I found an interesting comment section over at another blog’s entry about the supposed “short man syndrome”. I don’t agree with everything that this person says and I wouldn’t call him an “enlightened short guy”, but his views are pretty positive compared to the usual things short men write about heightism. At one point he says that he has never faced heightism, but this seems more like an error in how he defines the word than a substantive statement.
- PJ said,
May 4, 2011 @ 9:57 pm
I’ll start off by stating that I’m 5′6″. I have a good posture and good proportions. With the right shoes, I can pull off a 5′7″-5′7.5″ quite easily.
I’m from India and I’m short even by North Indian male standards. In my community, the average height is well beyond 5′10″. Both my brothers are 3-4 inches taller than me.
I’m 22 right now and my girlfriend of 5 years is 2 inches taller than me at 5′8″. Incidentally, she is the shortest in her family, with all males well above 6′1″ and women around 5′10″.
Growing up, I was very confident. Until the 8th grade, I was the biggest guy in class, was great at academics as well as sports. Later, in high school, I was no longer the biggest guy, but was quite muscular and was popular among guys as well as girls. But I did notice that not being the biggest guy in school meant that the role of ‘class-leader/solitary alpha male’ that I occupied until 8th grade was absent to me.
Nevertheless, I had a string of relationships right through school with attractive women, culminating in my current relationship with my beautiful, very intelligent girlfriend. I’m not particularly handsome, but would definitely call myself above average looking, btw.
She is my only girlfriend who is taller than me, but is in all likelihood, also the woman I will spend the rest of my life with. Her best friend is 5′9″, and she tells me that they had both made a pact that they would only date guys taller than them. But then, she happened to meet and fall in love with me, a guy two inches shorter than her.
I have never been disrespected by guys either, though I can certainly say that while I have always been something of a leader, I have never been able to occupy the ‘alpha male’ role largely because of my height. In a crowd of tall people, I do find it a struggle at times to get my voice heard. I’m a very confident guy and have good musculature which prevents anyone from seeing me as ‘weak’.
But yes, all these stories of perceived heightism, of women preferring shorter men, etc. do make me feel insecure at times, despite the fact that I’ve never been a victim. I would like to believe that its not a height problem but a problem of confidence. Shorter guys are disrespected because of their lack of confidence (and being short makes them easier targets), not entirely because of their lack of height (though their are idiots in the world who would do that too, just as some racists would single you out because of your skin color).
I do sometimes wonder how any family photograph would look if I do end up marrying my current girlfriend as all my in-laws would be much taller than I. I don’t think it would be terribly pleasing aesthetically, but then, this is what I have to work with.
Point is: I have never faced heightism. I run my own company, have tons of great friends, and successful personal relationships. Despite my height, I usually charm most people I meet, started my entrepreneurial venture at an age at which most people can’t legally drink, get good grades and just entered graduate school for a M.A. in English.
In other words, if there is any height discrimination, at least I haven’t let it stop me from living a full, rich life.
To all fellow short people: there is still NO evidence to suggest that people (including women) have an innate preference for taller men. Taller people aren’t more confident; they have their own list of worries and insecurities. If there is one thing our modern society is good at, it is at making us feel inferior and insecure about our physical traits. Your weight, texture of your skin, skin color, height, hair, teeth, eye color - all of these will be used to make yourself feel bad about yourself. Don’t let them do that. Be proud of what and who you are. These are the tools you have been given. Use them the best you can.