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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Letter to Tall Girls, From a Short Model

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.

Sincerely,


Dania Denise, A Short Model

11 comments:

chelsea said...

Thank you for this I as a tall girl but not super tall have been the way as you described. I want to be a model/actor but I dont know what modeling agency to go with could you help me? I live in NC

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Chelsea, you're very welcome! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #814," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is cherron and I'm 5'11 and only 15 your letter really made me think why should I try to change who I am to be something I'm not so from now on I will appreciate my height. Thank you so much for opening up my eyes and helping me appreciate my height.

Dania Denise said...

Hi Cherron, I'm so touched that my post helped you learn to embrace your height and thank you for reaching out to let me know. I'm very proud of you!

Alexandra Gainous said...

I love Love LOVE this post! Everything you wrote I completely agree with. I am a tall woman, always have been. I have been 5'10-11" since I was 12 years old. However, despite my boatload of insecurities growing up, surprisingly being tall was never one of them. I always stand straight and brushed off haters who came for me when I rock my 6 inch heels.

So just like you said, it completely hurt my heart and somewhat annoyed me seeing beautiful statuesque women on the street slouching over like that. Seeing that I'm not the only one who notices, and that even a shorter woman notices as well, and that you see it like I do, really gave me a lot of life today!

Emma said...

Hey this has nothing to do with being tall because I'm small. I really want to be a model but I'm 5'4 and still growing , I was adopted and my brith mother was really small I'm talking 4'9! So I'm quite lucky to get to this height. I never knew my birth father so I don't know wether he was really tall or average . I've been on every website and it says if you not tall you should give up but that's not me I don't give up I'm determined to be a model and i know that it takes a lot to get there but Im willing to try . I was wondering if you could tell me if there is hope for a small teen who wants to be a model and if so what do you suggest I do ? I really need to know thanks.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Emma! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #863," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey.. I live in New York but I am currently working 9 to 5, 5 days a week.. Is it possible for me to start modelling

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #870," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

John Yi said...

hi dania!
I am a male, 16, and just under 5' 8". Glasses, round face, asian, babyface. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. It's hard to explain to such a person that they will never be a runway model. The good thing is, while I used to be really upset and stubborn, I discovered something I like way more: track and field. So now I will never get shin surgery or high extenders or whatnot because they will damage my chances of running. I guess I took your advice and found out that I liked me better than traits of others. And on the plus side, if track ever does do anything for me perhaps I'll be famous enough to be a model anyways, even with my short height and ugly face lol

Dania Denise said...

Hi, John!

Thanks so much for sharing your story from a male point of view. I loved when you wrote how you liked yourself better than the traits of others. That's something many people just can't do, especially teens so the fact that you've come to such a wonderful realization and perspective at 16 is really impressive.

And babyfaces are rarely ugly so I'm sure you're more hard on yourself than you need to be.

Best of luck with field and track--I'm sure you're amazing at it!