Tall Lady’s Backhanded Compliment Library, First Edition

Occasionally, I get a real compliment which could be mistaken as an insult, or in some cases, as in the situation below, I get a detour. I thought this conversation was going to lead me straight into treacherous falling rocks, but instead, it quickly deeked onto a path which lead me to a gondola that flew me up the self-esteem mountain. (Did I drag that metaphor out too far?… You get it. Mountain.)

SETTING: In a high-school cafeteria. Several kids from varying social stratospheres are sitting spaced out at a table together during a “spare” or “open” period. Typical high school chatter takes place. Tall girl is sitting, listening, but not really engaged.

POPULAR BOY WHO DOESN’T USUALLY TALK TO TALL GIRL: Yvonne, you remind me of Ethel.

TALL GIRL: [Says nothing, as can only think of one Ethel in popular culture and looks up with a furrowed brow as she knows this is not a compliment]

POPULAR BOY: You know, from Archie.

TALL GIRL: [Sighs, still remaining silent, not wanting to encourage this conversation. Yes, I know Ethel from Archie. She’s a gangly dork who everyone runs away from in the Archie comics. Why would I encourage this conversation?]

POPULAR BOY: You know, she was a dork but then when she showed up at her high school reunion she was a supermodel.

TALL GIRL: [Oh. Dumbfounded and is struggling to utter something resembling A WORD in the English language. Quietly…] oh, thank you.

End scene.

I remember being so confused. I was not part of the most popular crowd and got very little attention from boys. I never mistook this conversation for this boy liking me, but I really appreciated the moment he took to share this insight with me. I knew I wasn’t some kind of freak, but given my astounding number of boyfriends in high school (ZERO), I thought I was considered a different species as a girl who was taller than most of the guys.

So thanks. It was nice to hear. My supermodel career never did come to fruition, though.

Which side of the fence do you tower over? Tall Girls – A Story of Giants

If you click on the image below, it will take you to the trailer for this film. “Tall Girls – A Story of Giants”. This trailer will simultaneously break your heart, gross you out, make you sad and make you angry. At least it did for me.

If you don’t want the trailer spoiled, watch it before you read the rest of this post.

I am 186cm and admittedly, adolescence isn’t the easiest time for a lanky, lanky, lanky, (lanky) awkward tall girl. That being said, I never investigated the possibility of stunting my growth, whether through drugs or surgery. I didn’t know it was an option. That being said, I don’t know that I can completely fault these girls for exploring that option. I say that because I don’t know their circumstances, I’m unfamiliar with their culture and as a whole network of blogs  will tell you, there are difficulties associated with being tall.

 

But life is full of difficulties. (Yep, I flipped back again.) So I guess my question is this: because you know you can give yourself a potentially better life- more chances at love, easier clothing options, among others- do you? If there were drugs available to make short people grow taller, they would take them, wouldn’t they? Or would they make the most of the cards they had been dealt?

Writing this post, I realize how biased I am. I would not have asked for drugs or considered surgery. Because at the end of the day, I was also the other girl in the trailer. No, I don’t have an illustrious modelling career to show for it- I never pursued it, but I was often on the receiving end of the, “Excuse me, are you a model? You’re so tall,” question. And of course it gave me confidence. It made me feel like tall was beautiful and something that was valued… But not by boys. Boys were elusive and made themselves scarce at dances. I would call this the sad foreshadowing and indicator of the low birth rate for tall women.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to view screening of this movie. Until I do, here’s a quote from the movie.

“When you’re taking your child to the endocrinologist every year and having them undergo testing and constant measurements and looking at their growth chart, how do they get the message that they’re ok?”

 

 

High Notes: Where Tall Ladies Exist in Song

We are muses. Here’s proof:

1. She’s So High, Tal Bachman: She’s so hiiiiiiiii-iiiiiigh, high above me; she’s so lovely. [Yeah we are!]

He is holding it up to us to make sure we hear it. See?

2. Long Tall Sally, The Beatles, Little Richard. No lyrical support required.

3. Build Me a Woman, The Doors: Build me a woman, make her ten feet tall. [Ok, so I’m not quite there. Close though. PS, the rest of the lyrics are pretty interesting.]

4. Long Cool Woman in a Tall Black Dress, The Hollies: A pair of 45’s made me open my eyes/ My temperature started to rise/ She was a long cool woman in a black dress/ Just a 5-9 beautiful tall/ With just one look I was a bad mess/ ‘Cause that long cool woman had it all. [5’9″? Ok, I’ll call it the start of the tall woman spectrum.]

5. And this blog’s namesake, which I adapted: Who’s That Lady, The Isley Brothers: Who’s that lady?/ Who’s that lady?/ Beautiful lady/ Who’s that lady?/ Lovely lady/ Who’s that lady?/ Real fine lady/ Who’s that lady?… And I must confess, it was in a Swiffer ad. Got me thinking.

My Tall Lady Wedding Dress Experience


It has been several years since I have experienced the excitement of wedding dress shopping. And that it was exciting- like all brides, I bought a plethora of magazines, scoured the internet and visited multiple bridal boutiques in hopes of finding “the one”. To this day, I love to leaf through a magazine and see the wedding dress trends of today and consider- if I were to get married today instead of over 5 years ago, would my dress be much different?

Nope. I loved it. Why? I got it made for me.

I find that I am sometimes able to get by shopping in select regular stores that have longer measurements for pants and sleeve lengths. And I’m sure tall ladies everywhere shared a collective sense of joy when loooong tops and tunics became (and have stayed, so far) a fashion staple. But wedding dresses- sure you can take down the hem, but what about the waistline?  Yes, tall women are long-legged in most cases, but a lot of the proportion and height comes from having a long torso.

