I was the tallest kid in class in elementary school, one of the tall ones in junior high and high school, and the rest of my peers didn't really catch up until late in my teenage years. I think it was during that time that I developed my slouch when standing. Luckily I was also suffering through piano lessons at that time which trained in me the opposite tendency when sitting.
As a kid it was about feeling out of place and always always being at the back of the line, in the back of class pictures. As a teenager it was about the insecurity that my height was imposing on others, that I was taking up more space than I should.
It didn't occur to me until after college, while working for a fashion PR firm, that 5'8" isn't actually all that tall. I remember the exact event that allowed me to begin to embrace my height:
Backstage at Derek Lam, to which I wore brand new nude suede pumps with 4" heels, I was wading through the bustle of models and makeup artists toward the front of house when a model's elbow came flying out of the fray, nearly knocking the cup of coffee I was holding up to my face out of my hand. This girl wasn't wearing heels, I was, and my face only came up to her elbow??? In that moment I came to appreciate fashion models for the other-worldly creatures that they are, beautiful and strange and gigantic, and also realized that my height is actually quite average.
Later on, I learned to appreciate my height in the office setting; I change into heels at the office and make sure to wear them to meetings in which there is even a slight possibility of contention. At the bank, where I dealt with problem resolution on a daily basis, I was always in pumps. At twenty-eight, I quite enjoy towering over people.
Alas, slouching has done its damage, and my posture needs constant adjustments that I don't always remember to make. When thinking of new year's resolutions this year I decided on a personal mantra of
Easy to remember, to repeat, and to apply to other areas of life and work.