Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A Tall Girl in High Heels


 I always figured I had three good reasons for eschewing high heels.  I was never comfortable with my height so why would I want to increase it, I have little practice at it so I'm not very good at walking in them and  I never considered them particularly practical for teaching small children, so in all, heels have never been something I did.  "I don't do heels", I would usually say.

Lately I'm doing them.  Or at least trying to.  I doubt I will ever be seen parading around in stilettos, since comfort and practicality still matter to me. But a chunkier heel or a wedge approximately three inches suddenly seemed doable.  As well, two pairs of appealing sandals in a spectacular sale also seemed very doable.

I think I may walk a little self consciously in them.  I certainly am self conscious, though mostly about my  height.  I suppose there are deep and dark psychological reasons for that.  I can easily put my finger on two of them.  One is that while most women feel feminine in heels, I feel less feminine when I am taller than most of the guys around.  That tiny little Disney princess image of the ultimate in femininity has permeated my psyche.  The ideal heroine is tiny.  Even if she is tough and strong, much is made of her being a tough and strong tiny woman, even when that strength has more to do with character than muscle.  And when time comes for the romance or sex, whichever you prefer, she has to be tiny enough to be swept of her feet by the handsome hunk of a man. 

Models, may be tall but they are about half my width so I can't say I identify with them either.  We might be told they are beautiful, all long and willowy but I've only got half that equation down, the long part.

So the take home message for me has always been, you are not the feminine ideal, not even close, you great big galumph, and because you are bigger than average we expect and assume that you are tough so we will treat you that way but if you act too tough we will call you a bully.  (I guess there may be some childhood incidents creeping in here)  And don't go thinking you look like a model because you are not nearly skinny enough.

Random Boy to Shawna: "Gee you're tall for a girl"

Random Boy to Shawna :  "You have big feet for a girl"

Random Classmates to Shawna:  "Hey Stilts!"

Random person to Shawna:  "Can you reach that thing up there for me?"


And I have never really been a person who wanted to stand out.  But here I am putting on some heels, not because they make me taller but in spite of it.  It's shoe therapy at a whole new level! 

It's funny to look at the pictures and the heels don't even really look high and  yet for me they feel dangerous like I've climbed a tall tower and am teetering at the edge.  I have also considered that my attempting to walk in them makes me sashay somewhat and I am not sure a bumless woman is mean to sashay.  Isn't sashaying all about bums?

Well what do I know.  I'm just a neurotic, tall woman in 3" heels heading off to have coffee at the grocery store with a dear friend who will be wearing sneakers.

A little acting is required.  Let's take awkward self consciousness....

And turn it into an I can do this attitude!


26 comments:

  1. I like you in heels, Shawna! I say - good for you, girl! Aren't we people funny that way, we always worry about something. Too tall, too short. Too skinny, too fat, Too young, too old. Blogging is both revealing some of our worries and helping to calm them down, to try different things, to stand out. I couldn't even imagine some things I do now a couple of years ago - I did not even think of them. And yet what is it exactly so scandalous about the way I dress now? So people see that I got some curves, and I don't mean just boobs and bum - that still seems somewhat OK in the modern world, I mean that round tummy which everybody seem to want to hide, and those thick thighs which are almost always hidden from the strangers eyes... so they see them now - what so scandalous about it all? One of your friends said recently in my blog, and I agree with her - we are so hesitant to take up visual space... but why? It's like we are asking for a permission to just be the way we are.
    I am so glad and proud of you that you wear heels. I love wedges too, they are comfortable for walking (important to me!). I am sure there are some great guys who will be crazy about you just the way you are - tall and in heels. And who will make you feel just like that heroine - feminine and perfect, just the way you are.

    Great writing and you look fantastic!! xxxx

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    1. You always say the sweetest things, so positive and encouraging. You are like sunshine and rainbows all in one, colourful and beautiful and warming. What you say about our discomfort with the body we have and how we embrace it is so true and really, we don't fool anyone when we think we are hiding things. One of the changes in the last decade or so is how pregnant women wear tight things and totally flaunt that bump. I love that. It's so true about that visual space and we do it with body language too, sort of fold in on ourselves. Of course I think my perception of how much actual space I take up must be off because I am always walking into door frames.

