International Women's Day
It's International Women's Day on Tuesday 8th March. To celebrate, we pay tribute to five inspirational women who stand tall in every way.
Gwendoline Christie – 6’3”
Making it in Hollywood is notoriously difficult. But in a world of chiselled, dashing leading men and their dainty romantic partners, it’s a sad fact of life that if you’re a tall female it’s nigh-on impossible to catch a break.
But impossible isn’t a word in Gwendoline Christie’s dictionary. Despite the odds being stacked heavily against her, she has become a fan-favourite in three of the biggest franchises in screen history – Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and Star Wars.
As far as acting careers go, you don’t get much better a start than that and it’s doubly inspirational given that Christie spent most of her formative years being bullied over her appearance.
“I'm certainly really rather tall at 6 foot 3, and I've been this way since I was 14, but for years, women who are even 5 foot 10 have come up to me in the street and said, 'Oh, it's so nice to see a woman who is taller than me. I've always felt like a giant.”
Gabby Reece - 6’3”
Despite being the odd-one-out at school owing to her height, Gabby Reece wasted no time worrying about her differences and instead turned them into strengths right out of the gate.
Gabby’s gift for volleyball was obvious the second she took it up, so much so that she was awarded a scholarship at Florida State University where she went on to set numerous records (which still stand to this day.) As one of the best volleyball players the sport has ever seen, Reece went professional immediately after graduation and went onto further success as a captain for Team Nike.
That would be enough for most people, but she’s also a professional sports model, writer, actress, TV presenter, and mother. She even trained in golf for a while, making us wonder how many hours are in a typical day for Gabby Reece.
“I think if I was 5-foot-3, I would have been really popular and dated a lot more in high school. I didn't develop like the pretty girl… [now] I am a babe for a living.”
Michelle Obama – 5’11”
Regardless of your political leanings, the current First Lady of America (at the time of writing) has been an undeniable inspiration for women and young girls the world over. Smart, driven and always elegant, Michelle spent much of her career as a lawyer dedicated to non-profit community and social projects (setting many long-lasting fundraising records along the way.)
Following her appointment as First Lady, Obama continued to put her influence to good use by campaigning for equal rights, healthy eating and better care for homeless veterans.
“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”
Taylor Swift – 5’10”
40 million album sales, 130 million single downloads, 10 Grammys, 22 Billboard Music Awards and the youngest woman ever to be included on Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List. The accomplishments of the formidable T-Swift are nothing short of phenomenal.
A dedicated philanthropist, in 2012 Michelle Obama presented her with The Big Help Award for her dedication to helping others. Arguably the living embodiment of Girl Power, her famous ‘girl squad’ includes the likes of Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne. Swift has also recently supported Kesha to the tune of $250k in her ongoing legal battle with producer Dr Luke.
Ever stylish in the face of Kanye West’s continued attacks, we very definitely count ourselves among her loyal 68m Instagram followers.
“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”
Karlie Kloss – 6’1”
Models frequently find themselves under fire from people who deride them as nothing more than a pretty face, but you’d be hard pressed to point the same criticism as the hugely talented Karlie Kloss.
At the age of only 23, the American beauty has already achieved more successes and awards than most other supermodels will achieve in an entire lifetime. But as well as being listed by Vogue as one of the top 30 models of the past decade, she’s got the brains and heart to match her stunning looks.
An avid coder, Kloss started the Kode with Karlie scholarship to encourage young girls into computer sciences. And as noted in our previous Tall Story, she was recently named ELLE’s Inspiring Woman of the Year thanks to her extensive charity work.
“Today, models are able to share industry news, trends, and communicate with fans through Twitter, Instagram and blogs. So in a way, our position as models is way more personable and relatable.”
13 photos you'll only understand if you're over 5'9"