On the basketball court, Melissa Johnson's height was an advantage; after college, it presented a whole new set of challenges. Johnson's story about life as a 6'4" tall woman inspired an overwhelmingly positive flurry of comments from our readers. Our favorite came from TerryMcT:
I'm a tall woman, too, although only just 6 ft. I've heard all the comments, but didn't have the benefit of the basketball line to toss back. I played in high school but went to college on an academic scholarship. It's always been easier to take the comments from the guys, I think because they toss off one line and move on. The older ladies want to stop and have a panel discussion. Do I date shorter guys? (yes, of course) Is it hard to find pants long enough? (no, I found the brands that fit me and stick with those, like anyone else) Is everyone in your family tall? (yes, mostly) I answer the questions as quickly as I can, not wanting to be rude, then move on. It's just the length of the intrusion that bothers me, really.
Fortunately for all of us, our confidence grows as we age. At 16, I slumped except when playing sports...and caught heck for it from my parents, too. In my 20's, I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of shoes with any real sort of heel. In my 30's, I got saucy and wore dress shoes with a full inch high heel but I still dressed in drab colors. Something magic happened when I hit my 40's, though. I realized that I will never physically blend in with the crowd, so basically screw trying to do so. I went to my hair dresser and had her color my basic medium brown hair red...the kind of red that makes women stop me in the street and compliment me on it. Baby, if I'm going to stand out, I'm going to stand out. Funky jewelry, red hair, bright colored clothes, all on my 6ft tall self. Yay, me!
There is nothing you can do about your height. No, let me correct that. There is nothing you should DO about your height. Being tall or short isn't good, isn't bad, it just IS. I don't think about my height anymore, I don't compare myself to others in the room, don't notice it at all, unless someone else points it out. Then I recognize their comments as a reflection on THEM (funny, curious, or rude), not on me.
To read the rest of the letters, click here.