I was taller than my first grade teacher - in the first grade. (Media credit/ Samantha Withers Photography)

I was taller than my first grade teacher – in the first grade. (Media credit/ Samantha Withers Photography)

I was taller than my first grade teacher – in the first grade.

One of the boys in my class asked if I was the teacher.

I was six.

Growing up as an über tall woman is a trial that very few experience. We are the gangly, uncoordinated kids who look like they should dominate in gym class, but are so self-conscious and awkward that we fumble or double-dribble or just collapse in a heap of limbs. We’re the ten-year-old girls whose legs are too long for regular length jeans, and have to shop in adult departments. We’re the kids who are seen as bullies, even if we’re shy and more interested in reading.

I topped out at 6’3” towards the end of the eighth grade. There was no traditional growth spurt in my case: I didn’t spurt up a foot in a single year. I started at an inch taller than my kindergarten classmates, and the gap simply grew.

The strangest thing about having a baby-face at that height is the bizarre attention you receive. I made a new friend in the beginning of seventh grade, and on our way to the mall I turned to her.

Growing up über-tall is a trial that very few experience. We are the gangly, uncoordinated kids who look like they should dominate In gym class, but are so self-conscious and awkward that we fumble or double-dribble or just collapse in a heap of limbs.

Growing up über-tall is a trial that very few experience. We are the gangly, uncoordinated kids who look like they should dominate In gym class, but are so self-conscious and awkward that we fumble or double-dribble or just collapse in a heap of limbs.

“So, um, a lot of people are going to talk to me.”

“Why?”

“…because I’m tall”.

“Hahaha… sure, right.”

She was astonished when she learned that I was right. Old ladies would ask me questions about my age and compliment my posture. Men would ask if I played basketball. Little kids would whisper, and I would feel the eyes of many follow me through the aisles of a store.

There is a strange, uncomfortable feeling of celebrity that accompanies being “different.” Why is it that the public feels compelled to touch, to ask, to invade?

The majority of men who flirt with me in non-romantic places (not a nightclub, for instance) ask one of two things: how tall I am or what my heritage is. Apparently, I'm good breeding stock. And that is possibly the grossest way to approach a woman.

The majority of men who flirt with me in non-romantic places (not a nightclub, for instance) ask one of two things: how tall I am or what my heritage is. Apparently, I’m good breeding stock. And that is possibly the grossest way to approach a woman.

My height was seen by most as an advantage, so there was no hesitation to interrupt my conversations or ask deeply personal questions – even though I was clearly a child.

Now that I am 26, I still get looks and whispers, but am less of an oddity. I’ve discovered that the people who would openly judge or comment on the appearance of an 11-year-old would not do the same to a tall woman at 26. And the few comments I do get are usually from other tall people who call me “shorty” as they pass, tossing me a knowing wink. We giants must stick together, after all.

Now that I’m an adult, I’m battling being a fetish. The majority of men who flirt with me in non-romantic places (not a nightclub, for instance) ask one of two things: how tall I am or what my heritage is. Apparently, I’m good breeding stock. And that is possibly the grossest way to approach a woman.

I was taller than my first grade teacher – in the first grade.

Only 0.4% of American women are above 5’11”.

I’ve got a few inches on them.

About The Author

Elle Millar is a marketing person who likes to write. She is also fond of music, artsy things, and general badassery.

21 Responses

  1. JessDarb

    People will go out of their way to single you out for being different. Rock your height, Elle. You’re amazing.

    Reply
  2. Amazon Taller Woman | New Smiling Experts

    […] My Story: The Amazon’s Lament – I’m taller than 99.6 percent of American women – One of the boys in my class asked if I was the teacher. I was six. Growing up as an über tall woman is a trial that very few experience. We are the gangly, uncoordinated kids who look like they should dominate in gym class, but are so self-conscious and … […]

    Reply
  3. Brandie

    Ik heb net als jij de winactie bij MeisjeHip gewonnen. Ik vind vooral de peeling verrassend lekker… vooral die penmeeuptgrur. Heerlijk. De douchegel vind ik ook wel lekker, hoewel die van mij iets sterker had mogen ruiken. De sheabutter vind ik eigenlijk een beetje te vet. En het duurt lang voordat het ingetrokken is, vind ik.

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    gostaria de saber se posso pagar a parte da herança que meus pais deixaram sem faser inventário, pois somos 6 irmaos e minha irmã quer a parte dela de qualquer jeito mas eu e meus irmaos nao temos dinheiro para pagar o inventário e é apenas uma casa de baixo valor mas nao queremos vender pois foi o único bem que meus pais deixaram e temos irmaos que precisam dela para morar me ajude estou desesperada pois minha irmã parece estar louca.

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  5. Hair

    gostaria de saber se posso pagar a parte da herança que meus pais deixaram sem faser inventário, pois somos 6 irmaos e minha irmã quer a parte dela de qualquer jeito mas eu e meus irmaos nao temos dinheiro para pagar o inventário e é apenas uma casa de baixo valor mas nao queremos vender pois foi o único bem que meus pais deixaram e temos irmaos que precisam dela para morar me ajude estou desesperada pois minha irmã parece estar louca..

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