Hi everyone, I’m SO happy to be here, doing this.
This has been a long time coming and I’m honored that you’re reading me today. I hope you’ll find The T-Factor interesting, the Podcast interviews compelling and eye-opening as much as I do. I have lots of ideas for this space in the near future but for now, it’s a place where I’ll be sharing anecdotes, fashion tips and thoughts on what it is to be out of the norm in a world that keeps wanting us all to fit in a box. And I was never really able to fit in any box, or clothes for that matter!
"Growing up it wasn't easy
I didn't fit in
I didn't fit the mold"
- MarieLine "Take Me Away"
At almost 6ft2", finding clothes is a bitch. To a point where I'll stalk other tall women in the streets to find out where they got their yoga pants or interrogate women in the elevator where they found that jacket with the long sleeves. It's better now though, thankfully. Not the stalking, that's still a requisite in the world of tallness. Designers now seem to understand there's a market out there for the unusual heights. Thanks to Net-A-Porter and Moda Operandi for example (yes they carry some shoes up to 43!) and many major brands' Tall sections online, I can finally have fun with fashionable, sometimes luxurious pieces of clothing. It sure is a constant research though, one that I'll be documenting here.
Beyond the fashionista in me wanting to blog about clothes and all my little finds in this world, the idea to start a Podcast came to me when I was doing press for my single Take Me Away. I had to talk about this deeply personal record in detail and I realized I wanted to bring my songwriting to the next level, continue the conversation. This song is about my hardships growing up different in a world that constantly seemed to be telling me I didn’t fit in. It talks about the fact that life is not supposed to be that hard to live, that things get better with time and resilience.
But, really, what does it mean?
We always hear or read about ‘things get better, you’ll see.”
That’s exactly what I want to dive into in my Podcast with my guests. How did they come to terms with their difference? In my case it was being very tall in a place where people my height could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
In her memoir Audition, Barbara Walters shares how her adoptive daughter had a really
hard time with her 6ft tall frame, growing up in the 70-80’s in New York City (albeit also having a famous, busy mother). She was rebellious, doing drugs and apparently couldn’t find her place. She finally decided to find solace in opening her own center for troubled youth.
Mind you falling into trouble probably can't be blamed on height alone, but it does seem to be a leitmotiv among very tall people that it just ain't easy to be sticking out and not fitting in.
What does it take, how does one overcome one's difference and learn to turn what could be a burden into a strength?
I am fascinated by this human condition in particular and am curious to learn from others how they managed to do just that. In a time where there’s finally a constructive conversation about body image, where the unusual can be powerful, it’s time to let the world know that Tall is beautiful, it’s not easy, it’s out of the norm and it’s exceptional.
It’s one day I want to strangle any short person sitting in an exit row and petition airlines demanding one must be 5’11ft or taller to qualify to sit at the exit row, and the next day I feel so fortunate being this tall, reaching the top shelf not even thinking about it. Life on earth is a beautiful thing, no matter how shitty you think you look or feel.
I wrote my song Take Me Away in the midst of this wave of teen suicides. It seemed every week, we’d hear of another school kid taking his or her own life, always for the same
reasons of being bullied, of not being heard or understood, not fitting in. I would always be very distraught while reading all these articles about trans children who decide not living will be less painful, watching those tv shows on teenage angst like 13 Reasons Why. I always felt the need to reach out and hug them and let them know if they’d hold on just a little while longer and more importantly sought adequate help, they’d have been able to find that beauty and reason to live.
Thankfully for me, I didn’t have to deal with the cyber bullying that exists today. My experience with bullying stopped at the school doors or in my work later on. Today, it feels like there’s no chance for the mind to reset, it’s being attacked on all fronts and kids are not given the tools to cope nor do the adults know how to deal with it. I truly feel for those who have a hard time seeing their worth.
Being out of the norm is a blessing by all means. It's sometimes hard to see, it's certainly been the case for me, but it's part of what I call the T-Factor.
The T-Factor is that little special thing that makes us extra-ordinary. Everyone has one and a few. You are Talented, you are Tenacious, you are Thriving and I can't wait to meet you.
Listen to my Podcast on Itunes.