the tall women out there, please avoid saying the following seven statements …
I am a tall woman – 183cm tall to be precise. To a limit, tallness in women is considered a desirable trait, but when you are six foot tall, people begin to act like you’re a freak of nature.
This is clearly not desirable. I often look at petite, small women with envy: they are considered cute and feminine, whereas I am considered Amazonian.
As a tall woman, I can also never just melt into the crowd
I am always noticed, always looked at, always in sight. So sometimes, it can be tiring when strangers feel the need to comment on my physical appearance, when I just want to be left alone.
So, for the mental well-being of all the tall women out there, please avoid saying the following seven statements:
Wow! You’re so tall!
Really? Me? Tall? Never! I thought I was short! Come on people, surely you must know that I know I am unusually tall for a woman? How would you feel if I commented on your large beer boep, or your balding head? Perhaps I could comment on the fact that you have brown hair? Or blue eyes? I don’t need to point it out, because (and here’s the crux) you know. Plus, maybe you are a bit self-conscious of your bulbous nose. Maybe pointing it out will embarrass you? I know that being tall is not a negative thing, but it is so tiring to hear it every day. And eventually, I do start feeling like I am a bit of a freak (as if I am the only tall woman to ever have existed).
You must have really big feet? What’s your shoe size?
Again, seriously? Asking about my shoe size is none of your business and again, it hurts my feelings. You’re acting as if I am a circus act, and my feet aren’t that big (only a size 8). My advice is to use the following test: what would you say to a woman with really large breasts? You definitely wouldn’t stare at them and marvel at the size. “My, what big boobies you have!” And you certainly wouldn’t ask her what bra size she wears. It’s just rude and weird.
What’s the weather like up there?
Ha-freaking-ha. The only thing us tall women can do with this is smile weakly and edge away. Jokes about the physical appearance of other people are usually hurtful to the target of the joke. Apply the boob test: would you make a joke about a woman’s breasts being so large they enter a room before she does? I’m thinking you wouldn’t.
Men must be so intimidated by your height!
Well, I am married to a taller man and I have dated shorter men, which was never a problem. Asking me this question implies that you think men don’t find me attractive. In a society where looks count for a lot, that can be hurtful.
Did you play netball at school?
I didn’t, actually. I was terrible at sports. Just because I am tall, doesn’t mean I am sporty. Are you going to ask a black person if he is a good runner because of his skin colour? Unlikely – you’d be considered a racist if you did. So why is it okay to assume things about me because of my physical appearance?
Could you get that down for me?
I honestly don’t mind helping people get things down from shelves, but only when I offer. I do not appreciate people asking me to get beans down from the top shelf while I am having a conversation with my husband about what to cook for dinner. Just because I am tall doesn’t mean I want to help you.
You must be at least six foot three!
This usually comes from men who aren’t six foot, but wish they were. I used to model. I was measured professionally. Trust me when I say I am six foot tall. This means you are definitely less than six foot. Please don’t try to bolter your own self-worth by making it seem I am taller than I already am. Thank you.