Occupational Hazards of being Tall

Yes there are many great things about being tall. But there is a flipside; the not so great things. I wanted to write about those today. But I didn’t want to name my list “The Worst Things About Being Tall”; not only is it unoriginal, it’s way too negative. Instead, I will call these things the occupational hazards of being tall. These just come with the territory, no big deal. You just have to be careful not to let these minor annoyances affect the way you see yourself and the way God made you. So on to the list…

1. Health issues
First there is the joint and muscle pain. Sore necks and backs from having to bend down all day or sit in chairs that are too short for you. We’ve all had to deal with this. There are some tall people that have had to deal with growing pains.  I, on the other hand, seem to suffer from orthostatic hypotension, which I have found is quite common in tall people. Orthostatic hypotension is when your blood pressure drops suddenly when you stand up too quickly after sitting, causing you to get dizzy and lightheaded, sometimes even to faint. Thankfully, I’ve never fainted because that would be a disaster. Also, there was a study conducted that showed that tall women are more likely to develop cancer. But I would like to note that “tall” here is 5’9″. So to me this is a bunch of malarkey…

2. Stares
As I’ve gone over time and again, tall people, especially tall women are stared at a lot. Tall women are an anomaly; not normal so we are often the center of attention in public. It can be annoying and frustrating to constantly  be gawked at but it’s kinda like being a celebrity. No flash photography please…

Staring’s precocious little sister. There are times when people see me and work up their courage to say something to me about my height. Sometimes it’s nice. “You’re beautiful, you should be a model” And sometimes it’s just plain stupid “I don’t care if you are tall. I would dunk straight buckets on you in basketball!” *death stare*

4. Always hitting your head on stuff
Tree branches, door jambs, and etc. And always having to duck so you don’t get a concussion. This is an everyday occurrence for tall people like me. The world is just not made for tall people. It is a fact of life.

5. Finding clothes and shoes
Though there are a lot more options for tall women’s clothing nowadays, it still irks me how I can’t walk into a store and buy shoes and clothes. The worst part is when you see the most gorgeous shoes but you know you can never be together because they don’t come in your size.  I’ve just gotten used to buying everything online. The cost of shipping sucks though. On top of that, I am pear shaped, so it has been difficult finding jeans that are not only long enough but fit in my waist AND hips. Sigh. I just wear a belt and get on with my life.

6. Stretch Marks
Pregnant women aren’t the only ones to get stretch marks. Growing 7-8 inches in a matter of months really takes a toll on the body. The skin can’t keep up so it stretches hence the ugly markings on your hips, knees, thighs. I call them my tiger stripes. They are my badge of honor.

7. Being Different
Sometimes it is hard being different from everyone else. Being taller than 99% of women in America can be a little disconcerting sometimes. You feel like you don’t belong. You feel like you are just “too big” to do certain things. But I like to think of it as being unique. Because I am not like everyone else that is what makes me special. I’ve come to realize that being “normal” is way overrated.

8. Height Hounds
As we have discussed here on the blog before, there seems to a group of short men who are fascinated by tall women and never fail to let us know this. Sometimes it’s amusing, sometimes it’s creepy. Just another thing we have to deal with.

9. Not enough leg room
Planes, office desks, movie theaters, classrooms; I could go on and on. Over the years, I have perfected my folding technique so I fit into small places without too much discomfort. I have to stretch really good afterwards though…

10. Dating
Where are all the tall dudes at? Nuff Said.

I love my height and would not change it for the world. There may be some things I don’t like but I am not going to waste my time dwelling about the things I can’t change. Why not just laugh about it? Everyone goes through things that they don’t like. You are no different. It is how you handle those things that matters. So head up, shoulders back and own it!


3 responses to “Occupational Hazards of being Tall

  1. I think most women, no matter what their height, have some fit problem. But at least stores can get them close enough. I spend a lot of time having vintage clothing modified and I really should learn how to sew better and maybe make some of my own clothes.

    As you say there are steps you can take to make things a bit easier. A friend who is over 6’6 uses a raised cutting board in the kitchen so she isn’t constantly bending over when she’s making meals. She’s a chef, so that is a huge help for her.

    I fly a lot and was able to negotiate with my employer on getting legroom for flights over an hour. I get upgraded to business class if I can’t get an extended economy seat and this makes all the difference in the world. My doctor wrote a note on how unhealthy it is to sit with your knees locked for hours at a time…

    You can get shower extensions, which are a big help. Here in Denmark there are laws that say apartments much not cause the occupants pain, so you can get toilets and sinks raised. They don’t change doorways though.

    I don’t have a car and use my bikes everywhere. One is a back Dutch city bike with a big enough men’s frame. it is my everyday commute, but my fun bike for beautiful days has a custom made frame that fits perfectly.

    I’m over not having enough tall men. There are about a dozen things about a guy that are much more important to me and if height was the most important thing I would never find anyone who was right. It doesn’t bother me any more, although it did until I was about 23 or 24… Of course if someone is fascinated by my height, I’m completely uninterested…

    I’m certainly happy with it now!


  2. Pingback: 10 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self | The Junoesque·

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