How to be a confident tall woman (even if you feel anything but).

I never used to confess the full extent of my tallness. When asked, I would sheepishly claim that I was five-eleven (a five-foot-something number felt acceptably feminine), and never let myself within a hundred yards of a tape measure. I’d tell boyfriends that I had size-eight feet, because the idea that I was in ‘men’s’ sizes felt sure to make them run for the hills. To keep up the deception, I’d avoid any bowling or ice skating venue that deemed it appropriate to clumsily write the shoe size in Tippex on the top of the toes (a savvy move for busy staff, a nightmare for a teenage girl with a complex). I’d only ever wear flat shoes; Nike Air Maxes with a flowery dress to school discos, before progressing to those weird “flat wedge” sandals as sixthform nights out became a thing. I’d despair if someone else picked up my jacket and said “ooh…Tall… this must be Laura’s”, to the point that I used to take scissors to my clothing labels as soon as I returned from Oxford Circus. 

And yet here I am, with a large-size shoe brand, banging on about my tallness like it’s practically my personality. (I’d like to promise you here that it’s definitely not — despite my online preoccupation with it). So, how did I get here? And is it possible for you too? 

First things first: my love of being tall and desire to chat about it came long before the days of Otto + Ivy, so this isn’t an orchestrated show of self-love purely for financial gain. (I’m the sort of cynical person who jumps to these conclusions too, so I felt the need to get that buried early on). Instead, I started emerging from my faux-five-eleven-chrysalis in my late teens and early twenties, just prior to launching my previous blog All the Tall things, and just after a life spent praying I’d stop.bloody.growing. 

Some of this acceptance has happened naturally. Some of it has happened with the help of friends or my own self-help research. Other parts of this rebirth have taken a lot of hard work. So here’s my definitive guide for building your confidence and self-esteem as a tall woman. Some things might feel out of your comfort zone. But give them a bloody go. 


Get a tape measure out and find out, once and for all, what height you are. Own it. 

Smile when someone asks you your height and deliver the news confidently. Remain firm when a man says “No way. You can’t be 6’3 because I’m 6’3.” You’ve measured, you know. Suggest he does too. 

I used to think that a six-foot-something number sounded ogre-like. Now I’ve realised — particularly when I declare it without shuddering — that it actually sounds impossibly chic. It’s up there with effortlessly tousled top-knots and perfectly applied eyeliner. It’s unattainable. It’s met with awe and curiosity. It’s sexy and other-worldly. 

Say it into the mirror while wearing your very favourite outfit and smiling seductively. “I’m [insert height here]. Revel in the power of it. 


I grew up feeling like I was the only tall girl in the world. I was the tallest girl at my school, tallest girl at my university, tallest at work. I genuinely wondered if there was anyone else out there that that was constantly grabbing biscuits and teabags from the top shelves of supermarkets for old ladies. 

Now there are whole Facebook communities stuffed full of us, helping each other find longline blazers and bemoaning sun visors in the car for looming dangerously low. (And there are those having the odd slanging match in the comments over what constitutes very tall. Obviously I’m going to remain balanced and open-hearted about this. But the sane among us know it’s not five-foot-f***ing-nine).

Join them and know what it is to feel normal (most are private groups and provide a lovely, well monitored safe-space for you to share/inspire/rant/support). 
I recommend Tallternative Retail for a lovely community and lots of suggestions for tall clothing and shoes in larger sizes. 

I’ve met and spoken to a lot of tall women in my life. The ones that loved it all had one thing in common; they had the odd similarly tall friend or family member who was a true ally. If you don’t, then seek them out. 


In my thirties, I started to become very aware of how certain people in my life made me feel, and how much space I actually wanted them to occupy in my world. If someone is making you feel really sh*t about your height (a boyfriend’s friend, a brother-in-law, a best friend), then consider reducing the amount of time you spend in their company. If your other relationships dictate that this would become a problem, then perhaps have a word with your mutual friends and ask them to support you by standing up for you or having a private chat with your aggressor. If they don’t see it as a big deal, then perhaps you need to cut ties with more people than you thought. 

