So here I sit on my high horse (who, of course, needs to be a lot ‘higher’ than your average-height Nelly), following my call-to-action which ended Part 2 of The Body Series.
Closing Part 2, I declared:
“The fact of the matter is, the way we learn (or unlearn) how we see ourselves, is a very BIG deal. And as much this can be our greatest challenge, it is also our greatest solution.”
I believe in this, 100%.
So the question is… Are YOU up for the challenge?
Here’s where we start:
Third position in our recent Tall Guides Magazine Community, #teamtall poll is claimed by the commonly shared experience, “I grew up trying to shrink myself”.
But being different because of our height presents us with a great blessing: The opportunity to role-model.
Rewriting the script for tomorrow’s tall girl is something we each have the power to do, but in order to get it right, we must start with ourselves.
No short-cuts on this one.
We must start with facing any demons, and look them right in the eye (let’s hope they’re tall enough).
We must say ‘yes’ to tirelessly pursuing self-acceptance.
We must grant ourselves the empathy we’d so generously provide to others.
And we must allow ourselves the vulnerability it takes to let go; ask for help if needed, and move forward.
No one can promise it’ll be easy – but it will always be worth it. Not only for ourselves, but for the impact it has on the inner dialogue of tomorrow’s tall girl.
Because what better example can we set, than being completely appreciative of who we are?
Next, we have to look at the influence our words and actions have on others.
Although only a sixth of our poll voters agreed that they’d “grown up fully embracing their height”; some of our Tall Guides community shared their stories of how they’d grown up being taught to celebrate their difference – and what a difference it can make.One contributor writes, “[I] Am one of 7 and coming from a tall family, tallest 6’6, shortest 5’11. My parents taught us that being tall is an advantage & we should not let anyone define our beauty or make us feel negative about our height, they taught us to always stand tall and stand proud, which I do. As a teen I was quite popular & was very comfortable to be known as the tall one even though I was taller than all the boys!”
Another member shares, “I’ve never had an issue with being tall. My issue was not being able to find pants that fit. Hence my decision to start a company making slacks for tall women. Now, people always say my 9 year old is big for her age and her response is “that’s how we roll!”
If, however, you’ve grown up on a diet of mixed messages about body image, you know how easy it can be to absorb the negatives compared to the positives – even when the good outweigh the bad!
Fortunately, modern approaches to confidence are far more conscientious of how we direct our focus towards young people. Praise based solely on ‘looks’ over ‘individuality’ is borderline old-fashioned now; a welcome reminder that tomorrow’s script can always be edited. For more ideas and inspiration about how you can further improve this influence on growing girls, check out this selection of self-esteem boosting books as recommended by ‘A Mighty Girl’ (make a note of “Stand Straight, Ella Kate”!).
And lastly – I can’t think of a better (nor a more ‘drop the mic’) call-to-action to end this 3-part Body Series on, than to share Dr Maya Angelou’s timeless poem, “Phenomenal Woman”…Because in the words of one special 9 year-old tall girl; “that’s how we roll!”.