Growing Up Tall

Growing Up Tall

The weather is fine up here, thank for asking.

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I am a 21-year-old female, and I am around 6'2". Yep, I said 6'2", and no, I don't play professional basketball. I have always been tall. I remember around the 4th grade I towered over everyone that I knew and was always mistaken for being older than I was. This created an interesting situation as I developed as an adult. It is something that was on my mind a lot when I was younger, today I barely even think about it unless it comes up in a conversation. Here are a couple of things that have come up because I have been tall.

1. You feel like you don't fit in.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure everyone feels like they don't quite fit into society. We all have out-personalities and differences but when you are tall, the world will remind you of this daily. Car backseats, good luck. Washing dishes? Either squat a bit or be prepared for back pain. It's hard to nap on a couch, fit into a standard desk because my knees hit the top. You literally do not fit in certain things. And when you are growing up, seeing that you will not fit in takes a toll on your mental health.

2. You will hate shopping. 

If you look into my closet at the moment, you might notice the overwhelming level of t-shirts or male long sleeve shirts. The main reason for that is that my torso is very long, and they fit. Cute clothing usually isn't long enough or too expensive for a college budget. It's the dilemma of "why does nothing fit me quite right". I have probably hundreds of pictures of my younger self in jeans that were about three inches too short. It is one of those things that you need to accept, because clothing companies may have a plus size section, but finding jeans long enough is very rare.

3. The jokes and strangers.

How's the weather up there? You must be great at (insert sport here). Etc.. I have heard these time and time again, mainly while I was younger. Depending on the day, you might hear a polite laugh or you might get a dead pan face. For strangers around me, you don't need to come up to me and tell me I'm tall. I've been cornered at the grocery store, to be told by a people that I'm tall. Or get the question of, "Where are you from?". Probably the funniest one, I was grabbing apples from that bin-shelf-thing, and this old women looked at me, leaned over to her (what I'm assuming her granddaughter) and said "That's what the Danish look like." All while staring at me like I am going to jump at them. I had to move to the next section to laugh.

Overall it has been something that has made me who I am. I used to hate it but now it is who I am. If any of you out there struggle with all of the issues that come with this, please know that it does get better. Hopefully one day we will not have to search far and wide for jeans that are long enough. Thank you for reading.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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Poetry On Odyssey: Summer

However I choose to spend my time, I will know that I made this summer season mine.

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Summer

Oh how I have missed this time of year.

My favorite season, it is finally here!


The time for laying on the beach with my toes in the sand.

Or going in a boat away from land.


Feel the sun shine down on me,

Or sitting in the shade under neighbor's tree.


Going with my mom and taking a hike,

Or going for a ride on my bike.


However I choose to spend my time,

I will know that I made this summer season mine.


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