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"I won't 'downsize' myself with flats." Pat Collins, 6', size 10 to 12; teacher

Get Up, Stand Up: "Child, stop complaining," Pat's mother would tell her. "God made you tall so that men would look up to you." Although Pat still has insecurities about her height—"When I was young, the other kids treated me like a freak''—her husband (over six feet tall himself) encourages her to walk tall: "Put on your heels!" he says.

High Style: Pat's heels and skinny jeans emphasize her endless legs—nice to look at, difficult to shop for. "It can be hard to find pants that are long enough," she says. "Sometimes I wear men's." She avoids miniskirts ("I don't need extra drama") and likes her hair long ("It softens my profile. With short hair, I look too androgynous").

The Big Idea: A former runway model and junior track-and-field Olympian, Pat conducts health and beauty workshops in elementary schools. Mental strength, she argues, is crucial to self-acceptance: "I tell the girls to send themselves positive messages—I'm beautiful; I stand tall. Mirrors are an important way to talk to yourself."


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