The Social Complex

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A Blog dedicated to the exploration of height bias and discrimination.


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  • May 14, 2012 2:34 am

    More Evidence that Heightism is a Social Construct

    TSC: Clearly, heightism is a social construct which is heavily influenced by culture.  Case in point - the Jung Yong Hwa "height controversy". 

    Jung Yong Hwa is a famous South Korean singer and performer who, as it turns out, may have been faking his height as 5’10”, even though he is really much shorter (maybe 5’7”?).  Apparently, the controversy broke when the singer spontaneously went on stage during an awards ceremony to great a friend who had just won an award.  In doing so, he passed by the MC (Lee Hwi Jae) who is also listed at 5’10”.  So both of these guys are supposedly 5’10”, but look at the screen grab that is going around the net via K-Pop enthusiasts.   

    Jung Yong Hwa is the shorter one and the guy standing next to him (within the red circle) is the 5’10” MC.  So even though camera angles can play tricks, it’s pretty clear that JYH is not actually 5’10”.


    But here is where it get’s interesting.  Check out most of the coverage of this topic.  Most of the comments about this from South Koreans are in defense of Jung Yong Hwa.  it’s amazing to see how many people (both men and women) are saying things like “height doesn’t matter” and “who cares if he lied about his height” and “this guy is so talented, he could be 1 foot tall and I wouldn’t care”.  Clearly, there is a cultural element involved in this.  If this were an American singer caught doing this, the comments would be much less forgiving.  And there would be a lot more general short-man-bashing as well.

    So once again, more proof that heightism is a social construct