I've always been tall. At 16, I topped out at 5'11". An inch shy of six feet, I was told I had two occupational choices: modeling or basketball. I chose neither, mostly out of spite.
In my mind, tall equaled big. I longed to be petite. Adjectives that were supposed to define girls, like "dainty" or "cute," don't seem to coexist with "tall." And in fairy tales, the princess never towers over her hero. He has to be able to scoop her up onto his white stallion to save her from the foul dragon. While other girls were looking up at guys batting their eyelashes, I found it was impossible to look coyly standing eye-to-eye.
Shopping was no picnic either. Everyone told me they would "die for long legs," but they didn't realize covering them was a chore. There were no inseams long enough (this was before the handy capri pant came into style), and most skirts made me look like I was headed to work the street corner. And shoes? As birthdays crept by, it became increasingly difficult to look dressed-up wearing flats, but I did my best.
In college, a nightmare scenario loomed all too vividly in my mind. I could see a dashing young man across the room, our eyes meet; there are instant fireworks; dramatic music begins to play; he approaches… the record scratches. He is looking directly at my chin. Thus, while other girls were "shoe fanatics," I merely lusted after gorgeous shoes I could never wear. I couldn't bear the thought of being taller than even more guys than biology had dictated.
I did try heels. Once. When I was 18, I found an amazing pair of wedge heels too fabulous to pass up. The first time I wore them, I was with my best guy friend, who was also 5'11". His exclamation of "Did you grow?" promptly curbed my heel fixation.