      Stay tuned for more heels and my getting a handle on my wardrobe. I'm almost there!
      xoxoxo

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  2. I worked in a male dominated environment for years, have a brother and lots of male friends and without fail all of them love a tall women.
    I'm always a bit suspicious of men who date very short women - I know nobody can control who they fall for but continually going out with girl who come up to their elbows just seems odd, like they are attracted to child-like women.
    I'd kill to be as tall as you. If I could change anything it wouldn't be having a complete pelvis or being arthritis free, it would be an extra six inches in height. In flats I'm told I'm cute, in business I was often patronised and my male assistant addressed instead of me.
    Love how long your legs look with the added height. If those killer shoes are comfy bear with them, you look wonderful and any looks will be those of envy (from short arses like me) or admiration (men!) xxxx

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    1. You may be small but you are very big in sweetness! I would be willing to give you 2 or 3 inches of height if I could. Then you don't have to kill anyone and go to prison. LOL Have you ever noticed that most men who are quite tall, seem to end up with short women? Or is that just a Canadian phenomenon. My brother is 6'5" and his wife is just barely 5' tall. They both say that they are so used to everyone else being much taller or much shorter so they didn't really notice how extreme they were. I have another theory. I think that if short people were only attracted to short people and tall to tall, the human race would end up divided into two extremes of super talls and very shorts. So we are wired to keep things balanced out by mismatching ourselves. LOL
      xoxoxo

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  3. Hahaha! I have a friend that is 180cm. She has the kind of walk with flapping hands in the air, that you feel you would get unintentionally slapped :D She's taller than her boyfriend, and almost every other men she knows and you could spot her from a distance miles away :D She wears heels from time to time, but mostly flats :D So, I can see why being tall can be sometimes unnerving :D
    I don't wear heels, because my dad gave me a genetic "gift" called varicose veins :D And it hurts like hell if I wear heels..
    Btw, those sandals of yours are a dream, I looove the color and design! O_O

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    1. I am trying to imagine walking along in my heels and waving my flapping hands in the air. If I were talking to someone, that would probably be exactly what I'd look like. I talk with my hands. My mum and I are both tall and when we go shopping together we can always find each other if we separate, because we just have to look for the head that is taller than all the others, or the shelves in the store.
      Sorry about that genetic gift. I suppose most of us end up with one or two unwanted genetic gifts. I think there is surgery for varicose veins but I'm not sure how complicated or effective it is.
      xo

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  4. How funny that you don't like being tall … and I'd do just about anything for a few more inches. I used to have high heel wearing down to a fine art … but I'm so out of practise now that I refuse to wear them if there is even the slightest chance walking will be involved in my day ;0)
    xx

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    1. Flats or lower heels are much better for walking. I can walk around a few shops in heels but I can't imagine spending the whole day in them, except perhaps wedges, which do seem to be more comfortable. I remembering seeing a busload of Japanese tourists get out in the rocky mountains in Jasper Park. The women were all wearing stilettos. Imagine dressing for the day, in which you will be touring a glacier and thinking, hmmm the pink stilettos or the red?
      xoxo

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  5. The heels look great! Good for you for wearing them with confidence! I have always wished I was tall, but I guess the grass is always greener, right? We all have our insecurities. I say, rock those heels! You look awesome.

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    1. Thanks. I'm working on that confidence thing. Fake it til you make it, right?

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  6. Each time I read your fashion stories, I think I'm going to see an awkward Shawna and have to say to myself...tisk, tisk, tisk. But what I always see is a beautiful woman with great confidence. I'm convinced, you're just pulling our legs and you have that inner diva ;)

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  7. Goodnes, if you tisk at me I shall be mortified! Hopefully I have enough sense not to make any really awkward photos public, but then you never know. I don't hesitate to share my thoughts and feelings. Keep in mind that standing still in heels is slightly easier than walking in them. ;-)

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  8. I LOVE that attitude in your photo, Shawna! If you can just carry that beyond the door, you'll have heads turning in admiration. Training is right, not only for the shoes but for positive attention as well. I would love to be taller too. Stilettos could be used as pitons in a pinch I suppose.

