True Story: I’m Really, Really Tall

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things. This is Kim’s story – she’s 6’1″!Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Ottawa, moved a few times, but always came back to the same house I was born into. I recently turned 29 and can’t wait to make it to my 30’s because I’m sure my 30’s are going to be awesome.I am a mother of 4 children aged 7 and under. During the day I stay home with my kids and also run a home daycare. During the school year, I still go into my job working in a hospital pharmacy as a technician, usually once a week. I volunteer with our local basketball association (yes, I can hear the stereotyping over the computer monitor already), I run the referee program, and I also run a spring league for youth players. In my spare time, I decided to attempt to achieve my BSc at university…it will be a long and difficult road for that one though.

Basically I spend my days and weekends running all over the city to various activities for my kids, and the evenings running around for my classes. P.s. I married an amazing man who puts up with all my craziness and is very involved in all our activities, otherwise I would be insane.

When did you begin to notice that you were taller than other people?
Honestly, I don’t think I realized how much taller than people I was until high school. I was always on the tall side, but not the tallest in the class until about grade 10. But even now I’m sometimes shocked at how short other people are compared to me.

How did you feel about your height growing up? Are your siblings and parents tall?
I’m probably a rare case, but I was never self conscious about my height. In fact, I loved it and wanted to be taller, probably because I’m the shortest member of the family besides my mom. When I’m at home, I feel tiny. I have 3 brothers, 6’5″, 6’7″ and 6’8″, my father is 6’6″ and mom is 6’0″.

Tell us about shopping for clothes. Is it hard to find pants that fit? Where do you shop?
Aha. You got me. Shopping for clothes is the bane of my existence. Try finding a pair of pants with a 36″ inseam that doesn’t cost at least $100. Buying cheap…or rather, affordable clothing is not an option.

Summer clothes aren’t as bad because they’re meant to look short, you just have to be careful not to go too short or you end up looking like a prostitute showing off her goods to the neighborhood. Long sleeved shirts are always about an inch and a half too short. The body tends to be just a little on the short side too, so if you stretch or move, your tummy pops out the bottom (lovely sight after having 4 kids I tell ya). Buying clothes is truly the one time I feel like a giant.

We are starting to have more options now, but again, they’re usually a little more on the expensive side. In Canada we can shop at Tall Girl, which is dedicated to carrying only tall clothing. The downside of shopping there? Forget trying to get anything stylish or fashionable. Honestly half the time I’m there, I feel like I’m looking at clothes for my grandmother.

There are more places online now that we can buy, but I hate buying clothes without trying them on first. A lot of “regular” stores are carrying long pants, but their version of long still isn’t quite long enough for me most of the time, they’re aiming for the tall 5’10” girls, not even close for me. It’s a hit and miss system, if they claim they have long, I still go and try…just in case.

Did your height affect your dating life at all?
I dated a guy who was shorter than me once. I gotta say it did bother me a bit, and I never did it again. Only 6’2″ or taller please…but preferably taller. Since my brothers are all giants, and most of their friends were also taller than me, I just knew that tall guys would always be an option.

I know girls who dated shorter guys because they just figure that they won’t ever meet a guy who is taller than them. The thing about being a tall girl, (at least for me anyway) is it’s nice to feel small sometimes, it’s nice to be able to put on a pair of 3″ heels and walk around like you really needed those extra inches.

I’m pretty sure that men are intimidated by my height. Most of the ones close to my height feel the need to stand right beside me and measure up, which I find entertaining.

What are some of the most common comments that you get about your height?
“My God you’re tall!” …Really? Gee thanks for telling me, I had never noticed…by the way could you tie my shoes while you’re down there?
“You must play basketball” …I really wish I could answer no to that because every tall person in the world is asked that, but yes I do and I love it.
“You would be great at (enter sport here)” ….NO, I would not. Just because I’m tall doesn’t mean I’m coordinated enough to play volleyball, or soccer, or whatever. Basketball is the only sport I’m good at.
“You have got the longest legs I’ve ever seen” … sorta goes with the whole being tall thing. Thank you Captain Obvious!
“How’s the weather up there?” …Seriously? Dude, what are you from the 40’s?
“Did you really have to wear heels?” …Yes. I did. I may be tall, but I’m also a girl and heels are fun.
“I would KILL to have some of your height” …Okay, I like that comment…a lot.

What are the benefits of being so tall? The drawbacks?
Benefits? There are SO many! When you’re in a crowded place you can look over the top of everyone else and find who you’re looking for. In my case there’s usually another bunch of heads above the crowd I’m looking for! Everyone notices when a tall girl walks into a room…which I guess could also be a drawback. It takes me half the time and half the energy to walk places than my short friends! I can reach things that most people need step ladders to get to. It’s very easy to describe myself to people that I’m meeting for the very first time, I let them find me. Everyone is always talking about what they can do to elongate their legs, I’m already there, no work needed. I just love being tall.