Instead, gravitate towards people that make you feel unstoppable, that build you up, help you see the good in things, don’t complain when you wear heels, and give you a playful dig when you’re being a dickhead. Be with people who allow you to be vulnerable, who acknowledge your insecurities but don’t allow you to dwell on them, and will fight your corner if need be. It can take decades to find these people, but when you do, you’ll know. 

If you still want to spend time with someone whose constant digs at your height are wearing thin, then calmly but firmly tell them how it makes you feel. Their response will tell you everything you need to know. 


There are people all over the world fighting very hard to make their presence known. You are not one of them. You walk into a room and people notice you. You are born with a presence. Do the preparation, research and work before you step into that interview, presentation or meeting. But know that one of the most important things is already taken care of. And don’t you dare slouch for anyone. 

If you work in an industry — such as entertainment — where your physical appearance is a key part of your work, make height your thing. If you’re an actress who’s often overlooked for roles because everyone in Eastenders is 5’3, don’t shy away from it. Make sure every casting director in town knows that you’re the tall girl, so that when a role comes along that does need a tall woman (Hello Brienne of Tarth or Wonderwoman), you’re the first name that springs to mind. Yes, there are less roles, but there is also less competition. Use your niche. Use and abuse it. 


There will be people that don’t fancy you because of your height. There will be people who can’t bear the idea of dating someone taller than them. Yes, it can be heart-wrenching, and yes, it might take a while for you to find your someone. But those red flags are very easy to spot from up here. Weed out the no-hopers early. There honestly will be people who think your height is the sexiest thing about you. There will be people who have a strong enough character to know that height difference really doesn’t matter. Stop wondering if you’re too tall for them and start wondering if they’re good enough for you. I promise the perfect partner is out there. Don’t beat yourself up while you’re looking. 


I’m not the sportiest woman in the world, but I do know that my height offers me a real advantage in this area. There are the obvious things, like netball, high-jump, volley ball and rowing. But we also tend to be good at lifting, climbing and running. If running isn’t your thing, then get out there and walk; the wonderful thing about power-walking is that we can cover almost twice as much ground as the average woman. 

Engaging with physical exercise and sport, and encouraging your tall kids to do the same, will help you and them to instantly see the benefits that come with this tall stature. 

When you start to notice how your body gives you strength and speed, you’ll feel more at peace with it, rather than having a desperate desire to shrink it. Join a local netball team (you’re never too old), badger your friends into doing a rock-climbing class, take a hike… and remind yourself about your physical advantage. 


This is a really important one. How many times have you heard people say “you make me feel short”, “you don’t need to wear heels” etc etc? And how many times have these comments informed the way you dress? 

This is probably the toughest one to conquer, but it’s so liberating when you do. There is a simple rule; wear exactly what you WANT to wear, not what you think you SHOULD wear. If anything creeps into your mind about an outfit being too showy or a heel being too high, ask yourself why any of that matters. Are you dressing for you, or other people? Are you wearing an outfit you love, or an outfit that will make your partner or friends feel more comfortable? 

And remember that everything worn with confidence looks better, so believe in yourself and how good you look. 


Most therapists have been through some sort of trauma themselves. Sorting out other people’s sh*t is exceedingly therapeutic. I wasn’t entirely self-accepting when I started All the Tall things, but encouraging other women helped me to really battle my own insecurities. I was talking to them, but I was also giving myself a good old pep-talk too. 

Abby Dufficy (@mytall40s) literally instagrammed her way out of height-hatred. She starting sharing fashion finds, encouraging other women to love their height, and suddenly realised that she could and did love it too. 

Hype your online tall sisters, help a tall teenager feel beautiful. It’s great for them and even better for you. The words you say matter. Make sure they’re positive and up-lifting and that you’re not constantly putting yourself down. 


