Aly Stolz draws attention in any crowd.
“No matter what, anywhere I go, I stand out,” she says.
That’s understandable; Aly is 6’9″, and she towers above most people.
“I have always been tall,” she told Barcroft TV. “Even when I was in kindergarten, I was a full head and shoulders above everyone else in the class. In elementary school, I was probably, like, 5’8″, maybe when I was, like, 8 years old. In middle school, I shot up, and I was 6’3″ in seventh grade.”
“In high school, I pretty much peaked, I got to be about 6’8″ or 6’9″ by the end of high school.”
That wasn’t always easy, especially when Aly was younger.
“In the past, other people made me feel really bad about my height, for being different. When I was in school, kids would call me stuff like Godzilla, they’d call me ‘monster.'”
“I can laugh about it now,” she says, “but at the time, obviously, it was deeply upsetting. But ultimately it made me a stronger person.”
These days, Aly acknowledges that her tall height doesn’t always make life easy. That’s especially true when she goes shopping.
When I go shoe shopping, it’s a nightmare. I wear a shoe size 16 women’s, and 14 men’s. Dresses are great, I can wear them as shirts,” she says, laughing. “Finding pants that are long enough in the store, it’s like, literally it’s a miracle.”
But she’s not ashamed of her size. Quite the contrary; she loves how she looks, and she’s encouraging other women to take the same pride in her body.
The shift may have started when Aly took part in a few unusual photography sessions.
“I did, like…themed shoots, where I would do things like pick up guys who were small, or stand next to them to show how short they were,” she explains. “It was good, I made some good money. I had some interesting experiences. Ultimately, it was not creatively fulfilling for me at all. It became very boring.”
Now, she focuses on her own art, which is quite breathtaking. She says that her work began to advance when she realized that her height wasn’t a curse.
“I’m strong, I can lift heavy things, I can reach up high,” she says. “Another great thing about being so tall is I think a lot about how I embody space and how I move through space. That informs my work a lot.”
She’s also in a loving relationship. Her boyfriend, Sean Webb, is 6’4″, about five inches shorter than Ally.
“We get a lot of attention when we walk around,” Sean says. “It’s good attention, from my perspective.”
Aly says that Sean appreciates her strength, and he agrees.
“The height is a wonderful thing,” he says, “but to know who she is, it’s a whole ‘nother thing that’s bigger than ourselves.”
As for Aly, she’s finally comfortable with who she is—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I feel strong, I feel beautiful, I don’t worry as much about what people think about me walking down the street. A lot of people put a lot of effort into standing out…I feel blessed to have that.”