Saturday, July 23, 2016

Being a 6' tall Woman in Georgia

**1 inch is 2.54 cm**

Okay, fine, I'm not 6' ...I'm 5'11"
but I don't think things would be any different if I were an inch taller, and 6' makes for a pithier title

Getty:
Georgian young women run a 50 metre race in high heels in Tbilisi, on June 24, 2014.
To participate in the race women must wear heels 7 cm tall.
Most people in Georgia are pretty medium-short in the height department.
In the USA, average male height is 5'9.5" (175.9 cm) and for women 5'4" (162.1 cm) according to Wikipedia
Unfortunately, I couldn't find statistics on average heights of Georgian people, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say about 1-2 inches less than the US across the board, so maybe 172 cm for men and 157 cm for women.

There certainly are tall people here! In the past 2 months in Tbilisi I have seen probably 5 Georgian women as tall as me (and to be fair, I do have a tendency to underestimate people's heights).
There are many men around 5'10" (178 cm), but also many very short men. On a daily basis I see probably 4-5 men taller than me (excluding the massive American embassy people) when I'm walking around a place with lots of people.
Note that most of these police women (from around the
Caucasus region, not just Georgia) are wearing high heels...

There seems to be an odd trend of every 20-something guy thinking he is 180 cm...I am 180 cm...I have double, triple, quadruple checked the math. And I'm pretty sure I haven't grown in the last year or so.
People who are very clearly an inch or two shorter than me will insist that they are 180 cm! I don't know where this phenomenon comes from...maybe this is considered the ideal height for men so they lie to themselves that they are 180 until it is internalized to the point that they really believe it? Who knows. But I'm 180. If you're shorter than me, you're not 180.
 
All that is to say that I am significantly taller than most people, and especially most women. For example, I live in a 10-story apartment building, and I would bet $200 that I am the tallest woman living here.

Georgians are stare-y people. Staring just isn't considered rude here! "Checking someone out" with a full body visual scan is pretty common - I've even started doing it myself...what is unusual however, is people's tendency to look at me, and then immediately look at my feet to see if I'm wearing high heels (I'm not) or if my height is natural (it is). 
It's kind of a weird feeling, because when people do that I know they are fixating on my height. One part of me feels insecure that I'm a giant, yet another part feels insecure because I'm not wearing sexy heels like most Georgian young women...it's a no-win situation.
Taylor Swift, 5'10"/178 cm
Bruno Mars, 5'5"/165 cm

I did bring ONE pair of low wedges with me to Tbilisi. I have worn them twice in the past two months. 
When I wear them on the metro my head hits the little plastic hanging hand-holds...
I wore them once when I went out with my friend Nastya who is about 5'9" (175.2 cm) and since we were clubbing where the goal is to stand out as much as possible, I think I felt pretty okay. 

Tbilisi has a major road/sidewalk infrastructure problem - the sidewalks are basically obstacle courses, and even in flats I'm constantly mis-gauging my steps and end up shuffling against bumps in the sidewalk in an awkward little half-trip motion. This is 10 times more embarrassing (and more likely) when you're in heels, since a) everyone is staring at you even more than normal b) intentionally making yourself 6'2" (188 cm) is a "look at me" statement, and you really have to be absolutely perfect to pull that off c) Georgian women seem to have no problem teetering around these roads in 4-5 inch stilettos.

Ivanka Trump in heels

After Donald Trump's skin-crawlingly uncomfortable description of his daughter, it stuck in my head that she was 6'...
So I ended up spending my morning googling some attempted confidence boosters:
Ivanka Trump heels
Jared Rushner height
Jared Rushner how tall
celebrities high heels 
celebrities woman taller than man
tall women in heels

then I remembered that heels are actually very bad for your feet and back and tried to make myself feel better about the fact that I will probably never rock heels on a regular basis by googling:
red carpet flats
celebrities in flats
cute outfits with flats
flats that don't make your feet look humongous 
 
I also found this uncomfortable clip...
In it, these men all gush about how hot it is when a woman hears heels, one guy says it makes people think he's rich when his wife wears heels and is taller than him...there are so many problems here I don't even know where to start - probably the most unfortunate thing was that there was no mention of how wearing heels makes a woman feel - the person who is actually being affected by her own choice...but one guy said "I'm 6'3", so I haven't really encountered this problem" - no one felt the need to point out his little word fumble, calling a woman being taller than her man a "problem"

All this googling was less than productive...so I decided to write this post instead. 
Honestly after all this I would love to go out and buy a pair of killer heels! Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure there are no stores in Tbilisi that sell fashionable women's shoes in my size. So I guess I'll hold off until next month when I'm back in the states - land of giants.







2 comments:

  1. Haha. Awesome post (and, for the record, this comes from a 180cm-tall man. Actually, 184, but I'd write off 4cm to natural age-related shrinkage).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha. Awesome post (and, for the record, this comes from a 180cm-tall man. Actually, 184, but I'd write off 4cm to natural age-related shrinkage).

    ReplyDelete