Thought Catalog
September 25, 2012

Short Men, Eww, They’re Genetically Deformed

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What is the issue?
“As life gets longer, awful feels softer. Well it feels pretty soft to me.” Modest Mouse, “The View

Being short sucks.

I’m a 5’5″ (165 cm) tall, male. That is, I’m five inches shorter than your average American man who checks in at 5’10. Average Joe towers over me and a good chunk of the US female population does too.

How do I feel about being short? I’ll say it with feeling this time: It seriously sucks. It’s like walking around with the hashtag #DEFORMED tattooed on your forehead and the words “LOSER WITH BAD GENES” inscribed on your chest in a big, bold neon font.

Look at short people in Hollywood. Tom Cruise, 5’7″, and Jason Alexander, 5’4″, are probably the two most famous short actors. Tom Cruise is know for being a crazy maniac and Jason Alexander is famous for playing George Costanza on Seinfeld, an awkward/short/fat guy who can’t get women. Oh, and don’t forget Michael J. Fox, 5’3″, the guy with Parkinson’s disease. This is the Hollywood presentation of short people: crazy, unattractive, and sick.

Business and politics are run by tall people. The average height of a Fortunate 500 CEO is 6’0″ while another study reveals 90% of all CEOs are above average height. More interestingly, a myriad of studies from the United States and Britain show tall people are 70% more likely to be hired for a job than a short person even if the candidates are equally qualified. In politics, basically every modern US president has been above average height.  And this makes sense: Who wants to be lead by a little person? People want their leaders to be mentally and physically strong.

Tall, of course, wins in sports. The average height of an NBA player is 6’6″, and respectively NFL 6’2″, NHL 6’1″, MLB 6’1″. Taller men dominate competitive sports, duh. But what can be extrapolated from this data? This: If height is a huge advantage in professional sports, then this advantage also plays out in social sporting. In other words, tall men are favored in the contests of everyday life from pickup basketball to mini-struggles of social dominance at the workplace or a bar; particularly in the ritual of dating.

I asked a tall friend, 6’1″, if he ever wished he was taller. His response, “Only if I’m talking to a woman and another man is talking to her who is taller than I am.” This is truth, as a general rule, we prefer taller people sexually. Height signifies, if not biological strength, then a glow of social supremacy. Personal example: I once dated a girl who said “you’re so short, like we’re at eye level, this is so weird… I normally never date short guys. This is so weird.” She broke up with me a week later. We’re still friends but she insists it’s just not right for her to date anyone under 6’0″.

You’re not fine just the way you are. To think otherwise is to flee into a delusion, a lie. So man up and face reality: The parameters of this body define who you are, perhaps more than anything else does. The eyes are not the window into a man’s soul; height is. And looking into this window, this is what you see: a frail, old man sitting alone at a bar. TC Mark

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