September 17


Traveling 101: The Labels Associated With You

Have Curls, Will Travel

I am tall.

It’s a fact–the average height of an American woman is 5’4″ and with me standing at 5’8″, I am definitely above the average.  What was unexpected when I was younger, yet that I have learned over the years is the way my height comes into play when interacting with others abroad.

In Vietnam, I am taller than almost everyone.  Add the fact that I wear heels regularly, and you’re suddenly standing in the presence of a giant.  It is not uncommon for me to be stared at, pointed to, and children near me jumping up and down to try and reach my height.  Somehow, that one label–tall–changes my daily interactions compared to those that are of normal height.

Yet, to be sure, the labels don’t just stop there:

woman, educated, person of color, middle-class, North American, kinky haired, near-sighted, native English speaker….

These labels and attributes unconsciously…

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