Drawbacks: Buying clothes is difficult. Everyone knows who I am, which is sometimes a benefit, but makes me feel like a jerk because I don’t always know who they are. Airplanes in coach class are NOT the most comfortable rides, especially if the person in front of you decides to be sleeping the entire trip. Although for me I’m lucky that I’m skinny and flexible so it’s not as bad to squeeze into smaller places. Why are toilets so close to the ground? I’m pretty sure people hang things from the ceiling just because they’d like to see us hit our heads on them. You have to put up with stupid people making obvious comments about the fact that you are so tall. Being tall makes you feel lanky, clumsy and awkward a lot of the time.

What advice would you give to someone who’s unhappily tall?
Why be unhappy about being tall? There are so many other things to be unhappy about. Tall isn’t something you can change about yourself so accept it and live life like you’re short! There’s always someone taller than you, unless you’re the tallest person in the world, then I’m sorry, there isn’t. Don’t ask yourself why you’re so tall, ask why is the rest of the world so short?

Are any of you particularly tall? How do you feel about your height? Any questions for Kim?

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  1. Mia

    Never expected to read something like this here, it is my biggest problem.
    I'm 6 inches tall, way taller than the average Spanish, and hate it.
    I've never dated a tall guy, they were always same size or shorter than me. And honestly it's already difficult enough to find the man of my dreams, being tall makes it impossible.
    I also love heels, but I hate basketball so much (just because I was always pushed to like it)
    And photos with other people are embarrassing, I'm like a mother with children, or an elf with hobbits…
    Love your blog!

  2. Alli

    I think this was a great post. I've never heard about height from a girl's perspective (I think it'd be more difficult than a guy). My man and his brothers are tall. My guy is 6'6 and his older brother is 6'8. Even I get asked now about whether he plays basketball, experiences different weather, or plays _____ sport. I feel bad that people keep asking them such questions! I bet there are problems with movie theater seats and cars with her too. Things just aren't made for tall people!

  3. V. Furnas

    I love this story! I am 6 feet 2 inches, a virtual giant.

  4. Bex

    I'm 6'1", too! Tall ladies FTW.

  5. Athena

    Wow that's tall! I wouldn't mind borrowing a few inches, I'm only 5ft3! Don't sit in front of me in the cinema :p really a big downside of being small, everyone blocks your view. So another pluspoint for you!

  6. Courtney

    My mom is about six foot (also with a 36" inseam). I'm only 5'7"- my 6'5" brother got all the height. She also has trouble finding clothes, but it's been getting better in recent years. (I remember her telling me she was traumatized in junior high because she was just as tall then and had to wear boy's jeans.)

    I know my mom loves Gap's jeans, particularly their "long and lean" style- they're even long enough on her for her to wear a low heel!

  7. caffeinerd

    I'm 5'10", but my mom and sister are (respectively) 6'2" and 6'1". I think all of us are pretty used to shopping for tall clothing. When episodes of "What Not to Wear" come on with taller ladies bemoaning how there are no clothes for them we find it a bit ridiculous. Retailers (who can be perfectly affordable with the bazillions of deals they put out there) like Gap, Banana Republic, JCPenney (my mom's fave), JCrew, Ann Taylor Loft sell tall sizes in pants and shirts. It might take a little extra effort, but I don't think any of us find it too challenging anymore (and my sister's in fashion design, so she cares about fit!).

    I'm marrying a 6'4" man, which is a nice happy ending to the TALL GIRL story haha. 🙂 But all of the ladies in my family have dated shorter guys. None of them have seemed to have a big problem with it.

  8. Kate

    Great story!

    My brother is 6'7 and the most common comments you listed crack me up because people are always telling me that my brother is very tall – as if I can't see him or something.

    Also, I heard that Victoria Secret has long pants that go on sale sometimes for like $40.

  9. Kayla

    I am in Ottawa too! This was an interesting read because I used to have a friend in high school that was also that tall and went through many of the same problems.

  10. Elizabeth

    I'm 6'2" and I used to hate it when people (particularly coaches and random strangers) would constantly try to persuade me to play basketball or volleyball. It made me feel useless since I was awful at both! Now that I'm out of school, that doesn't happen so much anymore, but strangers still do feel at liberty to comment about my height.

    I'm also a 36" inseam, and ordering tall sizes from the Gap's online store has worked beautifully for me!

