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Loving Your Inches Women Who Inspire Us

Global Perspective of Female Height

Through our clothing retail business, we have had the opportunity to interact and speak with many tall women on a daily basis. We’ve learned so much about their challenges when shopping, their every day insecurities, their journey to self-acceptance and on a more positive note – what they love about being tall. Each woman we speak with has her own unique perspective on her height, and the messages we receive are often so inspiring. It sparked a big conversation between us about our culture’s perspective on female height here in the United States, which led us to create this site (read more on that here). Eventually that got us thinking – wouldn’t it be interesting to learn how female height is perceived around the world? Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to speak with six amazing women from six different countries and they were able to help us shed a light on what its like to be tall in a different culture.

Before we share their stories, we wanted to give you an idea of what the average height in their countries looks like:

 

This is a long post – but we promise you won’t regret reading each of their individual stories. Spoiler alert: they each have such a positive message about being a tall woman, and we couldn’t love them more for that!

Without further ado… let us introduce you to these six lovely ladies from around the globe:

LEXI – 6′ tall (184 cm) / Brisbane, Australia

 Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Lexi: I think yes it is customary in my culture for people to make random comments towards my height. But I believe people aren’t making these comments to be mean or malicious, they just see something different and want to start a conversation about it.

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Lexi: I probably feel more isolated. Living in a capital city I think I do see more tall women than in I did in my country home town, but I still feel like I’m part of a minority group.

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Lexi: I would say I was pretty uncomfortable receiving comments about my height when I was younger (“You must be a great at high jump/basketball/netball/insert any activity that benefits from being tall”). I am so much more than my height, but that was all people would comment on. I think I’m still on my journey towards acceptance of my height. However, companies like Amalli Talli are helping immensely by offering clothing that actually fits my shape like it’s supposed to and also working to create a community that embraces and supports our differences.

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Lexi: That it is completely normal for a woman to be tall, that being tall doesn’t automatically make me good at basketball and that there is so much more to us than our height – you just got to ask.

ANCE – 7′ tall (213 cm) / Latvia (Northern Europe)

 Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Ance: I would say that people are more restrained here, and I have to say that unfortunately they are also less tolerant and understanding. After living abroad for some time, I would actually prefer people to come up to me and ask questions so I can erase some of their ignorance and show that different is good.

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Ance: I tend to see them, especially when their height comes close to mine. I also come from a country and region that is said to have the tallest women in the world (nowhere near my height but averagely), so it is not that unusual to see taller women here.

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Ance: I had to grow up and live with so much attention that I don’t even know how it feels to cross the street or go shopping without anyone staring. I was always the tallest kid in the class – when I was in the first grade I looked like a fifth grader – but I grew up with a mom who taught me that there is nothing wrong with me and I should never let someone else’s ignorance stop me from doing things I enjoy. I went through different stages where I wished I was shorter so I could fit in.  I was told that I will never fit in, that I am just too different, so I decided that I DON’T WANT to fit in anymore, that I have something that is only mine – it is a part of me and I should be proud of it. My height makes me memorable and I use it as an advantage. Right now I am at the point in my life where I can honestly say I would never change my height, because I have worked hard on my mindset and surrounded myself with wonderful people. I still have my bad days when everything – stares, words and attention – feels too much, but I just make myself stand straighter and fight harder as a result. And that is how I discovered that falling in love with myself is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Ance: I feel like our current society is strongly dominated by insecurities and cultivating fake “beauty standards”. To break this vicious circle I would just expose people more to diversity this world has to offer – open people’s minds and force them out of their little, comfortable boxes they’ve been put in. People are too lazy to stretch their minds and see that there is so much more to this world, and that there is nothing wrong with being just you. I think we could achieve so much more as a society if we just took away the pressure to be the same as everyone else and to fit in. I am so thankful I have had all this experience – good, bad and very bad – because it taught me my own worth and to see people for who they are and who they deserve to be seen as.

 

RESHMA – 5’9 tall (176 cm) / Bangalore, India

 Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Reshma: During my college times, when I would stand with a group, I would sometimes receive some comments pointing out my height, like giraffe. But regardless, I was taking these comments as positive and I was proud of my height. I used to think to myself, without any trouble I can watch events in a big crowd 🙂 But yes, people used to make comments towards me.

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Reshma: Isolated. I could find one lady taller than me in my entire company. But I couldn’t talk to her. If I could, I would ask – “where do you get your shoes?”

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Reshma: From my childhood, I’ve always admired tall people, so I like to be tall. I feel that God has blessed me. I’ve never felt shy about my height, so I never used to try to bend down to be shorter. But the shorter men still tease me. It’s hard to wear heeled shoes, then I will be taller than my husband 🙂 I have seen my short colleagues feel shy to take pictures with me as they feel they look very short.

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Reshma: I would like them to have more variation with their sizing in products. When I go to shop for anything, it’s very difficult to buy things like jeans and shoes. Especially because in India there are not many tall women.

 

RHEA – 6′ tall (184 cm) /Aberdeen, Scotland

Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Rhea: People are restrained. For me, the only time comments have really been made is when I’m standing next to friends or family who are much shorter and the comments are aimed at both of us.

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Rhea: I tend to see other fellow tall women every now and then, but it’s not that common. It’s still a shock to me every time I see a woman taller than I am, as I’m used to being the tallest woman in the room.

