As the founder of a clothing line for short men I long ago became comfortable with the reality of my height. I fully accepted that life isn’t fair, it is in fact universally unfair. Attractive people have it easier than unattractive. Some people suffer horrible illness or watch their loved ones suffer. Others get everything handed to them and breeze through. Somebody wins the lottery and someone else is run into at a stop light. Being short to me wasn’t that bad of an issue to have to deal with. Yes it made dating harder, I was never the guy that a women walked into a bar and wanted to meet but it just meant that I had to develop other social and personal skills along with a little perseverance. In the workplace I have noticed that people are less responsive and open towards a short guy with his own opinion and a willingness to express it but that just made me more confident in my own thoughts and lead me towards a life of entrepreneurship.
Rarely do I take offense at the ridiculous things that people say and write. I get a great laugh out of the occasional troll who reaches out to us online. I thoroughly enjoy when one of my friends can actually come up with an original short joke that I haven’t heard a version of before. I never take offense at a good one liner tossed out. So it is an unusual exception for me to be bothered by some anti short guy comment. I was a touch irritated when sitting with my fellow soccer fans at a local MLS game when someone started to heckle an opposing player simply because he was a Shortee. Yes he didn’t play for my team but some out of shape, beer swilling, nachos dripping down his chest slob who couldn’t run up and back on the field had nothing better to toss out at a someone who had excelled at his sport to such a degree that he had managed to become a professional athlete and regularly play then a jab at his being short. I’ll take my Messi card and play it any day of the week.
I was also surprised to be bothered by a recent article in The Atlantic; The Financial Perks of Being Tall. It’s old news that tall people do better in the work force. They get more promotions and are often seen as being leaders based on their height and superficial attributes, not on their knowledge, skills and accomplishments. Yet for some reason I was thoroughly disturbed reading that,
In Western countries, a jump from the 25th percentile of height to the 75th—about four or five inches—is associated with an increase in salary between 9 and 15 percent. Another analysis suggests that an extra inch is worth almost $800 a year in elevated earnings. “If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it,” one researcher told Malcolm Gladwell for his book Blink, “we’re talking about a tall person enjoying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage.”
The article goes on to reference research suggesting that short men are less confident (not a surprise), less entrepreneurial and even less intelligent and less happy than taller individuals. I’m sure with the right manipulation of data or a specific population I could prove just about anything as well. Are their stupid short guys? Of course. Are there insecure ones? No doubt. Are their unhappy ones? Plenty. And the same can be said of average height men as well as tall men.
I consider myself secure, reasonably intelligent, capable of meeting interesting/attractive women (don’t tell my girlfriend, honey I never meet any interesting/attractive women) and generally happy. Do I want more in life? Yes, most people do but I am happy. So as for the article in question, read it, be angry at it and what it say because it sucks that we make less in the workplace just because we are short and then go out and give the world the middle finger and do what you want to do, be who you want to be and at the end of the day, be happy (though maybe with a few hundred thousand dollars less).
To read the article in The Atlantic go here.