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“Wow are you a basketball player/giant/man/model?”

I have always been tall. I started off normal, then just took off from there! Centre-back was the default position for me in class photos. I towered over everyone until highschool, when a few of my cousins mercifully moved to my school, taking the title of “tallest person” from me and leaving me with “tallest girl.” I am now – finally – done growing at six feet three and three quarters of an inch. I usually round up to 6’4″, but for the sake of my father, who clings to the quarter inch he has above me, I will say the real number. He’s actually 6’4″, I think. I’m just a weee bit shorter than him, unless I wear heels or he slouches. Being tall has come with many a story, and many a problem, and many a blessing. I love thinking back on all the first impressions people have had of me, my favourite being the small girl walking by me in a thrift shop with her mom. She saw me, and was immediately fixated. “MOM!” she yell-whispered, “LOOK AT THAT HUUUUUGE LADY!” I laughed to see her saucer-eyes and her mum’s embarrassment/agreement. Another favourite was when I was cleaning up on a stool at work when a man sidled up to me and whispered, “You’re a tall glass of water, do you know that?” I was reminded instantly of Tangled, and had to choke back a guffaw while hastily thanking the man for his compliment. Old ladies frequently comment that I ought to be a model, especially if I do them the service of reaching the top shelf at a grocery store for them. Because, of course, the only requirement for a model is that she be able to reach high shelves for old people. When I was young, I was unceasingly greeted by people with a gasp and an exclamation of “My, how you have grown!” I’ve been asked approximately a million bajillion trillion times if I’ve played basketball, to which I answer ashamedly that I in fact do not. This tall body is a waste on me, athletically. I am so full of artistic, musical, dramatic qualities that I have absolutely no room left for athleticism. Or mathematic skill. I don’t have that either. But people don’t often come up to me and ask, “Are you a mathematician? Because you look like one.” My least favourite times of being tall have been when I have been mistaken for a man, or when people use me as an example of an insurmountable weight or height. I hate it when people say things like, “I’d NEVER be able to take KYLA on in a fight. She’s SO big!” or when guys say, “I wish I were as tall and heavy as you!” Sheesh, guys. I’m a lady. When you say things like that, you make me feel as if I am more manly or strong than you. I am so, so very happy to be weaker and less capable than you in physical things. Just so you know. One other awful thing was the time that a stranger approached me and commented, “It must be hard for you to get a boyfriend, huh?” Wow. That sure makes me feel lovely and desirable. That being said, I have amazing parents who have affirmed me in my beauty since I was a baby. There is no question that I am beautifully and wonderfully made, and that I am tall, and that being tall is a good thing. I am not ashamed of it. I enjoy the view. 😉 How nice it is to be able to walk confidently in the reassurance that I am not a freak show. I am a child of God. I do admit that, like most girls, I struggle with comparing myself to others. I feel this keenly when I am shopping and can not find clothing that fits me, while dozens of petit, adorable girls mill around me, blissfully trying on clothes. I also feel it keenly if I develop feelings for a guy who is shorter than me, and they say something like, “Dang, Kyla. You’re so intimidating. Why are you so tall?” Most girls have issues about their bodies. I do, sometimes. But at the end of the day I am thankful for the body I was given. I am heavier, taller, louder, and curlier than many girls. I am so happy to be uniquely created! I would like to encourage girls that you are indeed beautifully made. Don’t despise yourselves. God made you the way you are for a reason. Do you think God does a bad job in His craftsmanship? NO! I refuse to think God does bad work. I hope this encourages you. 🙂

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