How I Learned to Get Over My Height Complex (and Love Myself)
People always tell me that my height is an asset and a (literal) huge blessing, but being a 16-year-old girl brimming with anxiety and insecurity, I don’t always agree. Here’s the sitch: I’m 6 feet tall. (Only sounds amazing if you’re not me, if I’m being honest.)
According to a quick Google search, the average height of women in the Philippines—where I live—is 4 feet and 11 inches. I’m truly in a league of my own.
Throughout almost my entire life, I’ve been asked questions like, “Why are you so tall?” “What did your parents feed you?” “Can I have your height?” I usually just smile or answer vaguely. I have strangers staring and whispering, while the brave ones just approach and tell me things: how I’ll have a hard time “finding” a boyfriend, how it must be so hard being this tall, how I should pursue this or that, how I’ll never get married. Men and women alike have given their unsolicited two cents, and living in a country where it’s believed that women should be of a certain height, the comments can be pretty harsh.
These past few years I’ve done a lot of foolish things, like wearing nothing but flat shoes in an attempt to avoid being taller, isolating myself from my friends so I won’t feel too much of an outcast, or just feeling sudden bursts of immense insecurity about my height. Like for instance, I would just be walking around somewhere, alone, and then I’d see a group of people my age walk past me, outright staring and laughing. Ironically, it made me feel small. Like I’m just here for people to laugh about and to make fun of.
It’s things like these that have fed into my anxiety and made this feature an insecurity instead of something I’m supposed to be grateful for. I’ve grown so accustomed to people making comments and having opinions on my body, that I’ve forgotten about what I should really be doing: celebrating it.
About three months ago, I decided that it was time to love my height and embrace it fully. It’s still an ongoing process, but I know I’ll get there. No more paying attention to the quiet whispers of people who know nothing about me. No more letting other opinions about my body define my own. I am worthy of love, success, and empowerment, no matter my appearance. It’s about damn time I focus on being unabashedly and unapologetically myself.
Here’s hoping that from here on out, people would let girls, tall or otherwise, live in peace.
By Sofia Ynez, 17