Being taller than the average Singaporean female has made Tan Lili awfully self-conscious about her appearance for the longest time. But now, she’s decided to put an end to all that negative self-talk and, instead, learn to well and truly stand tall and proud.
I have a confession to make: I hate being tall.
I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. Friends always tell me how envious they are of my height but I have never been able find it in me to bask in such compliments. Back in school, I was always made to sit at the back of the classroom for obvious reasons. In an environment where small-sized girls were favoured over the rest, I felt alienated and ugly. I even used to sport rounded shoulders and a hunched back in hopes of fitting in with my petite classmates. While my insecurities have subsided over the years, I still feel like a giant towering over majority of women in this part of the world. (The average height of a woman in Singapore is 160cm; I’m at 171cm, which, incidentally, is the average height of Singaporean men.)
BUT, this tall-shaming has got to stop. Articles like “10 Things No One Tells You About Being Tall” do nothing except reinforce the premise of misery loves company. Instead of dwelling on the negative and seeing my height as a curse, I’ve decided to not just embrace but celebrate my and my fellow taller-than-average girls’ statuesque physique. Here are some of the blessings of being tall:
1. Enjoy unobstructed views
I love going to concerts, but I often feel self-conscious about standing up and blocking the poor fellow sitting behind me. I gotta admit, though: I’m glad I never have to face the problem of missing out on the good bits.
2. No heels, no problem
Sacrificing comfort for style is a foreign concept to me. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve worn heels so far.
3. Two words: Maxi dresses
This is enough to make up for the fact that mini ones end up looking like tank tops on me.
4. People look up to us – literally and figuratively
Studies have shown that tall people tend to command more respect. This gives us a great advantage in the workplace, be it when you’re aiming for a promotion or when making a sales pitch. Bonus: According to statistics, the taller you are, the more likely you are to get paid more. Okay, I may be a statistical failure in regard to the latter … BUT MY MOMENT OF GLORY WILL COME.
5. We defy society’s norm
There are so many more benefits of being tall, but the most important point is this: in embracing our own differences, it teaches us to be more accepting of others’ too. We spend too much time obsessing over what others think and whether we fit in to what the society deems as normal. So what if you’re too tall? Or too short? Or have a too-high forehead? These physical attributes are a part of our total package, and those who choose to be insensitive about our differences can shove it.
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.