Heels vs Height: A Forbidden Love Between A Tall Woman and Her Longing To Wear High-Heeled Shoes

IMG_3009Hey, it’s Lyndsey here! Y’all might know me as the sweet, southern girl that occasionally posts around here or as the blogger of Dressed in Mascara, but one thing you might not know about me is that I’m a pretty tall gal. 6 feet to be exact. My height is one of the biggest features I have (literally) and it’s also one of the hardest to accept. I’m an introvert. I don’t wish to constantly seek stares and attention from strangers or completely tower over everyone. But when you’re 6 feet tall, dress stylishly, and are as fair as a porcelain doll, you’re gonna get looks and very weird criticism/compliments. Another thing you might not know about me? I have a serious addiction to high-heels. I love the way they look, the way they elongate legs and the way they make me feel more like a woman. But being a tall female and loving high-heeled shoes when you’re not on the runway is almost like a sin. This is a topic that most people never have cross their mind throughout their lifetime. But this is something that is actively involved in my daily life.

Growing up throughout school as a tall girl was hard. Middle school and high school was especially. It’s the prime of our boy crazy age, and also the age to wear high-heels to fancy events- prom, formal dances, graduation, conventions, etc. Plus, guys were insanely intimidated by my height. It was never a secret, but when guys said “You’re a sweet girl, but you’re just soooo tall..” (basically the I’m-letting-you-down-in-what-I-think-is-gentle-when-really-I’m-discriminating-a-feature-about-you-that-will-never-change comeback), it was extremely obvious. While all the shorter girls in my class bought heels for every event, I wore flats to every one. I vividly remember my mom taking me to Ross and while she sifted through the sea of flats for me, I would longingly look at high-heels, put them on my feet, embarrassed at how horribly I wobbled and stumbled when standing in them, then sadly placed them back on the shelf and walked away. It always felt as if I were a poor girl window shopping through a high dollar boutique. I thought that maybe the thought was all in my head, until I once anonymously asked in a school project of tall girls should wear heels and while one person voted yes, all the other answers were a flat no. It was very heartbreaking.. and very real.

High school. I thought maybe once I got there that the maturity factor (+ male growth spurts) would kick in and guys would think “Hey! Tall girls are sexy! They’re so good at doing tall stuff. Especially tall girls wearing heels! Now THAT’S super sexy!” Nope. Guys were still short, but not as short. Good thing I homeschooled my junior and senior year because prom would’ve been the same situation, especially since my longterm boyfriend at the moment was already shorter than I was. Go-figure.
Kimono Style Swap Post ft Lyndsey of Dressed in Mascara
On my 19th birthday I purchased my first pair of heels EVER in my whole life. They were these caged wedges from JCPenney.com. Once I got them in the mail, I strapped them on and wore them around my house (and even posted outfit photos wearing them for my blog!). My ankles and feet were SO SORE that night that I couldn’t hardly walk the next day! But I was literally so proud of myself for making that tiny baby step towards wearing high-heels. Heels made me feel feminine. They made me feel like a woman. They made me feel powerful. What woman wouldn’t be addicted to something that made them feel that way? But when I walked into the room to see my then-boyfriend now-husband had come over to surprise me, we both awkwardly looked at each other and I instantly realized how giant I felt. He didn’t even have enough time to speak a word, but my stumbling/clunking/half-falling-half-running out of the room made it loud enough for him to know my despair of realizing my worst fear. A male saw me in high-heels, which made me feel belittled to a manly, forever-doomed-to-flats giant. He chased after me, smiling and saying, yes, you are very tall, but no, you are not manly giant.

Josh has very much seen me wear heels around the house. He knows my love for them. He was/is a bit leery of the thought of me wearing heels out though, not because of how tall I am, but how weak and wobbly I walk in the things- haha. The feelings I have continually make me ask myself why do I feel so ashamed of my height? Being a tall woman does not defeminize me, and neither does choosing whether or not to wear high-heels. It’s okay to be tall and love high-heels. There are so many beautiful actresses, models, and just generally amazing women who are the same height (or taller!) than I am and still rock high-heels like it’s just another day. I do not see them as any less feminine because of their height or accentuating it, so why would I think this about myself?
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Over the years, Josh has helped coaxed me to learn to love my height. He loves every inch of me, all 72 of them to be exact ;P, which has slowly made me begin to start learning to love my height for what it is, too. Learning to love my height is just the very beginning of a very long process for me. I’m not going to say I had an overnight height-loving-epiphany when I found the right guy, but it has changed me SO incredibly much.

