Tuesday, 8 October 2013


In my last post I explained how my height ultimately led to my current career.  Last night I came across the article "Things you should never say to a tall woman" in the Huffington Post.  Very apropos.  My son, who was looking over my shoulder, read the list and said "do people really say those things to you?". " You betcha", said I, "and more".  Here are some from their list and from mine:

"I'd date you if you were shorter."
"Good luck finding a husband!"
"It must be hard to find a man who's comfortable with your height."
"You must have played basketball in high school!"
"Do you play volleyball?""How TALL are you?!?!"
"Oh my God, you are HUGE!"
"Have you always been this tall?
"You shouldn't wear heels."
"Being petite is so much harder than being tall."
'You're an Amazon."
"How's the weather up there?"
"Could you grab that for me?"
"You could be a model... you know, height-wise..."
"You have long feet."
"When are you going to stop growing?"

"You must have trouble finding nice clothes." (not any more)

Gwendoline Christie (of Game of Thrones fame, 6' 3") says she always felt at times pretty genderless because of her size.  I confirm.  I have lost count of the number of times that I've been called Monsieur.  Try coming back from that.  

The other day, the husband of a client actually stood in the middle of my shop and told me and the other clients that  I reminded him of one of the characters in Avatar.  He called in his brother to come and "look" at me, and asked if he could take a photo.  And at a recent dance workshop, a woman warned me about hitting my head on the hanging lamp (that cleared my head by over half a metre) then proceeded to double up laughing at her marvelous wit.

And then there's the Giraffe factor.  Arianne Cohen, author of The Tall Book and 6'3", relates how a woman said: "Oh, you look just like a giraffe!"  Then the woman said, "Don't worry honey, it's a compliment."   Most of the time you don't even get the qualifying remark, just the giraffe bit. A giraffe.  Really?  

On the left, a giraffe, on the right me (in case you weren't sure)

Of course, I am aware that we all have our crosses to bear.  Women in particular, are assessed, by men and more worryingly, by other women, by their appearance.  Fat, thin, pretty, (not sure about those last two) ugly, short, tall, big boobs, no boobs.   And of course, I don't know what public comments these other cardinal sins provoke (well I do about the no boobs).  I just get tired of going out into the world, having put on my best face, dressed myself up (see last week's quote "People will stare, make it worth their while") to be reminded by some passer by, lest I forget, that I am "tall".

Maybe it's a cultural thing. When I was in India, where I am most definitely tall, the only comments were accompanied by such obvious admiration that it was a lovely experience.  "Ah Madam, you have great height". When I'm in South Africa it's "You are so lovely and tall".  In London or Paris no-one even notices.  But here in the Midi it's a constant source of comment and apparent amusement (apparently irrespective of their nationality).  I won't risk irritating anyone here with my speculations as to why that might be, but all I would say is that they obviously need to get out more!

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