Letter to My 16 Year Old Self: Miss Tall International 2009


If could could speak to yourself at 16, what would you say? What wise words of advice would you have to tell yourself, hoping to make your youth easier?  The FashionBlog team asked Holli Jennings, the reigning ‘Miss Tall International’ to do just that - write a letter to her 16 year old self.
Letter to My 16 Year Old Self
By Holli Jennings
Miss Tall International® 2009

Dear Holli,
Happy 16th birthday!  I’m sorry everyone forgot your birthday this year.  It’s difficult when your younger sister’s birthday is 2 days before yours.  It’s also summertime and you have 3 other sisters.  There are softball games, swimming lessons, driving lessons…but your grandmothers all remembered!  Don’t forget that.  You got a wonderful party with your family all around you so there’s really not much more that you need.  And they did remember by dinner-time…
How lucky you are!  You have 3 sisters who drive you crazy all the time yet each one would stand up for you at a moments notice.  You don’t know it now but these 3 amazing women are your lifelines.  They will stand by you when you are at your weakest.  You will turn to them whenever you have a problem, a joyous moment, or simply to tell them that you miss them.  In fact, one of them will give you 3 amazing nieces and 1 devilish nephew.  Your youngest sister will give you another precious niece.  You will love them unconditionally even when they have problems you can’t fix and issues that you can’t understand.
Your parents are quite possibly the world’s greatest parents.  You don’t believe me now but in about 8 years you and your sisters rent a billboard to let them know just how wonderful they are.  Don’t worry about your dad, he’s a little shy and he might seem like he’s mad about the whole billboard thing but you’ll find out later that he’s so moved and proud he can’t talk about it because he might start crying.
You are already so tall!  6’1” and still growing.  It’s a little tough finding slacks and jeans right now but don’t worry, it gets better.  The fashion industry does start catching up in about 6 or 7 years.  Start buying items that fit you now.  Don’t waste your money on cheap clothes that don’t fit right.  Spend the money on a nice pair of classic black pants and some crisp white shirts.  Buy a classic black coat that has sleeves long enough to fit your arms.  You will be so glad you did.  Believe me, you are getting a pretty great job in a few years and you will look back and wonder about some of the clothes you used to wear.  You’ll feel better too.
Work harder at your sports.  I know you really don’t enjoy playing basketball but it does pay for some of your college later on.  It probably could’ve paid for more if you would’ve worked harder.  You love being on the team and the whole social aspect of basketball but a few more hours of practice wouldn’t hurt.
You are going to succeed in your career.  You think you are going to go to school to be a teacher but somewhere you are going to figure out that it’s not the right path for you.  Good for you!  I loved it when you first started your career.  It was so fun figuring out how to use your height (and your humor) to your advantage.  It really throws people off.
Don’t lose that sense of humor!!!  You’ve got this sarcastic wit about you that people seem to connect with.  Keep that as long as possible and continue to see the good in everyone.  You’ll try out for a comedy group…and you’ll fail.  But that’s okay, you’ll have a great story to tell everyone (like you always do).
You won’t believe this but you will learn that just because you are tall, you don’t have to date only tall men!  Grandma is a little old-fashioned when she told you that you had to find someone taller.  You can date anyone you want.  In fact, there’s a guy that you’ll meet in about 10 years or so who you’ll only date for a few months but he’ll teach you that height is not (and should not) be a requirement for dating a tall woman.  If you limit yourself to dating men that are taller than you, you are severely limiting your dating pool.  He was so right!  And he was 5’6”.  His personality was so much bigger than his actual height.  You were lucky to have met him and conversely, he was lucky to have met you.  You’ll remain on good terms with him because he’s a great guy and he’ll teach you a lot about yourself.
Being tall is going to define much of your life and it’s going to be grand!  You’ll love the attention (and you do get noticed in both good and bad ways) and you’ll use it in anyway that you can.  Right now it’s a little tough being tall since your friends are all so much smaller than you but you are so lucky because you’ve got your sisters right there.  Your dad is 6’6” and your mom is 5’7” (well, we never really know how tall mom is because she changes her height all the time.  When you get a little bit older you will truly embrace your height.
Oh…so much to tell you but I probably should hold off.  I wouldn’t want to spill the beans on too much.  You are going to have a very interesting and fun-filled life.  It’s filled with ups and downs and twists and turns but you are so much stronger and more resilient than you know.  If there’s one thing I can impress upon you more than anything it would be to always remember to love yourself.  Regardless.
Love me, 

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