The star talks loving her height while wearing a leggy Balmain dress at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and Elle Present Women in Music

By Kaitlyn Frey
May 17, 2017 12:20 PM
Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty

Hailee Steinfeld loves a good mini moment. The star often shows off her 5’8″ figure in super leggy looks on the red carpet, and she knows how to strike the Jennifer Lopez leg pose almost better than JLo. But Steinfeld revealed that she wasn’t always confident being the tallest girl when she was growing up.

“In school, I was always taller than everybody else and I didn’t necessarily love it. I felt like it made me stand out in a way I didn’t want to stand out in,” she told PEOPLE at the Billboard Music Awards and Elle magazine’s Women in Music event in Los Angeles.

FROM PEN: Amandla Stenberg’s Best Beauty Lesson Is One We All Need to Follow

Now, as Steinfeld’s blossomed into a red carpet style star (thanks to the help of her stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn), she’s started embracing her height — and sometimes even wishes she was taller.

“Now I can appreciate it. I feel really comfortable showing off my legs,” she told us. “I love myself for that. Sometimes I wish I could be taller. Thank God for heels because we can do that!”

Last night, the singer did just that, sporting a leg-baring black Balmain gown with high Christian Louboutin pumps to amp up her height, before switching into a crop top and pants for a performance during the award show.

At the MTV Movie Awards earlier this month she opted for another mini moment, putting her legs on display in a lavender Fausto Puglisi mini dress teamed with metallic heels.

Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Steinfeld said that her fashion transformation is influenced heavily by her music.

“With my single, ‘Most Girls,’ that song is about waking up and being whoever you want to be whenever you want to be that,” Steinfeld said. “With that song, I’ve had the most fun performing in sweatpants to mini dresses to jeans and a tank top.”

And the style chameleon definitely can pull off all looks.

The Billboard Music Awards airs live on May 21 (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

What’s your favorite mini dress moment of Hailee’s? Share your pick with us in the comments below.

–with reporting by Abby Stern