Dutch Reach New Heights, in my Book

17 Apr

I crane my neck to catch glimpses of the men in the queue with me. They’re all tall, lean, fair-skinned and Dutch.

I’m not accustomed to this. At 5’8 I’ve always been tall for my gender. (The average Canadian woman is 5’4½).

While other girls trod around in high heels, I’ve avoided them, sticking flats—obviously for the purely altruistic reason of not wanting to intimidate passers-by with my height.

One of the few times when I did slip on 3-inch heels—rendering me 5’11 in case you can’t do the math—was at the launch party of our fourth year magazine, The Ryerson Review of Journalism. I had to be encouraged into heels by supportive friends and roommate. And what was the result?

Several group pictures where I’m slouching amongst my tiny Asian friends and the lasting memory of one comment from a tactful attendee: “That girl is taller than me!”

I haven’t worn heels since.

But, my one-day stay in Amsterdam has allayed my fears that I am sad female giant, destined to spend my life foraging for ways to seem shorter, and has provided me with hope that the fault lies with the too-short male gender—average height 5’9.

The answer? I don’t know. Maybe move to the Netherlands one day?


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