There are moments now when I confidently try on a pair and wobbly strut down the aisle, smiling all the way like I’m on a high fashion runway. I still get embarrassed at myself for trying them on with my outfits and almost bumping my head on our 7ft door openings. Even through all of that, nothing has phased out the love I have for them. Maybe it’s just the symptoms of forbidden love, or maybe it’s a sign of something that is meant to be. ;)

I agreed to become part of this blog to push myself outside of my comfort zones when it comes to my size. To learn to be body positive and to be a voice of encouragement to those that need it just like I continually do. Each day is a new step towards appreciating the natural beauty we all were born with, so lets honor that by setting aside just one day to wear the one thing you steer clear of because of society. Got a not-flat tummy but always loved crop tops? Go for it. Short girl that just wants to wear flats? DO it. Freckled face and wanna go makeup free? YAS, GIRL. Shaped By Style is here to encourage one another and all of our beautiful readers to truly love every single thing about ourselves. That style has no size. That beauty has no boundaries. That women are beautiful creatures and were born to be loved. Lets start by loving ourselves first, then work on loving each other. <3

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Psychedelic 60’s and Self-Love | Kristina x Hannah

Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah

When I saw this top up for swapping from Hannah, I was immediately drawn to it. Emily wore it in a more office-appropriate way, because she is brilliant at taking outrageous garments and making them work friendly, but me? I had to go all the way, especially considering these genuine 1960’s sunglasses that were just given to me!

Despite my adoration for the pretty housewife-ness of the 40’s and 50’s, I am always most drawn to bright, psychedelic 60’s and flowing, hippie 70’s wear the most. I have often tried directing my style more towards the housewife era, but it really never works. I love bright colors way too much, and also sometimes a girl just needs to wear a totally outrageous maxi dress, okay? So I obviously had to request the top, and I am so thrilled that it fit over my 38-weeks-pregnant belly!

Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah

I do not, however, spare much adoration for my legs, so this might be one of the very few times you see me wearing shorts here OR on my own blog. My thighs used to be one of the biggest insecurities I had, but now… well, I am not going to say that I’m working on loving them or anything like that because you know what? I’m not. I know they’re there, and I am okay with baring them in shorts in the summer because the stretch marks, cellulite, and jiggling they possess are just a fact of life and I am not ashamed of my thighs. I just don’t like them that much. It’s always really wonderful to me to see other women learn to love their less-than-loveable parts, but I prefer a more realistic confession: I am working on them.

I am working on making them stronger and more capable of doing squats without wimping out on the third one. I am working on whittling away a little bit of the fat that causes painful chafing in the summer unless I wear bike shorts or lather up with anti-chafe sticks. And yes, I am working on losing some weight in that area so that I can eventually fit a smaller size. Or at the very least, rock a shift dress without the hip area being tight while the bust area is way too big.

Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah

Somehow, I have always gotten the impression from the internet that a woman admitting she wants to lose weight or be fitter is some sort of weakness or somehow anti-body-positive. But I think there are tough love methods to being body positive, too. I want to take care of my body and ensure that it is strong, fit, and attractive to my husband. This doesn’t come from self-loathing. I am not beaten down as a whole just because I don’t really like my thighs. It doesn’t affect my overall confidence that I’ll never have a thigh gap (because what IS that anyway, like… really ladies? No.)

It comes from a wish for my whole self to be the best self that it can be, because I care about the health and appearance of my body. I don’t know how to say this without coming off as entirely vain, but I love who I am. And in that love is also a desire to always improve the areas that need improvement. I want these legs to be able to carry me up a mountain hike, or run around with my kids at the playground, or endure a long walk at dusk. Right now, they can’t really do any of that very well.

Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah

I think many people today misunderstand love to mean total and complete acceptance no matter what, and forget that sometimes love — even unconditional love — means acknowledging and improving (or helping to improve) flaws. The more you love someone, the more you are willing to be the first person who steps out and says “hey, I think you need some help in this area” if they’re doing something wrong. And that goes for my body too, in a different kind of body-positive light.

Psyechedelic 60's and Self Love | Kristina x Hannah

Top, Hannah’s (similar ones here and here)| shorts, old | headscarf, gift | sunglasses and earrings, vintage/gift | shoes, Modcloth

So, here are my thighs, flaws and all. I don’t love the way they look right now, and that’s okay. Because we’re working on it.

How about you? Do you think body acceptance is a love-all-no-matter-what thing, or do you think part of being body positive is being productive and improving those things that you want to improve?

How they wore itKristina Signature