  11. Ulterior Banana

    while being tall is great for projecting authority, being short is great for getting people to feel bad for you and do what you want. it's a more discreet manipulation. we short people are deviant : )

  12. A

    I used to think I was a solid 5'11", but it has recently come to my attention that that may no longer be the case (and I should seriously be done growing — I'm 21!). I can't imagine being anything but tall; I've come to appreciate it. "Lanky, clumsy, and awkward a lot of the time" is particularly adroit, though. I find most people's reactions to my height funny — I can't tell you the number of times people have leaned over the counter while I'm at work, looked at the floor, and went "Oh, you really ARE that tall, I thought the floor was raised!" But then again, there are the assholes who decide that such comments as "Well at least you don't look like you have a hormonal growth issue" or "Your height is intimidating" are appropriate comments. Why thanks, stumpies.

  13. Steff

    Yay for tall people! I'm 6 foot and after reading that, i felt like I wrote it! All except the playing basketball part, I'm WAY to clumsy for that.

    Just last month I found the first t-shirt EVER to fit me perfectly, and I bought 10 of them in different colors because it's so rare to find ones that fit without being to wide for my skinny body! My torso is just way too long.


  14. wonderin211

    my favorite response to the basketball question (which is even more amusing when asked in mime by people who don't speak the same language, btw) is "do you play miniature golf?" i have yet to use it because apparently it's okay for people to point out that i'm tall but not for me to point out that they're short. but i think it every time, and it cracks me up.

  15. iris

    I laughed at the "I'm Really, Really Tall." Does 6'1" really qualify for two 'reallys'? I mean, a 6'4" woman, sure, but at 5'10" I certainly don't find 6'1" to be that crazy.

    But then again, I'm tall, so my idea of "freakishly tall" is a bit skewed.

    Try Lands' End Aubrey or slim leg pants…custom-length inseams!

  16. meliasaurus

    I'm 5'9 and I'm finally starting to REALLY appreciate my height. I even bought a pair of heels this christmas (although the weather is too horrible to wear them).
    One advantage is that I appear extra thin.

    Its funny because I just got a job as an exercise instructor and all the girls are on the tall side one girl is 5'11 (no i'm sorry we're not quite that tall). I think that we get used to being the odd one out and have to be confident in a group. Maybe

  17. Veronika

    i'm 5'10 and i absolutely love it. I wear heels to work every single day. People comment on my height but I don't mind at all. It was a little easier for me to embrace my height because I modeled as a teen, and in that industry it was so essential to have that height and it was praised.

  18. Little Tree Vintage

    i think you should also do a blog post on i'm really really short, cause that's me 4'9", can't imagine ever being tall :

  19. Hannah

    Man I wish I was taller. I'm around tall guys all the time. Boyfriend is 6'3" and his roommates are 6'4" and 6'5" respectively. When I put on 5" wedges I feel so beautiful and strong and I wish I could have that same wonderful feeling (not that I don't like my height) all the time!

  20. Sarah Von Bargen

    Little Tree Vintage – I do! I've got an interviewed all queued up for 'True Story: I'm Tiny" 😉

  21. Emily

    I'm 6 foot tall college student–and I love being tall. And as for guys, my boyfriend is 5'8 and we think it's hilarious. I mean, I couldn't let four inches keep me from dating an incredible guy. What can I say, he's the Tom Cruise to my Katie Holmes–minus Oprah's couch. I've always figured that if height was our biggest issue, then we are doing pretty okay.

    • Anonymous

      Amen sister. Fully agree.

  22. Sarah Von Bargen

    Emily, I think that's an awesome perspective 🙂

  23. Anmoxil

    I wish I could be taller. Someone, in the comments, wrote that short people should also write a blog for being short.

    Good idea, I might think about it.

  24. Morag Lee

    I love this. Not so much the tallness in itself but more the positive attitude she has towards it 🙂 x

  25. nova

    I used to date a really tall guy, he was 6'7 and yeah…we couldn't go anywhere without people asking him how tall he was. Like…anywhere.

    It's funny how we have this weird stock-phrase-joke-book ingrained in us. If you see someone walking a bulldog you have to ask "Who's walking who?", if you walk past a tattoo shop you have to joke about getting someone's face tattooed on your butt or face, if you see someone resting while at work you ask if they're "working hard or hardly working" and if you see a taller than average person you have to say "How's the weather up there?"

  26. Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous

    I'm 6 feet and 1/2 inch, and I'll admit to feeling a little jealous when I see girls who are taller than me – that's MY thing! Coming from an all-tall family, I find it a little funny when girls who are 5'7" to 5'10" or so say that they're tall, because compared to all the women I'm related to, they're not. However, since the average height for a woman is around 5'5", I suppose those upper 5' women can be tall, too. 😉

  27. Esti

    Hear hear! I'm six feet tall, and while I find heels just make me feel awkward and I get tired of being asked out by short guys, I generally love my height. It always baffles me that other people don't constantly notice everyone else's height, though… it's the first thing I see.

