Would you rather be extremely tall or extremely short?

For purposes of this thread, I’ll define short as 4 foot 6 inches and tall as 7 feet tall.

I’m 6’ tall and ISTM that being a foot taller would be an absolute nightmare. I drive with my car seat scooted all the way back. My head almost touches the roof of my pickup. It’s usually uncomfortable in the back seat of most vehicles. I don’t see how people a foot taller than me do it. Nothing except for basketball rims is built for them. All clothes would have to be special ordered or made. Having to duck going through every single doorway would suck so much.

Of course, being extremely short is no picnic either. My wife is 5’ tall and I have to reach things for her quite often. We keep stepladders all around the house. She has to drive very close to the steering wheel and that can’t be good. If she were 6” shorter, I don’t know how she’d do it. Clothes wouldn’t be as difficult to buy since children’s sizes would be available. Dress clothes would be more problematic. There’s also public perception. Our society tends to favor the tall over the short.

So if you had to choose, would rather be 4’6” or 7’ tall?

  • 4’6”
  • 7’

0 voters

I’d rather be too tall. It has more sports use.

I’m torn. As a woman, seven feet tall would be unheard of. But 4’6" would be more plausible.

If I were a man, extremely tall, no question. But if you were 4’6" you might end up admiral of your own mercenary starship fleet. Could be worse.

Miles Vorkosigan

I think Randy Newman sang it best.

Tough question. ISTR that very tall people don’t usually live as long, and I imagine there are health problems that might go with the height - back, knee trouble, etc. OTOH, Tall people are said to be more successful in general. Tall politicians, tall businessmen. . . all have an advantage.

I think that, given the difficulties of being huge in this world, I’d rather be short. I’ve spent most of my life at 6’3", and that’s inconvenient enough. Chairs, clothing, cars, etc are all more expensive. It would be nice to be able to buy cheaper clothes, inexpensive computer chairs, and be able to fit comfortably in compact cars.

I’d rather be too short. I’m at a stage of my life where I don’t care much for social approval, and it’s depressing how many physical ailments 7 footers face (and developing those ailments at relatively young ages too!). Also, I’d have to be conscious of crouching all the time, due to society designing spaces for average-sized folks.

But growth-hormone deficiency, achondroplasia, and other causes of dwarfism can mess up your health just like being too tall can. The proposed scenario is a lose-lose situation.

My husband is 6’10", and has all the problems already mentioned. But at 55, he’s learned ways of adjusting to everything, and his height is pretty much a non-issue. Except for certain health challenges.

One of our acquaintances is a “little person.” He’s a very talented actor, composer and music director, and can do amazing things that most people can’t. He’s even performed with the Metropolitan Opera.

Given how society (American, at least) seems to place more value in tall men and short women it might be interesting to break this poll down by sex/gender.

I’m a man and I chose I’d rather be 7’ 0". If I was a woman I would likely have chosen 4’ 6".

True about the gender divide.

Between the health problems of the very tall and how society would view a 7 foot tall woman I’d probably opt for 4’6". It would still be hella inconvenient, but I’m already shorter than the 5’10" “average person” (actually, average man) most of the world seems designed for so I already own stepstools and the like.

Seems to me adapting something like a vehicle for a very small person would be easier than a very tall person trying to cram themselves into the same. Small at least fits into places, tall people are just perpetually cramped.

I wrenched my back this morning and am currently sitting with a heating pad to help get the muscles to relax.

Definitely shorter. Everyone I know who is taller has back problems. My 6’3" father had back surgery for a slipped disk before he was 50. A college classmate of similar height had surgery at 19 for the same problem.

My shorter friend is much healthier and more flexible than other people at the same age. Plane seats are much more comfortable, and she can go on most roller coasters, unlike most 7’ people. Heck, many people who are above 6’ can no longer go on roller coasters due to earlier back surgeries.

Given the choice, I’d rather be able to fly.

People will say you’re not well-grounded.

More importantly, heart trouble: Blood pressure is directly related to height, and the need to get blood up to the brain.

I don’t know exactly what the height vs. lifespan curve looks like, and I know that it’s not too bad at my current height of about 6’ (which is also enough to gain benefits, like people literally looking up to me, and being able to reach things others can’t). But I’d imagine that, by the time you’re getting to 7’, that’s much more significant.

Not quite the same thing. Those are results of a common cause, while the health problems with being too tall really are a direct result of the height itself. And most of the conditions that lead to extreme shortness and health issues are treatable, such that the patient doesn’t end up with either, so nowadays very short people usually have other causes that don’t lead to those health problems.

I’ll take short. As it is, I need a stepstool to reach the top shelves in the kitchen - a taller stool wouldn’t be that much of an adjustment. Driving would be a pain, tho, but I expect I could figure it out.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be one of the shorter girls. I don’t particularly now but still … 7 foot? Unthinkable! 4 foot 6 it is.

It would be interesting to see the male/female breakout on this question. I suspect very few women are choosing to be 7-footers

This. I’d rather avoid the health problems that would come with being that tall.

Having lived in Thailand, a land of short people, for 25 years and being 6’3" myself, I have experienced hardships that others can only guess at. Everything from being stuffed into teeny bus seats to finding it impossible to shop for clothes in stores or on the street – although the clothing situation has become better over the years. Shoes too, I used to have to have them made, but in my later days I could find some in stores. But still I would opt for freakishly tall over freakishly short.

Can I just be normal height and portly?


I’m 6’6" and adding 6" wouldn’t be a big deal but being 4’6" would be horrific.