Little Heel, Big Step

March 14, 2012 — 54 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very pressing announcement I need you all to hear. Pay close attention now:

I’m tall.

I know. I was shocked too. Luckily, some stranger on the street finally made me aware of my condition, and I am now fully informed of my vertical dominance in comparison the average human being.

Alright, enough with the sarcasm. I’ll admit it’s been honed over 25 years of people acting genuinely freaked out by my height. In grade 7, my teacher felt the need to take time out of gym class (already my nightmare) to in say (in front of the whole darn class) “Julie, you never stop growing!”. In grade 9, the first boy I thought was cute nicknamed me “Long Arms”. Yes – Long Arms. He wasn’t flirting. Just this year, as I was about to exit the convenience store, the clerk yelled after me “you’re tall!” – as if he had been surpressing the urge to comment all through our transaction, and just couldn’t let me leave the store without saying something.

At the ripe old age of 25, I’ve made great strides in fully embracing all 6’1 of me. I get to help old ladies at the supermarket with the crackers on the top shelf, I can spot anyone in a crowd, and I rarely have a bad view at the movie theatre, yet there are still times when I feel just a little like an ogre. But recently, I took a monumental step in silencing the gawkers with pitchforks. I thrifted heels. Heels! Now before you scoff at my new favourite footwear, I need to make something explicitly clear: I’ve never worn anything with even the slightest heel. I’ve neglected winter boots in favour of frostbitten toes because the tread was too clunky, I volunteered to be Sporty Spice because I knew I couldn’t rock the the platforms, and I still silently rejoice every time I read ballet flats and gladiator sandals will hang around for another season. This is a big step.


They may only be kitten heels, all of two inches, but  gosh, I love them. I feel as though a great door has been opened to me, and the world is one big hallway just waiting for me to stomp down. I reached this conclusion: people are going to stare, they may even comment, but they’re going to do that whether I’m 6’1 or 6’3, so why shouldn’t I get to wear cute shoes like everybody else? I wore these bad boys OUT IN PUBLIC yesterday, with this lovely new spring thrift – a vintage Lori Anne dress ($4!) and a made-in-Italy clutch I thrifted last month.

I have no practice walking in these, so I clomp around like a t-rex, but so far, it’s worth it. I have only one request if you pass me on the street: Please, don’t stare, and if you must say something, let it be about my shoes.

54 responses to Little Heel, Big Step

  1. 

    It’s a pretty big deal to start on the heels-path! Personally once I went heeled, I never went back (besides for the beach and picnics and things). High five for being a tall girl in heels!

  2. 

    At 5’9″, I would love to be taller…really. Embrace it, enjoy it. If you would like to “meet” another blogger/fashionista who matches your height, check out Adrienne at http://therichlifeonabudget.blogspot.com. I think she is 6’2″ and married to a guy who is 6’5″.

  3. 
    Antoinette Cardozo March 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Awe glad to hear you have stepped out your comfort zone… it’s always scary facing a fear, but more rewarding when you actually come face to face and tackle it. I hope people do in fact stare at you! Because your a lovely woman…

  4. 

    I loved this post. I’m 5’10 its been this way since I was 12. I remember the first time I tried kitten heels it felt pretty liberating. I always thought I was too tall for heels.

  5. 

    Just go with it – you’re gorgeous!

  6. 

    Hello! I see that my friend, Bliss, mentioned in her comment above that I am also very tall at 6’2″. I am sure there is a lot we could discuss about all the silly remarks we’ve received, the problems we have finding clothes that fit, men and shoe height.

    Now that I am in my 40’s, I don’t really care what people think about my height but when I was your age, I certainly did. I would avoid anything that would make me look taller. Even hairstyles that gave me height.

    These days, I wear 3″ heels all the time. But 3″ is my limit – they aren’t comfortable for me over 3″ anyway. I feel more ladylike and stylish in my heels. I am already 6’2″, why not be 6’5″?

    You are absolutely gorgeous, by the way…and the only reason goofy men in convenience stores bother to tell you you’re tall is because it’s the only thing they can think of to get your attention. And please know that the reason people stare at you all the time is because you are a knock-out, not just because you are tall.

    Am following you…it’s not often I come across a blogger who is as tall as I. And we share a mutual love of thrifting :)

    Adrienne

    • 

      Definitely! We could trade tall stories for days. So are you a basketball player or a supermodel? Haha! I just added your blog to my reading list. And that pink clutch! Wowza. Thanks for stopping by Adrienne! I look forward to reading more from you.

  7. 

