I’m an outlier. I’m a tall Asian girl.
Think about it- how many tall asian girls have you seen in your lifetime? Yes, you can count them on one hand.
I’m a 5’10” Asian girl. This fact is very much apart of my identity. I will share experiences and lessons learned from my 30+ years of living on this universe. First, let’s get a few facts out of the way:
- Tall: 5 feet, 8 inches or above (for ladies)
- Asian: Uh, how do you not know what Asian is? Visit California or New York and go yum cha, homie.
- Most Asians are shorter than me. The average guy height is 5’8”. The average girl height is 5’2”. These are statistically proven facts based on my own personal experience.
Here are 11 things you’d discover if you stepped into my shoes (that are flats, no need for heels).
1. Unspoken rule: If you see another tall Asian girl, you acknowledge her. Respect. And you also look at each other in bewilderment.
When I was walking down the streets in Frankfurt, Germany, I saw another tall Asian girl. We made eye contact, stared at each other, and looked to see if the other person was wearing heels. It was an odd dynamic.
Another time, I did not follow this rule though. I was in Cinque Terre, Italy, and I saw a girl taller than me. I immediately made my friend take a picture.
I should have said hi. Fail. I was in my early 20’s and an unaware youngster.
Since then, I have come a long way. Earlier this year, I had an encounter-
The airport security line bonds two tall Asians girls. Thank you, SFO. I now stand loud and proud.
2. You will be described as the “tall asian girl”.
Who’s Jo? The tall asian girl. Immediate identification. No need to say more.
3. Traveling to Asia? Have fun.
For one, the ceilings are low.
And clothes won’t fit you. The struggle is real. If you go a size up in clothing, the shirt simply gets wider, not longer.
4. People assume you play sports.
This generalization applies to most tall people. People assume you play either basketball or volleyball. For me, I gravitated toward volleyball and played for 9 years. If you play basketball, you will be put at the center position, especially if you play on a team with other Asians. Your sole job is to rebound.
5. You will TOWER over other friends- especially if they are Asian.
I went to a middle school in San Francisco with a 99% Chinese population. The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I had a 3 inch growth spurt. I was gangly 5’8” girl and everyone else was around 5’2”. At least one person would make a comment about how tall I was EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
6. You may have bad posture.
Because you always slouch, as most of your friends are shorter. Ugh.
7. People may not think you’re full Asian.
“What are you?”
“You mean my ethnicity? I’m Asian.”
“No, you’re not. You’re something else.”
Really, stranger. Please enlighten me on how you know my ancestral history.
8. When you are around other tall people, you LOVE IT.
When traveling in Denmark and Netherlands, the people were so tall. I thought I was part Dutch. Except wait, I no have blond hair and blue eyes.
This infographic shows that people in the Netherlands are indeed taller. Indonesia? Not so much. But I dig their food. And here’s another resource that breaks down height by country.
9. You can come off as intimidating.
Height combined with resting b* face? Not a good combo.
To read more about RBF, watch this video.
10. No need to wear heels. Comfort is in.
I have worn heels a total of five times in my entire life. True story. This eliminates 75% of the shoe department at Nordstrom, making for less options and higher efficiency when shopping. I can dig it.
11. OWN IT.
This goes with most things in life. I’ve been self-conscious about my height, and I’ve learned to embrace it. There are great positives- seeing above crowds, reaching high items, and having a greater presence. And there are negatives- can we talk about flying United Airlines and there being NO legroom? Eesh. Go with Jet Blue, folks.
Now, time for a disclaimer: These viewpoints are solely mine. In my writing, I do not represent the entire species of tall Asian females (all 7.3 of us, that is). Everybody is different, and these perspectives are my own.
What’s this list missing? Let me know your experiences, friends. Holla at me, fellow tall Asian girls!