Dear Tall Girls,
I use the word “girls” very loosely because, truth be told, the majority of young ladies I work with are under the age of 18, although this post can certainly apply to women of all ages. But I think once you read this letter, you’ll see why I’ve chosen that particular word…
You can’t be in the modeling industry for 16+ years and expect to not have some things from the work world spill over into daily life. I playfully think of myself as an unofficial model scout. When I’m out and about, I can’t help but look at men and women and notice bone structure, height, size, smile and all the other things that tend to fall under the “model-ish” category.
Of course, I’m not a scout and I don’t pick models for agencies so usually I keep these observations to myself but one thing that stood out to me is the constant trend of tall girls hunched over with bad posture. The constant sight of this type of body language motivated me to write this letter in the hopes that it will positively impact the very young ladies I am concerned about, whether you want to be a model or not.
When I see a beautiful young girl, who also happens to be tall, stooped over, it tugs at my heartstrings because of what this action/behavior represents. It’s hard to deny that 9 times out of 10, they’re hunched over to try and conceal their true height—so they won’t tower over their peers in such an obvious way. This behavior is so natural to many of these girls that they probably don’t realize they’re doing it. Or how bad it actually looks.
Maintaining healthy self-esteem is always hard, especially in your teens and whether a tall girl has aspirations to get into modeling or not, it seems the hunchback behavior is something that comes with the territory of being tall. But it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be this way.
Ladies, when your mother nags you about standing up straight, she’s not just saying it for fun. Body language speaks volumes in its own way about who you are as a person. Each time you step out in public, the way you carry yourself is more telling than you realize. And it’s not about caring what other people think—on the contrary, it’s more about what you think about yourself and what you project.
Nothing is more beautiful to me than a girl, young woman, lady, etc. who walks with her back straight and head held up high. Nothing screams “confidence” more to me than seeing a young girl not caring that she’s a head above everyone else because her height makes her no different. She is just like everyone else.
I have to literally stop myself from going over to every hunched over tall girl I see and giving her this pep talk so while I can’t reach all of you young ladies out there, I hope this post gets read by those of you dealing with this situation. You may not even notice that you stoop over but take a moment and look at yourself in the mirror. Stand up straight. Does it feel different? If so, then chances are you’re one of those girls who really isn’t as comfortable in her own skin as she thought. There is nothing wrong with standing up straight and owning your height.
Just because you’re tall, doesn’t mean you have to be a model. Just like tall guys don’t automatically have to be basketball players. The point I’m trying to make is that for myself as a working, professional, short model in the industry, I’ve seen the good and bad of those who strive to make it in this business. I get a lot of personal emails from aspiring newbies who can’t help but feel the odds are stacked against them. From insecurity to doubts about whether or not they would be a good fit for modeling, I’ve heard it all.
Having true self-confidence won’t just take you far in the modeling industry, it will take you far in life. So don’t shortchange yourself (no pun intended). Practice good posture, hold your head up high and realize that being tall has its own advantages. We all want to change things about ourselves that other people would kill to have.
Girls with straight hair want voluminous, curly hair, while curly haired gals do everything in their power to achieve stick-straight hair. People with freckles would give anything to mask or disguise them, while those without praise how they look. Tall girls hunch over to try and appear shorter, while shorter girls go to the extremes to beat Mother Nature and genetics to gain just a half inch more.
So please take it to heart when I say that being tall should never make you feel small. I had a short girl recently email me to say she was considering shin surgery to add more length to her legs and increase her height so she could pursue fashion modeling. I’m sure you get my point by now if you’re still reading this.
People are always dying to have what they aren’t naturally born with. Realize your good fortune and whether modeling is in your cards or not, standing up tall and proud will always help you accomplish your life’s goals, no matter what they are. It may seem difficult now but trust me, time and confidence will help you love what you see in the mirror so start off on a good foot by standing tall and loving every inch you were given.
Dania Denise, A Short Model