On any standard day people are obsessed with height.
THAT IS A FACT!
No matter what you do or where you go, if you are tall, you will draw attention to yourself and there will always be someone that makes a comment about your height. It’s ridiculous how much attention a tall person can get based on something that is completely out of their control.
Here’s what I find interesting out of all this:
Why is it socially acceptable for strangers to make comments or jokes about tall people with no apparent repercussion, yet to make comments or jokes about someone that is short is seen as a very negative thing to do?
I have nothing against short people nor am I advocating anyone to start hating on them. Does this mean that short people are sensitive and cannot handle any criticism? Of course not! Tall or short we have no control over our genetics so in my mind it’s unfair to judge someone on something they cannot control.
I think there are a number of reasons why this height double standard might be the case.
Here is my attempt at listing the top 3.
1. Tall people are unique
If you live in a country where you are significantly taller than the average height of the population you will stand out. People aren’t used to seeing someone significantly taller than them and so they will do what everyone does when they see something different (or a novelty), they stare, point and comment about it. Being short is not really that unique, unless you are really short (i.e. a midget or a dwarf). So, a tall person making comments about the height of a short person will usually be seen as bullying. It’s not fair but unfortunately this is human nature.
2. Height makes people feel insecure or intimidated
Tall people usually make shorter people feel intimidated or insecure about their own height. Sometimes we don’t even realise we are being intimidating. Consequently, when a person feels intimidated they go on the defensive, and end up making comments or jokes as a coping mechanism. Alternatively, a person feeling intimidated by someones height may crack a joke as a way of breaking the ice. Generally the opposite of this scenario is not true (i.e. a taller person does not usually feel intimidated by someone smaller than themselves) and so, as per the case in point 1 above, a tall person making comments about a short person whilst appearing intimidating may come across as a form of bullying.
3. People are jealous
People are always jealous of what they don’t have, in this case, your height. Being tall is a positive trait in society and comes with a host of advantages and associated benefits (in my previous posts I listed 10 reasons why being tall is awesome, you can read about it here and here). Unfortunately we live in a world where jealousy breeds envy. This is turn means that taller people are at the receiving end of subtle and sometimes not so subtle height related jokes and comments. I don’t believe the reverse scenario to be true. Despite there being some disadvantages to being tall I am yet to find a tall person that wishes they were shorter. So again, a tall person making comments about someone being shorter would be a form of bullying and is why the height double standard exists.
Personally, I don’t care or let tall people comments (or the height double standard) get to me; if someone wants to put all the attention on me in a social situation then I’ll go with it and use it as an opportunity to break the ice and show everyone that I am confident in who I am.
Growing taller does not make someone a better person, more attractive, or more successful. Like who you are, and be proud of your stature. If you are happy with yourself, and know that your height is influenced mostly by genetics, you can learn to accept yourself as you are. In many ways you are different than others around you, and in some ways you are similar. Become comfortable and confident in yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually, and don’t relinquish to anyone else the power over your happiness, or to influence how you feel about yourself.
Stand tall and be proud.