Far from being depressing, this realisation was one of the most liberating I made as a tall girl in my late teens. You can change pretty much everything else about yourself, but you CANNOT change your height. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the energy you spend hating it is wasted. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. That’s not very efficient is it? 


God it’s a cliche but God it’s so applicable here. 

Not everyone you meet will have a complex about being short, but you’ll spot the ones who do. They tend to say things like “Do you like being tall? Because my friend’s tall and she hates it.”

Not everyone will be jealous of you, but those that do may say something like “Do you find it difficult to get men to date you?” 

And not everyone wishes they were taller, but those that do will say “God I’m glad I’m not that tall.”

Basically ladies, I’m sorry to say that you have some obvious physical advantages in sport, the workplace and in head-turning abilities, and some people will f**cking hate you for it. 


One day, when you’re out, feeling confident, wearing heels, dating a shorter man, laughing and joking like you haven’t a care in the world, a tall teenage girl will see you. She’ll notice that you don’t slouch, how you’re not giving a sh*t about what other people think of you, and how you carry yourself. And she’ll stand a little straighter too. Don’t let her miss out on that. 

Laura xx


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Hi Laura
Firstly I must confess that I am a 6’ tall trans woman who at 60 has only just started to venture out in public, not because I’m Trans but because of my height and worrying about not blending in.
In a quest to find beautiful (size 45) shoes I came across your website via Google this morning and have now read the site and viewed all the gorgeous shoes you have to offer, as I came to the end of your site I got to the Blog section and read this one and I have to say it is such an inspirational read, I know it is intended for Cis Women but I found it all so relevant to my own situation.
It is reading articles such as these that empower me to go out and hold my head up high. Thank you.
Stephanie x

Stephanie Aston

I have never shyed away from my height of 6ft. And I wear heels. Yes I have had the odd comment like “oh you’re so tall” or “Why do you wear heels?” Or the classic “you are so intimidating”. However, those digs roll off me like water on a duck.

Of course I was the tallest in my school year, boys didn’t want to date me because I was “too tall”. Tried dating apps and found that I was targeted by fetish me who had fantasies about tall women.

My friends are average height and I am OK with that. Not many tall women in my circle, i am OK with that too. Friends bring different qualities.

I use my height to my advantage in the workplace and yep i wear heels at work. In a male dominated environment. Heels finish off an outfit.

I make 90% of my clothes, so my trousers are long enough as well as my sleeves. I cringe when I see tall women wearing trousers that are too short which are supposed to long on average women . I know there are many tall women struggle with loving themselves because of their height etc. Not me. My parents always used to say " shoulders back head high and don’t slouch, be proud of your height". I will never blend in so I stand out. And I know standing out is bonus as I have walked into rooms/events and people just stare. I used to get a complex but now I embrace it and make sure that my outfits and shoes are on point. Let them stare!😁

I don’t care what people say about my height.

I now see many more young women who are tall but many I can see find it awkward and coming to terms with their bodies. More curvy and tall especially in different cultures. I hope they too will learn to love their height and bodies sooner than later.

Vivienne Aiyela

Oh that’s such a lovely story Julie :) Thank you for sharing that, and well done Paulina! xxxx


This is such a great article. I agree with everything but the very last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. I was a lanky 6’1” teenager who alway felt awkward and never pretty. One day at a mall in Atlanta, Georgia I met Paulina Porizkova, who was then a top model and was promoting Estée Lauder. I thought she was soooo beautiful. I stood in line to meet her and when it was my turn she looked up and smiled warmly and asked me how tall I was. I told her sheepishly that I was 6’1” and she responded by saying “Ah, I am so jealous I always wanted to be over 6 feet!” In that moment I felt proud to be my height, in that moment I began to see that my height was an asset not a deficient. It was this moment when I began to actively love myself. I will always be grateful to Paulina and her kindness to a tall awkward girl. I hope to someday pass that along but maybe I already have because these days I always walk tall and proud of my height. ♥️


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