A lot of times when we talk about the tall girl struggles, the conversations tend to stay a little more surface level and safe. We talk about whether or not we are comfortable wearing heels, the annoying things people say, and maybe even that it impacts/impacted our self-esteem. But from what I personally hear and read, we don’t really talk about what “impacting our self-esteem” looks like most of the time. We kinda leave that phrase hanging open-ended and let people decide for themselves what that might mean. In this post, I want to open up a little bit and share a real example of what it looked like for me because I think it’s time to go a little deeper.
Let me start by saying this is something that I’ve only recently started to share with people. In fact, the first time I had told anybody was with Alli when we had dinner in NYC during our January trip two months ago. Over dinner we were recapping the day (this was the day a business contact asked me repeatedly if I was 7’ tall) and one thing led to another, when I felt compelled to admit something to her that I had never shared with literally a single soul prior to that. And that confession is that I didn’t go to business school and get a business degree because I did not think I was smart enough or good enough to do it at the time. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, business school was something that deep down I was super interested in pursuing. But, I was deep in a place of hating my height and being super self-conscious 24/7. And that caused a lot of self-doubt for me. There’s nothing wrong with the degree that I did earn – it’s a Sport Management major with a business minor – and I did genuinely have interest in the business of college athletics at the time. Except I could have easily gotten a business degree and still pursued that industry. And trust me, I understand that people get degrees in a multitude of areas and then don’t use it in life at all. That’s basically me now! However, the message is still that my personal insecurities led me to make a decision that I now regret. Business school would have given me other connections and experiences that I would have really enjoyed.
I figured out not long into my college career that I had probably made a mistake. It turned out that my favorite classes were the classes I took for my business minor. (Well, except for accounting…..so let me pause and give some serious thanks that Alli is the accounting wizard that she is for our business.) And guess what?! Those classes were taught by professors from the business school. It was a huge light bulb moment for me because I learned that I had REALLY sold myself short, ironically.
When I reflect back to that time of my life now, it’s hard to believe that I had such intense height insecurities because I was fortunate enough to have earned a coveted volleyball scholarship to the University of Texas (I’m #15 in the photo above). I say that 0% to boast –only because my height helped provide for an opportunity that I likely wouldn’t have had otherwise (I’m not super naturally athletic). Also, I was a motivated student and always worked hard to get good grades. So why didn’t I think I was good enough to go after the goal of business school as well? For some reason and I’m not really sure why, business school was waaaaaaay more intimidating to me than anything else, and my own head got in the way.
As I mentioned in the opening of this post, I think we address and talk about what not being comfortable in your skin looks like physically. But for a lot of girls and women, it goes way beyond that. The mental affects are a very real aspect, and I wanted to share my story because I hope that it can be reassuring to anyone else that is still finding their way. Whenever something bothers me, I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. My second hope is that it can be enlightening for anyone outside of our niche and help them better understand our struggles. I sincerely think if they knew the scope of our battles, they would show us much more compassion.
What I learned from this particular experience was that I should have been more honest with the support team around me and shared my doubts & fears. By talking it out, I think others would have been able to help me see the situation clearly and make a different decision for myself. It’s not always easy to be that vulnerable, but sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees and need someone to help us get there. Yet maybe walking this path academically was the best thing I could have done because I learned a lot about myself through that wrong decision. I truly believe to overcome height insecurities the best thing someone can do is to spend time focusing on what you’re passionate about. Once you experience joy and success from those endeavors, it has a funny way of helping spread confidence to other parts of your life. You start to understand your total worth and that is a big game changer. For me, it’s the number one thing that helped me get to the other side of my journey.
We always love to hear from others, so please let us know if you have similar stories you could share with the community. Thanks so much for reading!