According to much of Western society, it's largely unnecessary for tall girls to wear heels. Such thinking, I hope, is obviously ludicrous this day and age. But to put a spotlight on the alleged "rule," I wanted to share some creepy things people say to tall women who wear heels.
At about 5'8", I’m by no means the tallest gal in the world. But when I wear heels, I’m usually teetering on the six-foot mark. Of course, not everyone loves wearing high heels — some even feel oppressed by them — and that's totally understandable. Personally, however, I love rocking a gorgeous pair of stilettos on special occasions, ladies’ nights, or evenings out on the town. When I wear a good pair of pumps, I feel glamorous, fancy, and powerful. I just don't love the commentary that comes with it.
Wearing heels as a tall woman takes some nerve. You're smashing the made-up fashion “rule” that tall women shouldn’t wear heels, in an effort to shrink themselves and appear more dainty and ~ladylike~ in comparison to their "necessary" larger partners. You're also drawing even more attention to youself by (literally) standing out from the crowd. Sadly, this translates to a lot of creepy commentary from folks who think it weird or cringingly bold to wear heels as a tall woman. Here are some of those creepy remarks.
1. "I'd kill for your legs."
Depending on the look in the eye of the person who says this, I sometimes feel a little unnerved and imagine myself in a dilapidated bathroom (picture the movie Saw), waking up to find someone waving my roughly-amputated legs around like Barbie doll parts. It's supposed to be a compliment, but I can't help but feel a little unnerved.
2. "It must be difficult to find a partner."
There are a few implications here: If you're single, you'll find it difficult to find a partner because "men only like small girls." If you're taken, there must be something "wrong" with your S.O. for wanting to be with someone who's potentially larger than them.
The person saying this is probably a douchebag and you should calmly walk away from them before you lose your cool.
3. "How tall is your boyfriend?"
My boyfriend is 6'4", actually, so he's still taller than me when I wear heels. But ~shockingly,~ I would still date him if he was shorter. Regardless of your sexuality, you should never feel pressured to pair off with someone who is taller or otherwise larger than you, just because you've been conditioned to think that your role as a woman is to be as small as possible.
4. "Will you bend down?"
Although I admit that I sometimes find myself automatically shrinking down for a selfie with friends during nights out, it always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable to be asked to bend down. However, I usually take it as a reflection on the person making the request. It likely means that they are a little self-conscious about their own height.
5. "I'd love to see those pins wrapped around me."
Well, I'd love to see all the jerks in the world who come out with derogatory, disrespectful comments like this get bitten in the ass by karma. But hey, we can't all get what we want.
6. "Can you hear us up there?"
No, I can't. I've literally transformed into the BFG after stepping into my heels.
People who use this one-liner are usually making a joke at your expense. Unless they're someone you're close to — and someone you enjoy a bit of banter with — they probably feel intimidated by your height and are trying to belittle you. My advice is to ignore them and move on.
7. "You can almost see your baby-maker!"
A friend might say something along these lines as a joke, but there's a much wider issue here. When hemlines are shorter, it seems many people feel it's their place to comment on your genitals. There's nothing wrong with showcasing the power of the vagina, if that's your jam. But there is something wrong with thinking it's your place to comment on someone else's.
8. "Maybe you should put some more clothes on."
This is a creepy suggestion some people make when they think you have too much skin on display. When folks ask this question, it usually means they feel uncomfortable about women's bodies. But if you feel great in your high heels — your lovely legs out and about — you shouldn't have to bow to their insecurities.
9. "Don't bend over!"
This cautionary piece of advice can sometimes come from a friend or family member who has their heart in the right place, but hasn't really thought before they've opened their mouth. It's just another phrase that proves the conditioning of our society to police women's bodies.
10. "I hope you're wearing underwear."
Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. Either way, it's certainly none of your business.
11. "Do you have anything a bit... longer?"
To which I suggest replying, "Do you have anything a bit... nicer to say?" As the old adage goes: If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
If you're a tall woman who wears heels, you don't need to take any crap. It's OK to stand up for yourself, but it's also OK to walk away when people make you feel uncomfy.
And if you're not a tall woman who wears heels, please think about what you say to those who are. We're already putting ourselves out on a limb and trying to smash those BS fashion "rules," after all.
Images: Phoebe Waller