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Tall Girl Struggles

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When you hear the word “feminine”, you picture a delicate, curvy and petite woman with flourishing hair. Rarely do you imagine a female above 5’8” with long legs and possibly slouched shoulders. It may not seem fair, but society has. Perhaps this is because the average woman in the country is about 5’4”, or because the media has over-sensationalized the petite woman –
making her the status quo for femininity.

Sure, tall girls have the advantage of being the preferred for fashion modeling jobs…but besides that and perhaps the unplanned advantage of having fresher air in crowded places (they stand taller than others and as such, breathe in air from a different stratosphere), there really are not many perks to being a tall girl. Here are 10 of many struggles that are only too real for tall girls:

People constantly ask you to reach for things
“Hi, your hair is pretty. Could please help me with on box of Rice Krispies on the top shelf?” “Hey honey, could you please change the bulbs, I can’t find the ladder.” Your short friends will always ask you to reach stuff for them. People, especially at the grocery stores, constantly ask you to help them reach for things that they probably would need a chair or ladder to get to. It doesn’t matter if they know you or you feel comfortable about doing what they asked. You are tall and your height was given for the sole purpose of saving the shorter ones from undue stress whether you want to or not.

The persisting neck pain
You are really taller than most of your girlfriends and some of the male ones too, so you find yourself bending and literally looking down to them when you want to make a conversation as that the only way you really hear what they are saying. It would not be a problem really except for the neck cramps you have to suffer as a result. Your neck hurts most of the time but you can’t do anything, except maybe massage it once in a while. The fact that your body chose to stretch itself to its height does not mean you should segregate and only talk to people on eye level.

Hugging people can be spectacular
Most times you have people’s face in your boobs, all in the name of hugging. Other times you have to squat and bring yourself down to the level where the hug will make sense as per shoulder to shoulder. You end up giving more of side hugs than full bear hugs. Less awkward.

People asking if you are a model
Yes, I’m over 5’ 8” and I am not a model. In fact, I am not even remotely interested in fashion. Can we please move on? It becomes rather irritating when you have people constantly asking if you are a model just because you are “rather tall” and have long legs. Tall girls have other talents and passions that do not necessitate a strut on the runway.

You cannot wear high heels and be happy
You get anxious when wearing high heels, because it makes you stand out (really loudly too) amongst your friends and all eyes are on you. Your friends who are shorter do not even make things better with comments like: “As tall as you are, you still wore high heels!” You would ignore their judging comments and be more confident if you did not have to deal with the added struggle of being clumsy in heels, considering you don’t wear them a lot and have had little practice with them.

You Never Have Enough Space for Your Legs
You love traveling, but you can’t do it as much as you would love to, because you never have enough space for your legs to stay comfortable whether in airplanes or in cars. In fact, your legs get cramped at the cinema, at your office desk, at restaurants or anywhere really. You do not kick up a fuss about it anymore as you realized it’s a condition you will have to manage for the rest of your life – or at least until you get older and start shrinking.

Getting your head cut off in pictures
You don’t get excited about taking pictures with your shorter friends anymore, as you almost always have some part of your face or your whole head cut off. The only time you fit in the picture is when you are the one taking it, and still, you have to position your hands at a certain angle so the picture does not look weird. Then you do the awkward knee bend or even squat. The stress takes the joy out of it.

Difficult to find a taller man
The selection of men in your height range is limited; you are taller than most adult men in your city. Even when you try online dating apps, you find yourself battling with the disappointment that rolls through you each time they drop the number 5 in a conversation. You desperately wish for a man who is at least 6 feet, but it seems like it will forever remain a fantasy.

The short girls who have more options at their disposal seem to have talons dug deep in the arms of taller men. Why can’t they just leave the very tall men for the taller girls? Who are they leaving the shorter (who always feel emasculated by taller women) men for?

You can’t tell when it’s a dress or a top
You tend to find most of your tops and blouses at the dress section. Items in the top/blouse section, even when they are marked as ‘tall’, never fit. These tops you find in the dress sections, however, are the only ones you can wear… but you are a still a bit hesitant. You think of the number of times you have run into other women wearing the same design – but without a bottom…making you look like the weirdo who wears trousers or skirts under a dress. Most of the time, you have to custom-make your own dresses as most dresses expose your legs way too much. Even the ones you buy from the maxi section looks more like a Midi on you.

