Is Heightism Real?

Aside from the actual height of any particular individual, there is a long history in Hollywood of making shorter leading men appear taller, in particular compared to the leading ladies. Perhaps it’s not so common now, I dunno, but IIRC people like Alan Ladd sometimes did scenes while standing on boxes or platforms.

Hollywood probably didn’t create heightism but it is surely aware of it and has underwritten it.

My son was in the same situation. He was often the tallest in his class, and taller than his older brother. I warned him that rapid growth at a young age sometimes means you stop growing earlier as well. He is about your height, and shorter than his brother. It took some getting used to. But you and he are around average height, so there are many people taller than you, and still would be if you were a few inches taller. I’m about 6’, and sometimes I’m the tallest person in the room, and sometimes not. I know a few people who are 6’6" and over, and I feel pretty short next to them.

I don’t know where those statistics come from. There are factors that can skew those results. Highly paid athletes may not only increase the average by height, but the advantage of height in the big sports may increase chances of getting a college education and financial opportunities for high school and college athletes. This would be an indirect advantage of their height. Immigrants may also come from populations with much shorter average heights that couple with a lower average income.
If you think politicians finance their own careers, you don’t know much about the game. I assume you want financial success so you will have the time and connections necessary for a career in politics.

I haven’t heard any theory that short people are discriminated against, except for the Randy Newman song, which made me discriminate against Randy Newman. All the theories I’ve heard are about everybody discriminating in favor of tall men. It might me an innate characteristic of people to see taller people as more virile, or better leaders or hunters. It may be as I told my son when he was younger, ‘Other kids look up to you because you are taller than they are’. There can be other factors as well. Tall men might even look better in a business suit, leading to an advantage in the work place, as a hypothetical, and taller women may have an easier time breaking through traditional attitudes about sexual roles, as another hypothetical.
In Hollywood, short guys stand on boxes, and tall guys stand in holes. Tall leading men were common for a while, and Alan Ladd is said to have believed he missed out on better parts because he was not tall enough. But Hollywood is a place where fantasy is more important than reality, and short actors are not willing to be measured without shoes on.

I’ve seen that myself, but for people who are well under average height, and stick out like an atrophied thumb (or would that be stick in?). You are around average height. You can wear the right shoes, the right hair, maybe wear hats, good suits, and all the other tricks to get all the same advantages. It is really is all in the mind after all.

Heightism is real. They gave the part of Gimli to a 6’1 tall actor.

I saw the movie. He is nowhere near that tall.

Hate to break it to you, but yes, he is.

Sorry, but I don’t see any cites or a statment from Cecil in that thread to tell me that the actor is any taller than actual dwarf who lived in Middle Earth. And using the same sources as Wendell and Really aren’t going to convince me either. If you have medical records to show this actors actual height I’ll retract my statement. Otherwise I will stick with the empirical observation. And don’t give me any nonsense about other movies that Rhys-Davies appeared in. I worked in the SFX industry, and he could easily have been made to appear taller in those movies. CT types have also been trying to discredit the Godzilla documentaries in this way for years, so I’m prepared for these arguments.

I find your reaction to this quite strange. Most people, when confronted with an issue that they themselves do not care about, would shrug and move on. Your reaction is hostility and outrage. It’s like you think the concept of discrimination is owned by the groups you care about. Why is it important to you that height discrimination not be worked against? The triage argument you use later doesn’t really hold water. It seems to me that advancing the general notion that humans should be treated as the individuals they are, rather than as packets of demographic data, could only help. Sure, it might not be the very most important work around, but surely you yourself could be using your time and energy better by arguing for the causes you care about, rather than against the ones you don’t? Or does the efficiency thing only apply to other people?

Faxing medical records now.

I’m a tall white male with broad shoulders. I rule the world. Who wants to help me shop for a used Hyundai since my old car is broken?

A survey of Fortune 500 CEO height in 2005 revealed that they were on average 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall, which is approximately 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) taller than the average American man. 30% were 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall or more; in comparison only 3.9% of the overall United States population is of this height.[11] Similar surveys have uncovered that less than 3% of CEOs were below 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) or taller than 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) in height. Ninety percent of CEOs are of above average height.[12]

Are you serious? So, what - you think short men, by some unexplained coincidence, all happen to be psychologically inferior to tall men? Gee, didn’t they used to say that black people couldn’t get ahead because they were lazy and stupid? I sincerely hope this is some sort of joke.

Did it ever occur to you that short men are treated differently by society? Hmmm…short men don’t get paid as much as tall men, and are turned down more frequently by women - yeah, it must be their fault. Too funny.

By the way, 5’9" is just about average height for an adult male, so despite your claim that you are “short”, you actually aren’t. And that nicely demonstrates the bias in our society - you consider even average height to be “short”, and only men who are far above average height are considered “normal” in your mind.

