An Interview with Joy Dawson, Miss Tall International 2010

Me crowning Joy as Miss TI 2010.

I nabbed it!  That’s right, the exclusive interview with Tall Clubs International reigning queen, Miss Tall International® 2010, Joy Dawson.  The wonderful part of conducting an interview with someone that you know (and like!) is that it’s fun and makes my writing pastime even more enjoyable for me.  This interview is extremely special to me because I was the outgoing queen who crowned Joy as the incoming queen.  Typically in a situation like this it can be a little bittersweet but from my perspective I was incredibly excited to pass the torch.  All of the candidates in the 2010 pageant were truly amazing women, but Joy stood out amongst the group.  So today I get to tell you a little bit more about her, in her own words, and what makes her so special.  I’m also going to give you some information regarding the next Tall Pageant so if you are interest in attending, you’ll know the 4-1-1 and who to contact.

Without further ado, let’s talk about Joy!

___________________________

Height: 6′ 2″ barefoot

Local Tall Club:  Tall Club of Greater Washington, DC

Advantages of Being Tall:  When you find an item of clothing that
fits, it looks fantastic.  Even a simple piece looks elegant and
dramatic on a tall person.

Disadvantages: Sometimes you have to go to go as far as Canada or
England to find something that fits!  Shipping charges are a bear.

What is a day in the life of Miss TI
:  I get dressed and go to work
just like everyone else.  However, I am referred to as “Your
Highness” in the places I frequent, which is hilarious.  When I go
somewhere wearing the crown and sash and someone says, “Oh…who are
you?”  I smile and tell them my name is Joy…feigning as if I were
not wearing a sparkly crown and a regal sash.  The person laughs and
it starts a conversation about Tall Clubs and what we are about.

If I may talk a bit about my life as Miss TI when I am doing publicity and
raising awareness, I am so honored that I have been able to bring
attention to my platform, which is bullying.  My platform is
height-related, as is expected of Miss TI.  I was 6′ tall in middle
school and kept growing.  Because of it, I was ridiculed and harassed
mercilessly.  Plus, I didn’t play basketball.  If I had, it might have
taken some of the pressure off me because people would have seen me
using my height to my advantage.  It would have earned me some
respect.  However, I had to be who I was.  I was not going to let
anyone else decide what was best for me just because only fit into one
acceptable, ideal box in the minds of the public.  I have noticed that
tall young people, before they figure out who they are, are always
singled out.  I wanted to use my experiences to help them and other
unique young people.  I have been traveling the country doing speeches
in middle schools.  Why did I wait until I was crowned?  Because few
things make people pay attention like a crown.  And when I wear it and
my fiercest pumps, I look about 6′ 7.”  With that and my message, I
have kept the attention of huge crowds of children for an hour at a
time.  It is energizing.  I only hope that I was able to help someone
and provide some encouragement.

Any favorite moments as Miss TI:  It is hard to choose, but a day
after I was crowned in New Orleans, I got to ride a police horse!!  I
was not going to let the fact that I was wearing a long gown and high
heels keep me from riding this horse.  The dark beauty was eighteen
hands high (gigantic for a horse).  I knew that perhaps I would never
again have a chance to ride a horse that was tall enough for me.  So I
hiked up my dress and hoisted myself up.  However, it
was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life.  I giggled
like a twelve-year-old the whole time.

Joy atop a NOPD horse!

Where do you buy your clothes?: I am probably Long Elegant Legs’, Long
Legs’, and Long Tall Sally’s most popular customer.  I am becoming a
frequent shopper with Simply Tall, too.  I have noticed that the
selection has really improved in the last decade.  Now I can get
clothes in colors other than black, brown, navy, and white.  Also,
smaller sizes are more readily available.  I really appreciate that.
You may be aware that pretty much all of the storefront locations of
the tall women’s specialty shops have closed down in the last couple
of years.  Long Elegant Legs has a warehouse sale twice a year in
Hillsborough, NJ.  I drive up there every year for at least one sale.
It makes me feel like everyone else for a change.  I think women of
average height can not understand what it is like to never be able to
walk into a store and buy clothes.  I am sure it would be a rude
awakening for anyone if one day he or she walked through an entire
mall and only bought a magazine and cup of coffee because nothing else
will ever fit.  We must frequent the businesses I mentioned so that we
statuesque ladies can engage in retail therapy at the mall just like
everyone else.

Any funny moments as a tall woman:
Forgive the personal nature of
this story, but I think it’s hilarious.  I was in a very, very old
building.  You know how much shorter people were a hundred years ago,
right?  Well, nature called and I went to the ladies room.  With the
size of the stall, the height of the bowl, and the length of my legs,
let’s just say I had to choose between sitting down or being able to
close the stall door for some privacy!  Actually, it’s only hilarious
on hindsight.

I would like to close with a few things people/children have exclaimed
upon seeing me.  Sometimes I had on my crown and sash, sometimes I did
not.

“Now that’s a tall, COOL drink of water!” (It was the “cool” part that
made me laugh).
“Look at that tall little girl!”
“Look!  It’s Princess Tiana!”
“Oh!  I thought you were a mannequin!”

___________________________

A HUGE Thank YOU to Joy for helping to make this interview happen.  Being Miss Tall International has lots of responsibilities on top of your daily life so I appreciate the time Joy took out of her busy schedule to make this happen.

The 2011 Tall Clubs International Convention will be held in Seattle, WA beginning June 27th through July 2nd.  The Miss Tall International Pageant will be held on Wednesday, June 29th.  Details can be found at the Miss TI Blogspot or Tall Clubs International (TCI) website.

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