Your shoe size is almost always sold out
Tall girl is often synonymous with long feet. You have problems finding your shoe sizes, as size 9 and above are usually limited at the stores. You find yourself wearing the same shoes over and ove. You can’t keep up with shoe trends as it is rather too stressful tracking down your size.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Horst Petzold

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

47 Comments

  1. Sophie

    July 11, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    God bless you for this article…..,I’m 6ft tall and trust me when I say everything on this article really applies to me…….the heels and dresses are the saddest part of it all…..I end up wearing kitten heels……aside that getting colourful shoes is a big problem…..have to make do with nude and black all the time

    • Segi

      July 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Girl do you boo. I’m 5’10 and size US 6; meaning my height is more pronounce. However, that does not limit me and what I wear. I’m consistently on 3-4 inches heels Mon-Thursday; Fridays’ are for sneakers. Anyone got something to say about it, should get a stool to stand on and say it to my face!

  2. Anon

    July 11, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Is it really “the persisting neck pain?” Isn’t it more of back pain? Upper back and lower back. The pressure is on the spine.

    You forgot to add – a lot of things are built/made low. Things like tables, chairs, sinks. loos, bath tubs, beds…

  3. Tech Girl NG

    July 12, 2017 at 12:15 am

    I can totally relate to this article. I can never find shoes in my sizes 🙁 and when I can they are usually not shoes I like. Clothes are usually hard to find too. A lot of times I buy my clothes from ASOS because they seem to be like one of the few companies that cater to tall girls. The struggle is real lol.

    • Segi

      July 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Here are other options; provided you travel to the west – Long Tall Sally, NEXT – Tall Collection, GAP/Banana Republic & Old Navy – Tall Collection, Alloy Apparels, Occasionally Zara & BCBG. However, I recently have been patronizing Nigerian IG ‘cloth designers’, I get custom made outfits for as low as N10k for pants & skirts.

  4. www.thelmathinks.com

    July 12, 2017 at 12:59 am

    I don’t know o! Me, I’m 6ft tall and very feminine thank you very much. I’ve got curves in all the right places, have never slouched for a day and have no idea what neck pain you’re referring to. I’ve never noticed that the media over sensationalizes petite women as we have women of all heights in the media’s focus with no preference to any particular one (from Mo’cheddar, Tokestar and Genevieve to Omotola, Agbani & Stephanie Linus).

    In fact I’d say the perks for me are many; I always stand out from the crowd, clothes sit very well on my body, I don’t need to do too much to get noticed; as in I can look like a 10 in jeans and t-shirt, I also happen to get a lot of attention; it’s rare that I’d stand on the road for a cab and a gentleman doesn’t stop to offer me a ride in less than 2 minutes, I can get away with gaining a few (or more than a few) pounds unlike shorter people, i can reach things easily and love to help those who cant, (maybe because I’ve got good carriage) but my height lends me this air of gracefulness at all times even without trying, I don’t need to wear heels because I don’t have to, and I feel pretty special as not many people are as tall as me. LOL. This is my reality, I’m not even being remotely conceited right now but I found this post quite absurd.

    One thing I can relate to however is leg room during travel. That can be a real bummer. I would have agreed with your shoe size thingy but my sister is about 5.7″ and wears size 11 too so…

    I honestly don’t know what you mean by “not many perks to being tall”, it makes you sound like a short person thats trying to console herself. I dont know about other tall girls but my height is one of the things I’m grateful for every single day.

    That said, kudos Nkem. I truly admire the obvious dedication with which you write for BN, you keep getting better.

    • Smh

      July 13, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Who asked you to write this epistle madam? Why are people like this? if you dont relate why cant you jump and pass? Congrats on being able to get picked up on the side of the road. Oversabi girl

  5. Anne

    July 12, 2017 at 1:08 am

    Wao. This article has opened my eyes o. I remember Michelle Obama stating that her mum told her to stand upright and never apologize for her height. Hmnn. All will be well. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

  6. Leila

    July 12, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Whoever wrote this article should have included tips on how to maneuver tall girl problems not just complain and list tall girl struggles without helping them. I mean, people need to learn how to use their platform to inspire not discourse. Your article is is discouraging to tall girls especially the young ones trying to accept their height. There are benefits to being tall other than modeling and having air in crowded places. We have our struggles but tall women are popping overall.

    • Mawi

      July 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      I agree. She makes it sound like it’s all bad but it has its pros too. I’m a short girl but I think tall girls are really blessed with their height. They instantly command a strong presence and attention. Then in heels? Whoa!! Please writer, be more positive. Being a tall (or petite) girl is BEAUTIFUL

  7. Leila

    July 12, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Whoever wrote this article should have included tips on how to maneuver tall girl problems not just complain and list tall girl struggles without helping them. I mean, people need to learn how to use their platform to inspire not discourage. Your article is is discouraging to tall girls especially the young ones trying to accept their height. There are benefits to being tall other than modeling and having air in crowded places. We have our struggles but tall women are popping overall.

