Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The plight of the tall girl

I'm 5'9''. Well, technically 5 feet, 9 and a half inches.

I can only blame myself for this. When I was 10, I was one of the shorter girls in my class, and I wished really, really hard that I would be on the taller end. By 13, I was 5'8". Be careful what you wish for.

(And, to make things worse, I grew an inch college. Weird, right?)

I love being tall for some reasons, and I loathe it for others.

Here are my big reasons to dislike being tall:
1. For some reason, most of my friends are short. Like around 5'2". So I'm that awkward girl crouching in photos, or standing with terrible posture so I look less freakish. Plus, it's really hard to hear you all the way down there!
2. The average man is shorter than me. But how often do you see tall men with taller women? You don't. For some reason, men over six feet tall tend to prefer petite women. Can I tell you how many men who are at least two inches shorter than me have hit on me? I've lost count. Luckily, this isn't a problem anymore. Tyler is exactly my height (or so we tell people).
3. People are always asking me to get things off high shelves or turn on fans. Dang, can't a girl just be lazy and unhelpful?
4. Finally, and most importantly, buying clothes is effing hard.

For instance, take this lovely lacy number from Forever 21.

Here it is on the model:

And here's what it looks like on me.

Also impossible to buy clothes for? My abnormally long arms.

Here's a pretty J. Crew blouse on a model.

And on me... (please forgive my extremely rudimentary photoshop skills... not quitting my day job to do retouching any time soon)

Ooh, looks like J. Crew also has some super chic plaid pants...

But on me?

Point made? I think so. (I was also going to do a pictorial comparing me in heels to Andre the Giant, but decided that wasn't entirely flattering).

I've lost track of the number of times I've ordered a super adorable dress online, only for it to arrive about 3 inches shorter than is considered appropriate in normal society. Or how many times I've had to go up a size in a shirt to get long enough sleeves or bought size 12 pants to get long enough pant legs (thanks, H&M, for that confidence-boosting experience).

Many stores, J. Crew included, make tall sizes, but at the same time, most do not carry the tall sizes in stores, forcing me to order online. And often, these tall sizes aren't just made for long legs - they also are made for people with longer torsos, resulting in many a pair of inadvertently high-rise pants. Very cool.

Buying to fit a lankier body is hard. Tailoring is my friend. But just once, I'd like to not have to consider shopping from a catalogue called "Long and Tall Sally." I'd like to not dig through the giant stack of pants at Gap hoping to find a 6T. I'd like to avoid comparisons to gorilla arms. I just want to buy regular clothes at a regular store! Is that so much to ask?

But. like I said earlier, be careful what you wish for.

I love being tall because I can reach things on really high shelves. I like to imagine myself as long and lean (working on that second part). I can stick out in a crowd. I don't have to stand in the front row at a concert to see the band.

At the end of the day, I'd much rather be tall than short. Tall women can be called Amazonesque. Short women can be called squat. Tall women can be supermodels. Short women can be hand models. Tall women burn more calories just existing. (enough jabs at my shorties! You know I love you all. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes... for realz.)

Let's just say I love myself just the way I am. Short pants and all.


  1. i hear ya sister. I'm 5'8, so my problem isn't quite as bad as yours. I have had tremendous luck buying my t-shirts and blouses from Gap's tall section. They have a great assortment, and they are all super long!!!

  2. Hysterical photo examples!

    My husband is 6'5" and it's amazing how it's equally hard to find tall clothing for him. Stores don't usually go past 34" inseam for men. I buy all his clothes online.

    I remember when I was a personally shopper how darn hard it was to find tall clothing. Funny how the cheaper brands are more likely to have in stores versus higher end brands. 5'9" isn't unusual, it should be a given like petite brands.