    I consider myself tall at 5’9…though I may just be surrounded by a large group of short people. I still love wearing heels, the taller the better. Something about them just makes me feel so damn awesome. :)

    Congratulations on a super cute thrifted pair of heels. Welcome to the rabbit hole, because from here you will want to buy them all. :P

  8. 

    as a short girl, with stumpy legs, I would’ve given anything to be as tall as you!
    Boo on people that make “observations” without thinking about them.

    I used to be overweight, and people just assume that i’ve been this weight always, so they’ll say things like “you don’t know what it’s like to struggle with weight..” really?!
    so, it’s made me more conscious about things that I say about people’s height, weight, hair color, etc, because you never know what someone may be sensitive about.

    btw, i have SERIOUS dress envy… Seriously… It looks fabulous!

    • 

      Too true! When we’re kids, it’s drilled into us that we should say anything unless it’s nice, and somewhere along the lines, adults loose that filter. My best friends growing up where always very short, and could fit in the crook of my arm, so we developed a mutual understanding of each other’s insecurities, and for that I’m thankful.

  9. 

    Girl, you look awesome! I have people stare at my tallness too, even though I don’t think I’m that tall. I’m 5’8ish, so I guess with my four inch heels, I’m pretty tall, but I don’t care! I love them and that is what is important!

    xoxo,
    Laura

    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

  10. 

    Nice work with purchasing your first pair of heels! And they look awesome with that dress. Rock it tall girl! ;)

  11. 

    Thanks for a great post sharing your process of coming to terms with being tall. I am also 6’1″ (and have also been extra tall my whole life). I struggle with my desire to wear cute heels versus feeling giant-like when I end up being SO much taller than everyone around me (including my 5’11” boyfriend).

    I think we are gradually learning to embrace our–it just takes some baby steps!

  12. 

    My daughters are 5′ 11″ and yes, they get dumb comments. They have learned to embrace their height and both wear heels–my youngest just bought 4″ heels. :-)
    You always look so cute and your latest outfit definitely a winner! Love your heels!

  13. 

    JULIE! Loooove this post. I have a pair of kitten heels that I never wear because at my 6’2″. We will have to wear our kitten heels out together some night!!
    It’s nice knowing there are other women out there who have to deal with the same thing I go through every. single. day. (Basketball? Not for years. Modelling? Not for me. “You’re tall” .. gee thanks, I didn’t know that).
    And again .. your writing style is great!!! You would be a great writer for a magazine!!

    • 

      I knew you’d appreciate this one Kari! I think we should both rock them the next time we go out! I’ll bring my sisters. Last time we did that, we got the “are you girls like a volleyball team or something?” and without hesitation we said “Yep – from Sweden. Here for the indoor championships”. Classic!

  14. 

    Well, you may be tall, but you wear it well! I’ve always been jealous of all my tall blonde friends (it’s like knowing a bunch of supermodels).

    Those heels are delightful! I am envious and I am starting to believe if I were steal anyone’s wardrobe it would be yours.

  15. 

    Oh Julie… in every class photo you and I are in the centre back…. I feel your pain girl.

    I had my “Get over it” moment in 2007 living in the Netherlands. If you’ve never been, you must go. NOW. We are considered AVERAGE height there. I was even considered slightly short next to Dutch people at 5’10”.

    It was there in Holland that I bought my first pair of heeled boots and heels and OWNED it. When I came back to Canada I thought, “Screw it. I’m tall. My legs look awesome in heels. Go ahead and stare.”

    The kitten shoes are nice but you have to go big or go home. Get some 3-4″ ones next time. Find another tall girlfriend and go out together.

    • 

      Cheryl, I was actually thinking of trying to drudge up a few of those class photos for this post! Back-row solidarity over here. I also think that’s where I learned my “awkward head tilt” signature pose – I thought it created the illusion of being shorter. How I long for this majestic motherland of which you speak – where the girls are tall and the boys are taller! I promise you, When I get there, I will rock some stilettos and mega-wedges like it’s my job. I may even rock them before that. Things could get crazy over here.

  16. 

    You are one foot taller than me, and you look great! I am at the opposite end of the spectrum to you – I often get people commenting on how short I am, or how small my hands are, or how small my feet are. Whenever I wear heels, people comment on how they still haven’t given me enough height and I point out that I don’t wear heels to be taller, because I love being short and would happily lose a couple of inches if I could.

    I honestly do not know why people’s height should ever be worthy of comment by other people. It’s not connected to anything we do, it’s not connected to our worth, it’s just when our bodies decided to stop going up. Being tall or short brings trouble with clothing, or reaching high places, or fitting into small places, but that’s about as far as the differences go. I don’t think height is actually worth anything. Being tall isn’t stopping you from looking amazing in this outfit (or any other I’ve seen) and being short doesn’t stop me from looking good – even when I wear *gasp* flats!

