Dolly Alderton is a tall girl in her twenties. A tall girl who just so happens to have achieved more in her short career than most journalists (or indeed any of us) would hope to in a lifetime. And it’s no surprise when you read her work; her writing style is incisive, accessible and incredibly witty, whilst also remaining heartfelt and genuine. But perhaps most impressively it comes across as totally effortless. Words flow so easily that you consume her articles and columns in moments. Moments during which you smile and laugh because you can relate to almost everything she writes about in the context of your own life.
At the age of 28 she has not only written for some of the leading newspapers and magazines in the country – including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Times Style and Grazia, to name a few – she has also been story producer for series 2,3,4 and 5 of Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning Made In Chelsea, co-written and co-directed films which were accepted to The London Short Film Festival and recently published a book, to be released on the 1st February 2018 (preorder now). She also happens to co-host one of our favourite podcasts, The High Low, with Pandora Sykes (if you haven’t listened to their episode on Harvey Weinstein, do it now!).
In and amongst all that, Dolly found the time to have to an exclusive chat with HøFSisters on all things dating, fashion, career and height-related. You can read the full interview with the lovely and incredibly gorgeous 6ft wordsmith below.
Your dating column was brilliant, it always made me laugh. Have you ever had a weird or amusing dating experience in relation to your height?
I remember turning up for a first date once and the bloke said “I didn’t know you’d be so BIG” in an accusatory way. I wish people would remember “big” and “tall” are two very different adjectives.
Do you use dating apps? If so, do you put your height on them and what are men’s reactions to that?
No, I don’t anymore. But I did for years. My bio was always “tall writer”. Most men would ask: “how tall??” as an opening gambit. And I’d tell them – 6 ft. I was always amazed at how many defensively would say: “well I’m only 5 ft 10 is that a problem?”. I always sort of thought, well, the fact you’re even asking me if it’s a problem says to me it’s probably a problem for you.
Do you date men shorter than you?
Yes! I’m really not bothered by men being shorter than me, most of them are. In an ideal world I’ll meet some square-jawed 6 ft 5 bloke built like an Eddie Stobart truck, but it’s really not an essential. It’s an obvious point to make, but how attractive someone is really has fuck all to do with their physical appearance.
It’s impressive how much you’ve achieved at such a young age. What do you put your energy and drive down to and who are your main influences?
Thank you! I’ve always been quite career-focused, since I was a kid. And I’m very lucky that I always knew what I wanted to do, so I could geek out doing some groundwork ahead of schedule. I wrote blogs from the age of 16, one of which was the same word count as War and Peace by the time I logged out for the last time. Thank GOD they will never see the light of day.
When it comes to your career, have you found your height a help or an hindrance, or really no feature at all?
Because I’m a writer, I am in a rare and fortunate position for a woman where my appearance is very rarely judged in the workplace. Unless I’m working with a brand, or having a byline photo taken I just sit at home behind my laptop bashing out words.
How would you define your personal style and which are the brands you most love to wear?
Ooh I don’t know how I would define it. Like any predictable millennial woman, I love that easy French girl style. I love the silhouettes of the 60s. I like sharp, masculine tailoring but I also adore feminine frothy maxi dresses (when I find one long enough). Oh and a mini. I love a mini.
Do you wear heels? Do you have a favourite pair or style of shoes?
Yes, I love heels, even if it does mean men will consistently tell me I’m tall on a night out. I have a fab pair that I wear all the time from Carvella that are a classic pointy pump with a pencil thin heel. I picked up some Isabel Marant poppies in an Oxfam once that I love. I also have these Zara shoe boots that I ADORE but they’re so high they make me about six foot five, so I have to really pick my events for those. I never mind being that tall, but it seems to endlessly fascinate or irritate or bewilder other people.
Your book is being published in February 2018, which must be hugely exciting! Can you tell us a little about it?
Thank you! It’s a memoir from the last decade of my life and it’s about all the passionate, platonic, everlasting, short-lived, requited, unrequited, lost, hideous, beautiful love I’ve navigated in early adulthood. Only a portion of it is about romance – boys are sort of the supporting act in it.
How did you feel about your height growing up?
I loathed it. As I’ve got older I’ve never learnt to really love it – I would love to say I do, but I find it a bit embarrassing and impractical a lot of the time, but I have definitely learnt to accept it with a semblance of serenity. It’s part of who I am and I wouldn’t change that. And at least I can see everything at gigs.
What advice would you give to tall girls who are perhaps struggling with their height or simply want to blend in?
- Any man who has a problem with your height is, truly, no man at all. It’s good to know if they do from date one because then you can eliminate him and hold out for the inevitable king of your world who’ll worship every bit of you and kiss your massive flipper feet.
- Don’t listen to how much your friends weigh, you’re MEANT to weigh about three stone more than them. Don’t feel shameful about that.
- You might not get the treatment a lot of other girls around you get – people won’t offer you their coat when it’s cold, people won’t worry about you getting ill, people will assume you’re fine a lot of the time. But never shrink yourself down to get that attention or care from people. The one’s who love you and whose love is worth anything will know that you might be built like Wonder Woman/an oak tree but, just like every single human of every shape and size, there are still days you want to be folded up in someone’s arms.
- Don’t ever feel embarrassed for taking up space. You’re not getting in the way. You’re not unfeminine. There’s no right way to be a woman.
- Watch this video as much as you need to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zLCRJBxDb0
All images by Joanna Bongard
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