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Rhea: Growing up, I always felt quite positive about my height. My best friend was the same height that I was, and my family is half Dutch (one of the tallest nationalities) so being tall was normal in my eyes. Then everyone stopped growing, and I continued, and I realized things were different- my sister and I couldn’t share clothes like we used to because she was 5’5″ and all her dresses looked like shirts on me…and if I wore heels like my friends, I was head and shoulders above everyone else. I did everything I could try and make myself shorter. Then after talking to someone who was essentially in the same situation (all she ever wanted was to be taller than her 5′) I realized I couldn’t change my height – this was me, and I could fight it and never win – or I could embrace it. So I embraced it, and I’ve never looked back. I’m proud to be tall!

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Rhea: I would change the fact that they think it’s so uncommon for a woman to be tall, and because of this – it doesn’t really get catered to. If you go into any store, it’s easy to find the petite section, but more often than not there isn’t a tall section, or if there is – it’s tiny and it’s all the clothes that you wouldn’t really want to wear unless you were much older!

 GIPY – 6’3″ tall (190.5 cm) /Lima, Peru

Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Gipy: ​I get comments about my height from everyone (strangers and acquaintances), everywhere. Most of them are “jokes” or comparisons with other tall things.​

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Gipy: ​In Peru there are not that many tall women, so I truly have had to deal with all the stares, and others pointing out and commenting on my height in all the groups I have been with. Since I am a volleyball athlete, some of my friends are tall as well, but we don’t hang out that often.​

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Gipy: I strongly believe that the fact that I have played sports since I was little has helped me cope with all of that. As I said, Peru is a country with a population that has a short height average for men and women, and here people like to make fun of other people’s differences. Nowadays, especially after been an athlete for that long and played in other countries/cultures, I have come to not only accept my height, but to have the best comebacks for those non-original and cliche comments. The fact that my family is also tall and my entire network of extended family and friends are also tall, or taller than the average Peruvian, and that we are all athletes helps as well.​

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Gipy: ​That they should mind their own business. Do they really think we don’t know we are tall that they actually have to say something about it? Does the fact that someone else has different characteristics than their own really interfere with their lives? This also goes for those who mock people of color, with accents and with any disability. The only perception we all should have is the fact that we are all humans and the physical characteristics that we have, is what makes us all unique and special in this world.​ ​I really enjoy not being one more in the crowd​, I literally and physically stand out. Love it!

 

NAAZNEEN – 6’1″ tall (185 cm) / Cape Town, South Africa

Is it customary in your culture for people to make random comments towards you about your height or are people more restrained? 

Naazneen: I feel people are more restrained in a way but there is the odd person who will make a random comment. People cannot hide their facial expression so most of the time its evident that they thinking of saying something but keeping it in. People from older generations do not hold back. If they have to say something about my height they will although this is becoming less frequent now.

Do you tend to see other fellow tall women or do you feel more isolated?

Naazneen: I see tall women around more often than I used to which is really good for me as I was very insecure about my height as a young girl.

What experiences shaped how you felt about your height when you were younger and how have you learned to accept it now? Or are you still on a journey towards acceptance?

Naazneen: As a younger girl I was faced with many challenges – especially in school with my height. Due to the constant mocking and comments by males, I became very insecure about my height. I was the tallest in the school at primary school and then eventually in high school. I then thought maybe something was wrong with me and I began to walk slouched over. I never used to like standing straight up, I always used to try every possible way to feel shorter. In my final year of high school I  think people finally accepted me for the way I was and that was when I began to embrace my height. Over the years I have grown to accept that this is part of who I am and that I needed to stand up for myself. As the years went by I received less comments and more compliments. I have learned to be comfortable in my skin and accepted that this is who I am.

If there was anything you could change about your society’s perception or reaction towards taller women, what would that be?

Naazneen: We are human too with feelings, there is nothing wrong with us – we are all made by the same hand and we need to accept each other for who we are regardless of our size.

 

A HUGE thank you to these ladies for sharing their story and their culture with us 🙂 No matter the country, the takeaway is this: we are SO much more than our height! 

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7 COMMENTS
  • Jackie
    4 weeks ago

    Being a 6’4 woman I’m very touched by the subject. In particular Ance described so well many situations and feelings I experienced in my life too. Now I’m 61 years old and let me say I could write an entire encyclopedia about comments about my height. My favorites are those from old people and kids. At my age I learned to enjoy my height and I would not give up a single centimeter, or an inch as you say, of my tallness.
    Just want to pay my compliments to Ance. No doubt she is a clever and witty young lady. And very beautiful too. So as they say in France: “Vive la difference!”

    • Alli Black
      2 weeks ago
      AUTHOR

      Ance has the most beautiful and inspiring way of sharing her story – we just loved reading her perspective!! Thanks for sharing your story, too – it’s so nice for all of us to read each other’s experiences and be able to relate 🙂

      • Jackie
        2 weeks ago

        Your blog looks like a nice place where st last I don’t need to bend down but also looking up . Let me say I really feel sister in height with you (an older one I mean of course). 🙂

        • Alli Black
          2 weeks ago
          AUTHOR

          Thanks for your kind message, Jackie 🙂 Welcome and thanks for reading!!

  • Ekavala
    3 weeks ago

    Proud of you rashma 😍

  • Dianne
    2 weeks ago

    It is surprising that Australia’s average is only 5 ft 4”, perhaps due to the high proportion of migrants relative to the overall population. I live in a regional area where the migrant population is lower than metropolitan areas and it is not uncommon to see women, particularly younger women, close to to my height (6ft). Larger feet are also common too, a fact lost on most shoe suppliers.
    Great column thank you.

    • Alli Black
      2 weeks ago
      AUTHOR

      I know it is surprising! I feel the same way with the stats about the states – but we both grew up playing volleyball so we were always surrounded by tall friends and now we live in Minnesota, the land of the Scandinavians 🙂 so we see many tall girls here as well! Thanks so much for reading!!

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