People I'd Like To Work With: Bree Wijnaar
I recently stumbled, joyously, upon a community called the The Tall Society (thanks, Bustle, for throwing me that particular bone). I had that sudden well of excitement, that feeling of commonality, that promise of community. I had found a website bearing a standard for tall women, a support group, a place of empowerment, and listings of where to buy the longest inseams available.
Bree Wijnaar founded The Tall Society in 2015, describing it as "a 100% passion project" on the website. She is 6'4" and eminently fabulous. While it has a very practical Fashion section, featuring shopping and brand guides, the real meat of the site is the Life and Inspiration blogs, with Bree and diverse contributors sharing thoughts on body image, dating, judgemental attitudes, and a wonderful series of profiles, entitled "Meet Your Tall Sisters". I'm taking notes.
Now, I'm not the tallest of ladies. At 5'10" (178.2cm according to my most recent workplace health check) I probably figure average at best in a European or North American "tall" demographic; I can mostly buy clothes, and when I can't it's as likely to be a bust measurement issue as it is one of length. Here in Japan, however, I often feel superhuman. And by that I don't mean a super human, I mean, blown-up on a human copy machine set somewhere between 150-200%.
For 2016 and the year it has been, this discovery was, for me personally, very timely. In the wake of Hillary Clinton's defeat in the US Presidential election, one of the major threads of social analysis I keep encountering is how women don't like other women, or that no one likes women in power. Tall Society speaks to me, though niche, as a platform (bad pun, sorry!) to bring women together, and to embrace their self-contained powers. Whether discussing a great shirt (actual, full-length sleeves) or encouraging a positive body image, this site is certainly something I'll keep tabs on as I re-evaluate my shape and space, not just from a career point of view, but in the world. And I'll not to slouch so much, she says, pulling her shoulders creakily back.