  8. Rynyx

    July 12, 2017 at 2:50 am

    I can relate to almost everything. i am 5ft 11 inches with a size 11 feet size and the struggle for the perfect shoe is very real. I get told to squat or sit down when it is time for pictures. When i was much younger, i was so skinny that my siblings used to tell me that i would work for NEPA to hold wires on the street, no poles needed, lol. And that part about finding a taller man, i married a man who is 6ft. 4 inches, i look at my kids and i know the cycle is about to start again. I am happy i am tall abeg, i wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • June

      July 12, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Looool! Hold wires for Nepa????!! You have just made my morning!

    • mr. x

      July 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

      HAHAHAHa…. forgive me dear but your siblings are bad….

  9. Ocean Beauty

    July 12, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Your jeans are afraid to touch the floor. Many nice trousers are neither up nor down.

  10. artklub

    July 12, 2017 at 5:52 am

    you are making up stories here. did you google for these problems? been tall for a while and its no problem. how tall are the people you are talking about? i can understand extreme cases but being tall is normal just like anything else. its all about outside projections and other people’s insecurities which have nothing to do with the tall woman. are you even tall? doubt it.

    • Biiiii

      July 12, 2017 at 7:26 am

      sad u!

    • Puzzles

      July 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Una don start.

    • ifiii

      July 12, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Calm down please, that you don’t relate to the article doesn’t mean that other tall females like me don’t relate to it.

    • artklub

      July 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

      @Biiii, when adults are speaking u keep ur mouth shut!

  11. Great mind -healthy living

    July 12, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Nkem, I got to add my own…. Short people are always shy and skeptical to come close to you .They are intimidated by your height. I’m ‘6″tall. I remembered ,one day my boss categorically mentioned to me indirectly that my height is not normal but his….. Throughout my stay in the organization, he never for once feel comfortable around me…. To even think that while much younger, I was ashamed of my height… Chai…. Now, I carry myself wella cos u never know who wants to have that height…. You know… ?

    • gia

      July 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      DUMB boss! mmtttscehw!

  12. Puzzles

    July 12, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Really like this article.

    I always envy tall girls as i’ve always felt they get the best of everything but this article has helped me put myself in their shoes and see their own struggles.

    I still wish i was tall sha! 😉

  13. saide

    July 12, 2017 at 9:07 am

    “the media oversensationalized the average woman?” pls which media? print,tv,radio,which one?
    I know the tall girl has struggles too sometimes but this is not one of them!

  14. ifiii

    July 12, 2017 at 9:16 am

    This article hit home. But I’ve come to accept it and get used to it, I struggle with heels because I love them, but I become taller than everyone in my vicinity and when I sit on chairs (when I’m brave enough to wear heels) it becomes difficult because my legs seem too long for the chairs so my knees start to cramp slightly.
    Don’t get me started on hoping to date a tall guy. Forever dating guys that I’m slightly taller than or we are comfortably the same height.

  15. Lisa

    July 12, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I don’t agree with most of this. For me, i feel more comfortable on heels, never slouch, and people always feel intimidated around me. Also,i don’t think that petite ladies are seen as the deal . Heads turn when tall ladies walk along, Feminism has nothing to do with short or petite ladies but on any lady that is sexy and classy.

  16. Honey

    July 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

    This best describes me!

  17. LongLegs

    July 12, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Proudly Over 50…And 6ft 1. ;Wearing 4″ Heels And Loving It! God Simply Worked Over-Time On Me Everywhere!
    Hubs Is 6ft 4″.
    The World Has Learnt To Adjust. I Never Apologize For My Height.

    *Dear Writer, Give Credit To Source You LIFTED This From.
    #TallGirlsRock #TeamLongLegs

  18. Mary

    July 12, 2017 at 9:38 am

    5 feet ± I so love my height.
    But funny enough am just realizing these are our struggles. It’s part life anyways.
    One thing I know for sure is am always conscious of myself when am standing around shorter fellows.
    We are all wonderfully made, Short, Average or Tall ?

  19. ***

    July 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Lol…truth is nobody feels the ‘pains’ of height unless you are 6’3 and above (tired knees, odd stares, intimidated shorter men etc) … neck pain ke…lol because you’re 5’11 or 6’0 lmao…abeg abeg …I am 6’0.125 and I don’t feel crap… these heights don’t stand out, male and female alike…your friends ‘judging’ you about heels were probably just teasing, no need for the victim card..stop taking every comment at face value

  20. artklub

    July 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Being TALL is not a struggle. Its Grand and Amazing. Sorry for all the shorties that feel inadequate. Bye! No article needed….

