That time I tried to use my height for something

I was chatting with one of my new flatmates recently and the inevitable question, the one thing everyone asks me, came up “have you ever thought about playing basketball?” There, right there, my height had interrupted my conversation like fingernails to the chalk board. Through no fault of her own, she had opened up an exasperated memory log of Q&As from curious strangers.

mesureFor those who don’t know, I’m tall. Like really tall. 5’11 (1.80m) tall. For guys that’s nothing. I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about statistics but I’d assume 5’11 for guys is about average. If not average, not too far from it. But for girls? Totally different. 5’5 is average and the thought of a girl being close to 6 feet makes them feel, what I can only imagine, like spectators at a zoo.

To be honest, I totally get it. Not only am I tall but I’m also really skinny. So people almost can’t help themselves to inquire for further information. My mother is about 5’5 and she is also very thin. My dad on the other hand is tall, about 6’1 or 6’2. Not so thin. So thanks to genetics, I got my dad’s height and my mom’s figure. Which makes me look a bit lanky really. Because of this, people always ask whether I tried a certain activity or thought about certain careers which my height would play as an advantage.

Do you play basketball?

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This one is the most common. Basketball is the epitome of being tall. Or being tall is the epitome of basketball. I don’t know but either way, tallness and basketball are one in the same in people’s mind. My dad, who is a sports fanatic, often strongly suggested I try my hand at this sport. He thought because I was tall I’d be good. So, in middle school, I tried it to see just how good my skills were. I SUCKED!!!!!! I can’t stress that enough. I was terrible. Couldn’t shoot, refused to run and wouldn’t tolerate people bumping into me on purpose. What my father failed to realize is that, height does not a good basketball player make.

In truth, I am just not athletic. Running up and down a court while at the same time trying to bring a ball along with you (that you can’t even carry or you’ll get called for carrying) did not agree with me. I got tired, aggravated and very quickly lost interest. So that was out. Sorry dad! “What a waste of height” is what I remember him saying. #fail

You would make a great model, have you ever thought about modeling?

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This is a close second. I’m not going to lie though, this one usually boosts my ego a bit. Anytime I’m asked this, I think that they must think I’m pretty. I mean, all models are pretty so this is obviously something that I should be. But no, I’m just tall and skinny and that is all people know models to be. So, in high school I gave this a go. I think what many people don’t realize is that modeling is hard work. I remember I had to have my pictures taken once and OMG! First you have to change so many times. Then you have to sit or stand in these poses until you’re numb while everyone watches you. Then you have to “speak with your eyes” or some bullshit the photographer tells you. Forcing you to make faces which he’ll only disagree with and bring in a girl who is supposed to give you an example of what he’s talking about, but only seems to be giving you the exact same facial expression you were making in the first place.

When its all said and done, you’ve had taken about a million pictures but only about 2 of them will be considered good enough to add to your portfolio. If you are lucky, you’ll get to an agency who decides to inspect you further, but then THEY want to take pictures (Polaroids) of you as well. More pictures and intense walking, and fake friendships. In the end I realized, I don’t need that much attention in my life, walking is hard and I was awful at taking pictures (so I never got booked). So…that was out.

You’re so tall and thin, are you a dancer (ballet)?

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This is another one that I used to get a lot. When I was in middle school, my step-mother also tried to get to me to use my height. So I was enrolled in dance classes (ballet, tap and African). The thing about ballet though, you have to start that super young. Like the moment you learn how to walk, you should probably be enrolled in ballet. I say this because for those who have ever taken a ballet class, your body needs to be able to do a bunch of bends, splits and twists that can only be manipulated by someone with bones that are still flexible (ie a young age). My 11 year old body was not about that life. Repetitive dance moves, rude Russian instructors and stretching. Oh my goodness the stretching.  I remember the teacher always made us stretch in class for what used to seem like forever and this one time she came over to me to apply pressure. My body seemed to scream Oh Hell No! And it quit. So…that was out!

There are so many more that I could go on for days.

  1. Have you ever played volleyball? (which I did try but it hurt my wrists, so that was out)
  2. Have you ever tried gymnastics? (I got really upset at a meet one time because I was the only one on the team that didn’t get acknowledged, so that was out)
  3. Cheerleading (never tried out)
  4. Diving (can’t swim, so that was out)

In the end, what I like to do has absolutely nothing to do with my height, I write. There is nothing strenuous about it and that seems to be right up my alley.

I recently read another blog by TallnCurly which sums up quite nicely how the life of a tall girl really is. If you have time and in need of a good laugh check it out.

Are you tall? What are some questions you get asked? Or short girls, tell me about that time you tried to use your height?

Thanks for reading!

xoxo Latasha

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