I found that when I tried on wedding dresses, the bodice never hit in quite the right spot and looked AWKWARD. Having grown into my height some time ago and being quite proud of it, the last thing I want to feel on my wedding day is that awkward feeling I experienced in my teens. My mum’s friend had recommended a local Vancouver designer and after trying on several awkward dresses, we thought it would be worth it to pay him a visit and get an estimate.

So, isn’t it expensive?

Of course it can depend where your budget is in the first place. Personally, I have accepted that a product of being tall is shelling out a little bit for my clothes to fit properly, and it is so worth it when everything hits in the right place. In my experience, the cost of having the dress made in a design that I loved and would fit me to a tall “T” was actually quite reasonable-  and in quite a few cases (depending on the designers you are looking at),  less than what I would have paid for a dress from a boutique.

If you’re a tall gal in Vancouver, here is the website of the designer who created my dress. http://manuelmendoza.com/index.php?/gallery/real-brides/2/. On my wedding day, I felt comfortable, beautiful and confident and that feeling should be a given and not something you have to even consider on that day, of all days. If you are located in other areas of this fine continent, I recommend you grab a few pictures of your favourite dresses from magazines and consult with a local designer to see what magic they can conjure up for you in the form of stunning white (off-white, pearl, ivory, etc…) gown.

We’re Tall, and We Blog!

As one of my twitter followers said to me a few weeks ago, “We are tall legion.” In the blogosphere, it looks to be true. We clearly have a lot to share!

It’s funny. When I first had the idea for this blog, I think I did a quick Google search of exactly what I wanted to name my blog. Eager to start, I quickly scanned the search results, and thought, “Nice! There isn’t a blog called ‘Who’s That Tall Lady’.” I may have also naively thought that there weren’t any interesting tall woman blogs out there.

It’s OK and sometimes great to be wrong

It occurred to me to try again. I did a couple different searches one day and had more success finding some fellow glamazons. Over the last few months, I realized how important it is to connect and support like-minded and like-heighted individuals in the blogosphere. Having found some other tall girl blogs that I like, I love the camaraderie and inspiration they seem to glean from one another. I would like to share some of these blogs with you because I have enjoyed reading and learning from them. Without further adieu:

A Short List  of Other Tall Lady Blogs

The Junoesque – http://thejunoesque.com Did you know that “junoesque” means (of a woman) imposingly tall and shapely? I did not and I LOVE that! This is a great blog which seems to have started out sharing experiences and has since evolved. Love!

Tall Snob http://www.tallsnob.com ALL CLOTHES AND FASHION! So awesome.

Height Goddess http://blog.heightgoddess.com Also focuses on fashion and style for the vertically enhanced lady. How much do you love the name?

Arianna’s Random Thoughtshttp://ariannasrandomthoughts.com Not a blog specifically about tall women, but she IS a tall lady! Her blog is interesting, informative and positive.

I’m sure there are more out there!

If you know of others worthy of note, I’d love to know.

Is there a tall lady “nod?”

It’s like when drivers of the same car make flash their lights at one another on the road. A friend of mine used to have a Mini Cooper and once mentioned that she had participated in a reciprocal wave or headlight-flash of sorts with other Mini Cooper drivers. Respect. In the last few months, I have had a series of interactions with remarkably tall ladies and each one has been quite different and leaves me to wonder whether we need to decide if we are going to talk about the giraffe in the room and get that, “Yep, we’re both tall,” conversation out of the way. I am going to share these situations and welcome further opinion or insight.

THE STARBUCKS LINE UP: I found myself behind a lady wearing the same height heels and I am pretty sure, was the same height as me. Do we acknowledge?
NO. I am pretty confident on this one. Unless the line is extraordinarily long or there’s some other reason to chat, it doesn’t need to happen. Sometimes, it’s about as relevant as having the same color shoes. Coooooool……

IN A CLASSROOM: I took a course a few months back and one of my peers was arguably as tall as me, if not taller. Throughout the five days of class, there were a few moments where she shared a moment about the way her coworkers mocked her because of her height. I found myself longing, neigh- feeling entitled to a shout out. A simple, “Yvonne, you must get that sometimes,” or the opportunity for a knowing eyeroll exchange and smile. Didn’t happen. Seriously? Fine.

DRUNK AT THE BAR: This one is pretty obvious. You don’t have to think about this one for too long to figure out how this conversation goes:
On a crowded dance floor
Me: Heeeeeeyyyyyyy! Are you taller than me? I think you might be taller than me!
Tall girl: Hey noooooo! I think YOU’RE taller than meeeeeees!
Me: Really?!?! Noooo!? I can never tell if someone is taller or the same, when we’re all so TALL!
Tall girl: Yay being tall! [turns to her friend] This is my new friend! Look how tall she is!
Friend: Wow, you ARE both tall!

And so on. Fun is had by all. (Except for the men who don’t dig being surrounded by tall glamazons…That’s another post entirely.)

AT THE AIRLINE COUNTER: This was an experience I appreciated. A fellow tall lady was looking out for me. And I didn’t notice her at first- she was like a ninja, appearing from beyond the baggage belt. I was about to leave the counter and suddenly she was right behind med when I turned around. She handed me a piece of paper. “When you have a chance, have a look at this. It’s a clothing website for tall women.” I thanked her and appreciatively took the paper and looked at it: longtallsally.com. It’s an American based site and although I truthfully haven’t spent a lot of time on the site, the gesture was not lost on me.

In review of my experiences, it has not gone over my head that the desire to be acknowledged for our proud affliction (if you see it that way) is out there. By myself, and by others, even if they don’t want to throw me a bone. Maybe I’ll even start telling them about my li’l blog.