Most moms tell their kids to stand up straight, and mine was no exception. But no matter how often she begged me to fix my posture, I kept slumping my shoulders and crouching low in chairs at school.
It wasn’t that I wanted to disobey my mom, it was just that I wanted to do anything to hide the fact that I was 5’9” by age 12—a height that literally put me head and shoulders above most girls and boys in middle school.
I kept comparing myself to the other girls my age, but they all looked petite and cute while I felt like a giant monster. How would any guy be attracted to me when I towered over him? What made matters worse was that I wasn’t athletic at all, so I couldn’t even use my height to be the star of the basketball or volleyball team. But besides slouching, there wasn’t much I could do to be smaller. I got used to bending my knees to fit into group photos, wearing flats instead of heels, and special-ordering pants that could actually make it all the way down to my feet. Going to the mall with the girls? No luck there for me.
I still remember the worst moment. I’d gone to see a ballet with a good friend. About 10 minutes into it, the guy behind me tapped me on my shoulder and asked if I could sit down lower in my seat so that he could see over my head. I have never been so embarrassed! I spent the rest of the show trying to be as small as I could—and feeling super self-conscious.
But then, when I went off to college, something crazy happened. My friends started talking about my height—not as a feature I should be embarrassed of, but as something they all were jealous about! And guys would constantly compliment me on how tall I was.
I started looking at myself a little differently in the mirror—if everyone else saw my elongated body as beautiful, why didn’t I? From that moment on, I decided to embrace it.
That’s why today, you can usually see me wearing kick-butt 3-inch heels, with my shoulders thrown back proudly. Sure I still bend my knees sometimes to fit into group photos (nobody likes their head to be cut off!), but my mom never has to remind me to stand straighter.
Are you a tall girl, or do you wish you could grow a few inches? Tell us in the comments!