So anyone who knows me knows that I’m a giant.
It’s for real you guys. I stand 74 inches tall! (Six foot two to be exact. Maybe even 6’3 when I wear my combat boots) Being tall wasn’t just an overnight kind of thing though. Like I’ve been a giant my entire life! I remember by 6th grade I was the same height as my teacher…. who happened to be a fully grown 6 foot tall man but it’s no big deal or anything. I wore size 9 shoes by 3rd grade and a size 11 shoe by 4th. Are you starting to get the picture? I have been abnormally giant-like my entire life. Thankfully I come from a family of giants so I never felt out of place at home or during family events.
Yes, I definitely had my fair share of awkward stages (don’t we all?), but my height was something I was never ashamed of. My mom had taught me from a very young age that no matter how tall you were, how short you were, how heavy you were, how thin you were, regardless of your race or religion or looks… you are beautiful. Period. No matter what anyone tells you. Now did this make things easier? Not necessarily. But it certainly helped me get through my awkward, un-confident stages much more quickly. It helped me to mature faster and realize that I was the way I was because God had created me that way, and who was I to change that? In high school I started to fully embrace my height more and more each year. The more I accepted the fact that I would forever be tall, the more I grew to love my height. It is something that has become a part of my identity. (Here are a few highlights of my tallness throughout high school:)
Well sure, if we want to take the time to be a Debbie downer for a moment there are tons downsides to being tall, like towering over tons of attractive men you can never be with, having to slouch down in your seat when you’re in the front of a class room so you’re not in anyone’s way, not being able to fit your entire body on your bed, not being able to reach your toes to pain them, and having your knees be at your chin when you sit in the back seat of someone’s car. I mean they’re smaller, menial things that don’t really matter though so it’s no big deal really. BUT, I have come to realize that THERE ARE SO MANY PERKS TO BEING TALL. And with each day that goes by, I notice them more and more.
PERK #1: You get viewed more maturely.
I remember one time in 8th grade, a girl asked me what grade I was going into the following year. I excitedly told her I was going to be a freshman and then we continued on with a normal conversation. When we stopped chatting, I started to walk off when she yelled at me, “Bye Shelby! Have fun in college!” This girl thought I was going into college! Oh my heavens! Being tall makes people think that you’re much older, and therefore much more mature than you really are. I always was taken seriously and quickly gained respect from adults, teachers, and leaders. It is quite wonderful actually.
With most of the boys I meet, I’m usually like, “You’re so cute and I’d seriously date you right now but you’re like the size of my left leg.” And even though the number of tall men seem few, there is still one out there for me! I just find that so exciting! One day I get to have me a man who is all tall and protective and attractive and big and just yeah. It makes being tall worth it.
PERK #3: You get noticed wherever you go.
So some people probably think that this isn’t a good thing… but I do. I mean sometimes the starting gets a bit old, but I don’t mind it. You’re getting noticed for good reasons, right? Whenever I’m out in public I have to laugh because people always give me what I like to call the “foot-check.” They see how tall I am and immediately look straight down at my feet to see if I’m wearing heels. Once they realize I’m not, they look back up at my face and just keep staring. It’s quite funny if you ask me.
Nothing is better than looking over a sea of short people and instantly making eye-contact with the other tall people in the room. Their head sticks out above the crowd, and my head sticks out above the crowd, so when I look around, we’re bound to meet each others gaze. This comes especially handy with them tall boys. But whenever I see another tall girl, we always smile at each other as we send these telepathic messages to each other like, “Girl, I know what you’ve gone through” kind of thing. All of you short people never get these messages because you’re under the sound waves and your ears are just not in reach. Seriously though, whenever I see a tall girl, I make sure to go out of my way and compliment her. Like ask Brittany… I always freak out when I come amongst those of my kind. I immediately yell “TALL FRIEND” and it’s just an instant connection.
PERK #5: Seeing over everyone at a concert.
So I went to a Mumford and Sons concert over the summer and it was just magical. We stood in this giant grass field and all these shorties around me were jumping and struggling to see the stage. I just got to stand there calmly the entire show and just jam to my favorite music group of all time. Were the people behind me probably angry? Possibly. But I don’t care…. I had a perfect view of the show and was able to beautifully see over the entire crowd.
I think this might be the most beautiful perk of life. I know I am not a thin person at all, but if I were to be 5’2 and eat the way I do, I’m pretty sure I’d be like a solid 350 pounds… and that’s not even exaggerating. But for some reason being tall just stretches you out and allows you to eat more food. It’s great. If you’re my friend, you probably know that the most common phrase that comes out of my mouth is, “I’m hungry” or “I need some food asap.” It’s just a given. I like to eat, okay?
Alright, let’s be real. I am the most un-athletic human being on the face of the earth. Sports have never been my thing and will most certainly never be my thing. (I’m more of the artsy-fartsy type. Photography is my thaaang.) But hey! If you’re good at them, all power to you my brotha! or sista! I always get asked the question, “Do you play volleyball or basketball?” Seriously though, some people just come straight up to me and are like, “So what position do you play in basketball?” I’m like… “Fo real? You’re pretty short! How long have you been playing mini golf?” Just kidding I’m not that rude but… it’s pretty much the same thing. I have other tall friends who’s height has helped them SO much in their athletics. Being a giant really does help dunk, spike, or block the ball! (Or whatever else you do with a ball. Psshhh… like I would know)
So most of you would think it’s impossible to find clothing for someone as tall as me. As a part of being in the LDS church, my belief in modesty largely influences the way I dress as well. So finding both modest and tall-fitting clothes could be challenging at times! But for some reason it’s not! I’ve always been able to find more than enough clothes to fit me. (Probably too much. I have a problem you guys.) The Lord has promised us that when He commands us to do something, He will provide a way for us to do it. (1st Nephi 3:7) I am a living example of that! I mean the only real struggle a while back was finding jeans long enough, but now since crop-pants have been in style, it’s been no problem. I rock them skinny-high-waters and just pretend they’re crop-pants!
That’s about it for now folks. Seriously though, being tall is the bee’s knees. I love everything about it. It is 100% completely a part of who I am. Like I would totally not be “Shelby Mills” if I was short. Ew. I can’t even think about that. So if you’re tall and reading this, you rock that height! Own it! The more you embrace yourself and what God has blessed you with, the happier you will be; and that is a promise to all of you my friends. I think it’s important for us, especially at the start of a new year, to celebrate ourselves for who we are both inwardly and outwardly.