Interesting attitude. So then nobody is allowed to talk about anything if there is a group that is worse off than they are. I guess then we would have to determine the most maligned group in America right now. I don’t know, probably Muslims. So women, blacks, hispanics, and gays all have to shut up, according to you? Seems wrong to me.

This is funny coming from the guy who keeps making threads asking if he’s a racist bigot.


No, silly! Only Muslim biracial lesbians are allowed to complain.

Heightism is real, but its extent depends a lot on the area of endeavor you’re looking at.

Firstly, for jobs in which height is a concrete, distinct advantage (like firefighters and bouncers), it’s not discrimination to choose taller people.

Heightism is more prevalent in career fields that emphasize authority and physical presence (e.g., CEO, military officer, etc.). As opposed to fields that are more purely based on knowledge and expertise.

I’m a male, 5’7". My education is in engineering and mathematics, and my job is primarily technical. I don’t feel like my height has held me back in terms of promotions and opportunities.

OTOH, I’ve done deployments where I worked closely with military personnel, often Army officers in infantry and artillery. I was usually the shortest guy in the room, and I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be harder for a guy my height to get ahead in such a field.

BTW, on the ‘Casablanca’ DVD, there’s a ‘making of’ feature that claims Bogart was 5’7". Ingrid Bergman was 5’9", and they were always doing tricks to make her look shorter than him: in one scene, they’re sitting on a couch, and she slides up next to him leaning towards him.

A guy I worked out with met Schwarzenegger in the early 1970s and claimed he was 6’0" (vice 6’2").

Yes, because claiming that a black man, a woman or someone with a non-heterosexual orientation is much more severely discriminated against than short white heterosexual men is just so outrageous.

I mean what about all the short people who get pulled over because they’re “driving while short”. Or the short people that get beaten to death or lynched for being short.

And when was the last time you saw a short President of the USA? I mean the ONLY Presidents that have been under 5’ 11" are Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy Carter, Millard Fillmore, Harry S. Truman, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Henry Harrison, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, John Quincy Adams, John Adams, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, Martin Van Buren and James Madison.

And all this time women, gays and non-whites have practically had free reign of the White House! I’m sure there’s a lot of black people, gay people and women sitting around thanking their lucky star they weren’t born as short white men. Not to mention the handicapped, they got off easy.

For what it’s worth, the Gallup poll keeps asking whether folks would vote for a Presidential candidate who was female or black or hispanic or gay, and all four categories score better than atheist. (And three of 'em beat “Mormon”.)

I’ve met him in person as well. He was wearing flat loafers and appeared about 6’0 to me also. I was surprised. I has assumed him to be a giant.

Stoneburg writes:

> And when was the last time you saw a short President of the USA? I mean the
> ONLY Presidents that have been under 5’ 11" are Dwight D. Eisenhower,
> Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy
> Carter, Millard Fillmore, Harry S. Truman, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Henry
> Harrison, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, John Quincy Adams,
> John Adams, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, Martin Van Buren and James
> Madison.

The average height for an adult American male is 5’9.2", not 5’11".

Here’s the Wikipedia entry of the heights of the Presidents:

So in fact, the number of Presidents who have been average height or greater (using the current average height) is 32, and the number who have been shorter than the current average height is 11. Of those 11, only 3 have been less than 5’7".

Note, furthermore, that the average height for the adult American male has been increasing over the past two hundred years. The average adult American height has increased somewhere between 1 and 1/2" and 2" over that time. So I believe that John Quincy Adams, at 5’7 and 1/2" tall, was actually at about the average height at the time. John Adams, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, and Martin Van Buren were at most 2" less than average height. The only President that would have been noticeably shorter than average height was James Madison. This correlates well with the writings of the time. Madison was apparently the only President who was usually noted in writings of the time as being short.

Maybe we can force people to wear handicaping devices like in the story ‘Harrison Bergeron’ so no one has to feel inferior to anyone else?

According to a recent survey by the American Society for the Study of Shit People Can’t Do Anything About, it turns out that things like being taller, prettier, more athletic, having a pleasent speaking voice, being more outgoing, confident, smarter, hardworking, and being raised by successful parents who make you do your homework tend to afford certain advantages.

I remember reading an article awhile back that around 50 or so years ago, a lot of the top schools (Ivy League, etc) only recruited “men of a certain sort”. Obviouslly that meant white anglo protestant heteros but turns out it also meant students who didn’t look like “nerds”, “dorks” or “pussies”. They just wanted strapping, good looking, athletic scholar types (well…so much for hetero). Judging by both my undergrad and business school, that unwritten policy hasn’t seemed to change much except that there are a lot more Jews.

For every short guy I know (I run a little over 5’10" or about average) who is quiet and meek, I probably know one who is a short little overcompensating loudmouth.

In the idiotic world of corporate America, I’m sure good looking tall men have a distinct advantage because they just ‘look’ more executive and authoritative than some 5’3" child-man.

If the OP is really looking to “maximize his income” after graduation, I suggest transferring to a to 50 college and switching majors to finance. Or wear lifts.