    • 

      You’re so very right – every body type has its advantages and challenges, but it’s all relative. We should all be confident and content with what we’ve got – a fabulous perspective!

  17. 

    Just lovely, the whole outfit! I love the shoes, and congratulations on making your big step into the world of heels. =]

  18. 

    well, you couldve fooled me! i never imagined you as a tall person. now i have to go through your whole blog and re-imagine you as tall! i just assumed you were short like me. funny that there was nothing in your photos that gave you away–not even the ballet flats!

    rock your new heels!

  19. 

    What a fabulous post – it’s so nice to have someone who can sympathize with the height issue. You look lovely and your outfit is stunning! I hope these heels help you embrace your height – stand tall for all us “long armed” girls!

  20. 

    I second the looking like a blonde supermodel comment! Also, the Netherlands effect. My fiancé’s family is Dutch and I feel like a short little troll at my 5’6 height compared to the women in that family! It’s strange though, we all have things we’re really self conscious about but being taller than average seems to be one of the few that strangers feel fine commenting on!
    P.S. That is a darn near perfect outfit! So envious of those finds!

  21. 

    My nephew married a “women of stature”…(mind you…. I’m all of 5’4″…so people call me vertically challanged!) she is the same height as you! She rocks it!!!! She wears whatever heels she likes and looks great! And I really don’t think that she has a problem with what people think… hope you move onto that also! My nephew is around 6′ 7″ or 8″… so basically when I get a hug from Nate… yeah… I’m lucky if I can hug him around the waist. I’ve always looked up to him…. in more ways than one… and now Christine has my respect and admiration too!
    Hang in there… people will be people… Just soo you know, we shorties… really are grateful for the extra help at the grocery store!

  22. 

    Ahhh how am I just now reading this post!! I am so absolutely proud of you for embracing those heels gal. I am a whopping 6’0 and I have always fought the height battle too. I’ve always been the tallest in my class (well, town, actually..), and including every guy in every grade around me. They would all call me “sasquatch” or “bigfoot” and would make fun of me all the time. I really can relate to absolutely everything you’ve said.

    I’ve passed up heels my whole life too for the fear of towering over everyone. But recently I started reading some posts about embracing and loving yourself on A is for Ampersand’s blog. The thought of buying heels pricked into my mind after reading each one. I started thinking.. “God blessed us with tall limbs, why not use them and all their amazing capabilities, right? I have just as much right to wear these as anyone else does.” So, I splurged and bought a pair of 5 inch wedges I had been eyeing on clearance. When they came in the mail I strutted (ahem, stumbled) around my house and contemplated whether to wear them to the gas station to get a candy bar and soda and just drive back home. But I thought too hard and too long about it and eventually just stayed home and posted them on my blog instead! Even though I only wore them around my yard/house all day I couldn’t resist buying them. I wanted what I wanted and I got them. You can see me wearing them here if you like :) http://hellolyndseyyy.blogspot.com/2012/03/triumphant-mint.html
    Now the hard part is actually wearing them out.

    Now that I’ve written a book, I’ll get to the point. You are beautiful AND so are your shoes.
    xoxo
    lyndsey of hellolyndsey
    http://hellolyndseyyy.blogspot.com <3

    • 

      Oh thank you Lyndsey! I definitely got every name in the book – Lurch is another favourite. The A for Ampersand challenge was ringing in my ears when I penned this entry. You look phenomenal in those wedges! The world deserves to see them ;) Thanks for stopping by my blog too, I’m a big fan of yours already!

  23. 

    HECK YEAH! Wear those heels! As a 6 foot female I know exactly how you feel. I finally decided to like my height in high school and a funny thing happened. It was almost as if since I didn’t notice I towered above other girls, they didn’t either. I wasn’t projecting the ‘giant vibe’. Literally, when I mention that I’m 6 feet tall people make me stand up so they can check. Crazy, yeah?
    Still, some people feel the need to point out the obvious so I’ve developed a snarky comeback that would probably work for you as well. I just say… “Well, last I heard Americans were getting taller. I guess you didn’t get the ‘grow’ memo.” It’s completely stupid but it makes them shutup AND leaves a classic expression on their face for me to enjoy. Does that make me a jerk? ;)

  24. 

    I’m so glad I clicked on this post. At 6′, I feel immediate solidarity with other tall girls (REAL tall girls–I know girls in the 5’7″-5’10” range are technically tall too, but that’s a whole different ballgame) and it’s so nice to get outfit inspiration from someone who shares my struggles (short pants, heel phobia, etc).
    My dream is to host a Tall Girls Night Out where we all go clomp around town in shoes that make us 6’5″ and taller. One day…

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