Learning to Love Being Tall in a World of the 5'2'' Woman

Recently, Her Campus Utah has been hosting many discussions about how to promote and celebrate body positivity. In these discussions, I’ve begun to reflect and realize some of my own difficulties with body positivity, but despite the challenges, it is still important to learn how to love the body you’re living in.

I have always struggled to accept my height. From when I was growing up to some of my experiences in the professional world, I have often felt out of place because I stand above my peers, colleagues, and, sometimes, my bosses. Now, although I may not always be the tallest person in the room (I am only 5’11”), my journey to practicing body positivity and self-love has been a bit tumultuous.

In high school, yes, I played volleyball. I was told my height gave me an advantage, but even in sports, I was just as uncoordinated and unaggressive as I am in everyday life. For me, playing volleyball was more of an outlet to get some physical activity, spend time with friends, and gain a sense of community— rather than trying to be the best volleyball player or win the most games. But even with my friends, I was “the tall one,” and I was frequently taller than my teachers.

Near the end of high school, my self-esteem did start to improve, but some of my newfound confidences were marred by the anxieties of beginning college life. One moment that I’ve recently been thinking about is when I met one of my roommates over the summer before freshman year. We didn’t know each other, but we had selected each other as roommates, and we had texted/talked to ensure that we could tolerate living with each other (spoiler alert: no we could not!). I went in to the airport to pick her up and say hi, and one of the first things she said to me was, “Oh, you’re tall. I was hoping I wouldn’t end up with a tall roommate.” Now, as John Mulaney might say, “We don’t have time to unpack all of that,” but I was shocked by this initial statement and forthright criticism of this arbitrary trait I cannot control.

Although there have been many other causes that have made it difficult for me to accept my height, I have also grown to love being tall. My first semester, I joined a sorority, and having a new group of sisters that loved and supported me unconditionally was a huge boost in my confidence. My journey to body positivity has also been fueled by practicing yoga and meditating on a more regular basis. 

I can now say, honestly, that I love being tall. I can wear heels for fun, I usually have a pretty good view at concerts (sorry not sorry), and I’m often perceived to be older/more mature and responsible. There are still some days where I feel like it would be easier or simpler to have a more average height, but then I wouldn’t be myself.

​While it may be difficult to find pants that are the right length and I’m still taller than most of my friends, I am glad that I have begun to learn to embrace standing tall.

Photo Credit: 1, 2