At times amusing, the reflexive shock my height often produces when I stand up in a public place has become something I notice, but (mostly) no longer let bother me.
There is a particular version of this shock that involves men of average or shorter than average height and public transport.
Women everywhere will know what I mean when I mention the full body scan men do with their eyes over women’s bodies. Head to toe and back up, it isn’t usually very subtle or quick. Used maliciously, it can be intimidating, but more often than not, it seems to be a reflex action similar to that of an involuntary kick given when a doctor tests your knees.
Talls have another version of this scan to deal with, and it is often experienced on public transport as soon as we enter or stand up.
It’s the “Quick! Check to see how high that woman’s heels are because there is NO WAY she can be that much taller than me,” scan.
I imagine that quite often, the men doing the height appraisal are disappointed to find that the woman in question is wearing anything but skyscraper heels and is in fact, very tall. I’ve often wondered if there is an appropriate response to those height ascertaining scans. A nod and a smile that says, “Yes, I’m tall, and it’s lovely up here, thanks,” perhaps?