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! I generally don't have any troubles looking confident, I look it even when I don't feel it. But what I need to train myself to understand is that I do look it, so I should just get out there and fake it till I make it.

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  9. I can identify with so many of your posts Shawna. It's interesting that things from our childhood and teenage years can have a big influence on the way we feel through life. The heels look great on you. Hope you had a fab time chatting over coffee with your friend xx

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    1. Thanks, Jane. People say that old sticks and stones rhyme but words do hurt and they stay. Words last forever. I did have a fab time. My friend is a sweetheart who never wears anything other than sneakers, jeans and plaid flannel shirts. She totally owns her style. She says, most things last at least 20 years and then you just replace them with something similar. Easy peasy.
      xoxo

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  10. I think you just look fabulous! you do have amazing legs - you can sashay in anywhere, sashay is in the hips and in the stride, in the power you have and the look in your eyes, no bum required (I don't have a bum but dammit I will sashay!) I know I am a combination of lot's of flaws, but get me on a good day and I can surprise myself with some sassy sashaying and a flip of the skirt when I walk x x x

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    1. Can you say 'sassy sashaying' five times quickly? You are a combination of lots of awesomeness. Flaws, well just feck that! Oh I love to flip my skirt. I am a skirt flipper from way back. Man it's hard to flip those pencil skirts.

      Thank you for your sweet and positive words as always. xoxoxo

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  11. Look at those long legs and your cool attitude! I'm thinking a contemporary Lauren Bacall. You can totally rock that!

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  12. Wow! I'm not sure what drugs you are on but keep taking them! I am quite content to be a contemporary Lauren Bacall.
    Have I mentioned that I love you?
    LOL-you are such a sweetie. I wish we could move Comox and Eugene a little closer together.
    xo

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  13. My family is tall, so I know what you're going through. My sister is 6' 2", so I feel positively short at 5' 91/2"! We always moaned about the lack of tall guys because they ended up with the short women. Such a waste! She has found a 6'2" man and bred 6 more giants! When our family goes to a restaurant, all the boys in the next generation fill up the room vertically.
    I don't wear heels because of bum feet, hips and back since kids, so am grateful for the free height. Just sail down the street in magnificence and turn all the heads with envy! Remember they are envious as your commentors attest.
    Your legs in those heels go on and on!
    Too much wonderfulness :-)

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    1. I am 5' 9 1/4" Which sounds very precise but I know it because I found that when I went to a doctor's office if the nurse was quite short she would measure me and declare 5'10" and other times I was told 5' 9". Apparently that 1/4 doesn't matter and it gets rounded down, but if they are too short to really properly read it I am rounded up to 5'10" LOL

      I would not and could not wear heels all the time but I'm playing with them for short outings. I also have to get used to the noise they make.

      Thank you for your sweet comments.
      xo

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  14. When you're a tall woman, it takes some extra gumption to wear high heels. Congrats for venturing there. At almost 6ft, I was shorter than either of my parents, so I have a weird comfort/discomfort with my height. I used to wear heels as an act of defiance. These days I wear heels when my gumption is high.

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  15. Shawna you look nicely tall in your heels. I know a lot of men who are very proud to be with taller than them women . It gives them some kind of status. The thing is either tall or short to find real love and long lasting relations is difficult...About heels I recently try to wear them more usually wedges and low heels. But it's hard to find a comfortable heel. As difficult as finding the right man!!!

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  16. what a great childhood did i have without disney! ;-)
    (actually i had a bad one but thats not disney´s fault)
    in spite of weird comments - some people always give them - anyway how you look. as rather normal in high and wide but a little bit prettier or feminine(btw.- femininity has nothing to do with body size, etc. - but with character) i was bullied a lot at school, even by teachers. later i learned to overhear this people, put my chin up and walk away - in the highest heals i could found :-)
    if you can wear them comfortable - go for it! sashay around and be proud of your body because your body looks gorgeous for a 40´something! and with your ears at that heigh you can overhear the envious comments easily ;-)
    xxxx

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    1. You poor thing-all these catch up blog comments. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to me! I missed you, but hope you had a lovely time! I'm sorry you were bullied a lot in school. I think my height probably saved me from some of that, though a few people did try. I would like to have a word with (or wring the necks of) teachers who were mean.
      xoxo

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