Being Tall And A Woman Does NOT Make Me A Tranny

It might be the 21st century, but negative male and female perceptions of tall women are still stuck in in the Dark Ages...
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It might be the 21st century, but negative male and female perceptions of tall women are still stuck in in the Dark Ages...

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I've been six feet tall since I was seventeen, which wasn't a real revelation because en masse my family resembles a volleyball team, and although it took a while to get used to, it's often other people who have difficulty with my stature.  School, for example, was particularly challenging because it wasn't just a case of negotiating and ignoring omnipresent salutations such as Big Bird, Giraffe, Empire State Building and (a personal favourite) A C**t On Stilts, from aggrieved sections of the short-arsed fraternity. It was also the attitudes of some teachers whose behaviour was more symptomatic of a collective of undisclosed personality disorders than fully-fledged adults.

A case in point was my PE teacher who fulfilled the stereotype of a sadistic, vicious cow with aplomb and made my life a misery because I didn't fulfill her presumptions of athleticism. In addition, when targeted by the inadequate, the nasty and in some cases the certifiable, any retaliation on my part resulted in pick-on-your-own-size proclamations from teachers. But when I did take my concerns to said teachers, stop telling tales was their rallying cry.  A girl just couldn't win, especially a reserved one, and although being singled out did hurt, I soon learned to develop a skin as thick as a rhino's.

Still full of idealism, though some would say naivety, I also learned that it wasn't only my peers and certain authority figures I had to deal with but, to my chagrin, men. Groups of them (although some women weren't slow on the uptake either). Initially I found it incredibly bewildering to be sniggered at, pointed at and just plain insulted by doing something as innocuous as walking down the street and minding my own business.  It was incredibly surreal to witness supposedly mature human beings with their inadequacies so blatantly exposed, picking on my lanky younger self as though my very existence was in some way an affront to their fragile sense of masculinity. Even to this day, the madness continues.

The dog-eat-dog arena of dating was particularly troublesome too.  I didn't have a template or a list of cast iron prerequisites, I just went with the flow; but any remaining sense of idealism unraveled at a furious pace when Jake asked me out and simultaneously announced - more than a few times- that although I was five inches taller than him, it didn't matter.

Although being singled out did hurt, I soon learned to develop a skin as thick as a rhino's.

As we continued to casually date and his low-level preoccupation with our height disparity began to manifest itself as unsophisticated barbs disguised as jolly japes, Jake introduced me to some of his friends whose idea of a good night included a merciless evisceration of his stature, under the auspices of 'banter' (although I fear the stacked heels of his cowboy boots may have precipitated it). The following day, a supremely agitated Jake sought retribution by flying into a furious bantam cock tirade, armed with a litany of my misdemeanours including how my manly freakishness made him feel small.

Nonetheless, and to my shame, the soothing balm of his subsequent apology did little to suppress any latent passive aggressive tendencies, as I ditched the flats and embraced my inner drag queen proclivities by donning four-inch slingbacks for the remainder of our transient association.

It does seem though, that shorter women have all the fun. They are less susceptible to certain illnesses, are perceived to be more feminine and make better partners because not only do they make men feel taller, more masculine and dominant but they are deemed to be more fertile. In addition, as though we didn't have enough irritations such as airline seats, cars and roguish door frames to contend with, some studies have suggested that the features of tall women are less symmetrical and therefore less attractive than average (although somebody has neglected to tell Iman).

So, with such insurmountable odds stacked against us and therefore banished to the scrapheap of womanhood, I am resigned to sitting at home, marinating in my own ineptitude, stuffing my face with obscene quantities of black forest gateau and pickled onion monster munch, accompanied by my ever-expanding big fat tub of lard arse, weeping at repeats of The Bachelor, whilst reminiscing over what could have been if only my inside leg measurement wasn't 36 inches long.

Some studies have suggested that the features of tall women are less symmetrical and therefore less attractive than average

Idiocy aside, despite my best intentions and a well-honed ability to tune out, I'm still subjected to the odd bushwhacking, exemplified by the following unsolicited approach in Tesco Metro by a gent of average height, considerable girth, yet resplendent in his Man at C&A double-denim ensemble.

Arse:    (Smirking as he scans me very slowly from my Dunlop green-flash to my bushy head)     How tall are you?
Me:    Six feet.
Arse:    (Regarding me as though I have daylight between my ears) You can't be, I'm six-two.
Me:    (Laughing) OK...
Arse:    (Smirk dissipates) No, seriously. I am. I mean, What are you, six-five? How old are  you anyway? Are you sure you're not still growing?
Me:    (Ignoring him to count the cakes in my basket)
Arse:    I'm not being funny, but my sister's gorgeous; she's slimmer and shorter than you and she finds it really difficult to get a boyfriend. Aren't you lonely?
Me:    (Scanning him from his gut to the crop rotation on his head) You're quite fat aren't  you? What are you? Thirty stones? It must be really hard...
Arse:    (Shooting daggers, before beating a hasty retreat) No need to be aggressive love, I was just trying to make conversation, that's all.

To paraphrase the late, great, Ms Tammy Wynette, sometimes it really is hard to be a tall woman.

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