    I have almost totally given up on wearing pants, because yeah… 36 inch inseam and not a size 2 is just too expensive and annoying to find. Skirts and dresses suit my style, though, and I've never really regretted it. The only thing I really want to change about the world is the height of kitchen counters… I get a sore back from cooking!

    Thanks for sharing : )

  28. myedit

    I'm 5'11. I love being tall. I love wearing the highest heels. I love scanning the room really quick from my vantage point. I don't love letting you down when you ask if I play basketball and I say no. My skills lie in other areas.
    It makes me sad when I see a tall girl hunching over. Sit up straight lady! Appreciate that a tall girl down the nose glance is 58% more effective then that of a shawty. Embrace the height!

  29. Allie

    I'm tall. Well, I'm 5'10", so I'm not especially tall, but enough so that I'm awkwardly noticed.

    The only things that really bother me are:

    1. Bigger feet. It's hard to find nice shoes when you have a size 10+. Apparently it's pretty common, because every time I find a store that sells nice shoes they're sold out, so some one needs to get on that, you'll make a lot of cash.

    And when people say things like "OMG, your feet are huge!" (I'm an 11. T-T) it's awful. I just point out that if I had tiny feet on a tall body I wouldn't be able to balance and I would look weird and they just go "Ooh! That makes sense!"


    2. Small, petite girls. They're tiny, they're cute, they're feminine concentrate. When you're tall you feel like a man. You feel like you can never be beautiful. I especially feel for gals who aren't balanced. 🙁

    However, the best things about being tall are that when you walk, you strut. Even if you aren't confident you look it if you put your head up and square your shoulders. EVERYONE notices you. Plus, I'm mulatto, so I guess that makes me exotic. LOL!

  30. CMVL

    I'm 6'5". I rarely meet people taller than me, when I do they make me flustered. I'm so used to being the tallest in the room I find myself blushing when I'm not.
    I get jeans/slacks at Vanity (they carry 37" inseam jeans, very reasonably priced!)
    I had to buy a men's bicycle with a 21 1/2 inch frame or else suffer the consequences of poor ergodynamics. So it's not cute, but won't destroy my back or cause me to build weird muscles in my legs.
    I have a hard time fitting in foreign built cars (my fiance- who is 6' drives a toyota, it's not the comfiest ride), I drive a Ford.
    I was a rower in college, and a bowler in highschool, and now I'm a hiker and biker. I specifically stayed away from basketball (originally due to poor eyesight) but mostly because everyone expected me to play, and I tend to veer from the expected.
    Now I'm a park ranger at the Grand Canyon. I give educational programs to crowds of people and everyone can make eye contact with me, which is nice.
    I am currently shopping for a wedding dress. At least they won't drag on the ground, but they weren't designed for the tall.
    I don't think I have ever dated anyone taller than me. The guys who were taller just sort of seemed to be jerks, and that never interested me. I'm much more into guys who are sweet and outdoorsy, luckily I found one I love! Thank you kismet!
    I love being tall, I just wish more people were tall so that we could start having purchasing power and get cuter shoes!

  31. Anonymous

    i am 6ft 2inches and i cant imagine my self in heels i think it makes me look to tall and i am having a hard time finding jeans can some one my height help me out i live in NY
    Ps: i am not skinny

  32. Zinia

    Hi, I love this interview. I am 6,2 feet tall. I feel good with my height and confident. But sometimes I feel awkward , especially in the church, that's why I don't go there 😉
    As a young girl i was paranoid about my height. Mostly because people were talking about it so much!
    I had been admired and sometimes teased by school kids, but also "noticed" by strangers. I never knew if it was because of my height or because of my good looks.
    I was so insecure and ashamed of having a feature that stands out. If only I was 2 inches smaller I would be just perfect..I was dreaming.
    I suppose for people that have no other worries, like me, height was the worst nightmare at teenage years. And it became more important than it really is.

    I recommend 2 books: "Normal at any cost" by Susan Cohen. Its about girls and boys that were treated by hormones to stop or speed growing. very interesting reed. But what is really amazing, that nowadays there is no such need for treatments like that.
    Another book about tall girls "The Tall Book" by Arianne Cohen (6,3 feet :).

    Have a happy TALL life!

  33. Anonymous

    I am an African lady and very tall and so proud of been tall, but some times people are so annoying they keep telling you oh my Gosh you tall and you should be a model and you shouldn't wear a heel. crayzness . Its God given every one should be happy with the way they are.

  34. Anonymous

    Its quite hard to find my size as I am also fit and tall.


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