    • Ada

      July 12, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Spot on…….Nkem please find something else to write about….tall girls and struggles please……I am 6″2 and I love it…

  21. Jay Kay

    July 12, 2017 at 10:29 am

    My girlfriend, now my wife, is 6′. I love to feel her up her luscious “runways”, ….still feel the old rustle south side, just thinking about them. Hey, don’t you dare question my rights to be a pervert! I married her, didn’t I?

    • Vivadrew

      July 12, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      You crazy! Lol

  22. No Headaches Please

    July 12, 2017 at 10:45 am

    @artklub

    You insult the writer-whom you claim is making up stories and therefore lying.

    Rush to dismiss the article because in your hallowed opinion you doubt that said writer is tall anyway and therefore could not have the rationale or even common sense to write this.

    And also dismiss all the other commentators here who have all generously and warmly shared their ‘struggles.’ ☺

    Oh, and you also kindly remember to drag short people into this, ‘shorties’ as you eloquently put it, who you believe must feel ‘inadequate’ in the presence of people like you.

    There’s a reason why @Biii said ‘Sad you’.
    I swear I don’t know it. *straight face.

    Calm down.
    Having a difference of opinion is fine, is healthy, is allowed.
    Now to learn how to express that opinion in a polite and engaging way is what you may have to spend your whole life learning.
    *******
    I’ve always envied you tall girls, didn’t know y’all were going through ‘challenges’.
    God bless the soul who invented high heels. ??

    Nkem, well done. ?

    PS: Ah, my definition of ‘tall’ is anything above 5ft 9inches. If you’re below that, you can like to take a selfie with me. ???

  23. Tall girls Rock

    July 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Tall girls are so unique! Won’t trade my height for anything. What about the authority you command when you walk and talk with confidence. Its just so cool!

  24. Mama

    July 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I’m 5 feet 10 and iv always thanked God for my height. The only disadvantage are my size 42 feet. Otherwise I walk into a room and stand out without trying. I wear 4 inch heels. Iv always had the advantage with men being tall and slim. But one mans meat is another mans poison I guess.

  25. mr. x

    July 12, 2017 at 11:34 am

    while being a tall guy might not seem like a bad thing… I think its also an issue if as a guy you are too tall…6′ 5″ and above…for example getting a bed in school hostels is impossible…they don’t make beds for such guys. you have to sleep with your legs hanging over the bunk. shirt sizes and trouser length are also an issue. Am not so tall, but my hands seem to be on the long side. Getting shirts with sleeves that fit use to be a struggle. shoe size could also be an issue…if you and tall and big at the same time. broad feet, palms, shoulders and the rest. You have to meet a carpenter to help you construct shoes.

  26. yummymummycumchick

    July 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    s tall as you are, you still wore high heels!”………………..m guilty of telling my tall friends that!!!!!!!

  27. Mahka

    July 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Tall girl, long face problems
    The average bed size never fits your whole body,
    My aunt once told me to join Police Force, that my height fits their criteria
    The model tin….ishhhhh, yea
    When they are jealous of your height, they say ‘her face no even fine’ to make themselves happy, ‘she should thank God she’s tall or…’
    Once dated a short guy, the look on his face anytime I climb my heels; I had to give it up.
    You cannot be doing ‘bend low, bend low’ in church or parties, awkward dancing.
    Family pictures; please stay at the very end, don’t just stand there, long…
    Everyone assumes you be very good at sports…’Oya come and run for our house’
    Natural hair high puff; girl you wan reach heaven, extra height, plus my long face…chai

    Nkem, I can relate, am cc my mum this article she says I never dance during church offering time; she needs to know why…lol

    • Mawi

      July 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Abeg dance your dance! No send anybody. If you are tall, People will talk. If you are short, they will tease. Fat? Wahala. Slim? Same. Please, dance very well and watch them get pissed. Lol…
      (I’m a short one by the way)

  28. Purplegirl

    July 12, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    All these tall ladies that found taller guys to marry. You are lucky, I was surrounded by shorter guys and ended up marrying a shorter guy. I’ve basically given up on the fantasy of learning to tango, salsa and waltz with my husband.

  29. 'Diddie

    July 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I can relate.. I’m 5’9 and getting the right shoe size has also been an issue…

  30. Yellow sun

    July 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Tall girl here..im sorry the scenarios u listed..i can’t relate oh
    I’m 5’10 ..hubs is 6″3
    Our son is already taller than his mates at 1 year old
    I love my height abeg..esp as I’m getting chubbier..i can get away with it …?

  31. Vee

    July 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    What I don’t understand is the numbering,5.11. Numerically, 5.9 is greater than 5.11. It’s confusing

  32. korede

    January 20, 2021 at 6:41 am

    a lady should not be taller than me

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