”New research published in the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior” concluded that short men tend to be more jealous. Why anyone chose to research this topic I have no idea. But what bugs me is the immediate relationship between the research and Napoleon.”Napoleon may have been skilled in the battle field and able to accomplish many tasks at the same time, but scientists have found his weakness: jealousy.”
Angels want to wear his stacked shoes. France’s most intriguing couple can’t seem to stay out of the news, and continue to be a viral media phenomenon. After Carla Bruni turned up in a You-Tube video extolling the virtues of sexual liberation, spouse Nicolas has been claimed to have advised tall security agents to cast their shadows elsewhere. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who stands about five foot five, on a good day, is now said to have banned tall body guards since they reduce his relative stature, according to ”Le Parisien” newspaper. The presidential guard is now expanded to almost eighty strong, much of the increase coming since 2002, when a mentally disturbed man shot at Jacques Chirac with a hunting rifle.
Sarkozy is known to be notoriously sensitive and secretive about his physical stature. He is shorter than Napoleon. His wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who is five foot ten, often wears flat pumps when they appear together and he wears specially designed stacked shoes to close the height gap. Though the comparisons with the Little General evokes a certain imperial grandeur, a more appropriate match may lie in comparing Sarkozy to Charlie Chaplin, since the P.M. ‘s mediatic personna seems more dominated by the Little Tramp as his personal incongruities, seem to dominate his considerable intellectual skills.
”Sarkozy has been caught standing on tiptoes at global leader events and stood on a box to remain shoulder-to-shoulder with Barack Obama, the U.S. President, when they gave speeches to commemorate the Normandy landings last year. At a visit to the Faurecia auto parts company in Normandy last September, workers claim they had been picked to appear alongside Mr. Sarkozy because ‘they were no bigger than the president’ . But the Elysee dismissed the claims as ”absurd”. ( Henry Samuel, The Daily Telegraph )
A lot of silent comedians like Chaplin and Buster Keaton were quite short and would surround themselves with larger men for comedic effect. Maybe thats Sarkozy’s plan; deflect attention off pressing domestic issues onto a more comedic articulation of politics and diplomacy as an absurd black comedy with overtones of over the top, crotch-scratching populist laughs. With Sarkozy and Buruni there is some doubt as to whether the little head dominates the larger, ostensibly more cerebral one, producing a comedic juxtaposition that would have pleased Chaplin. Eric campbell, who played heavies in Chaplins earlier films in the late teens, looked to be well over 6 foot. likewise Tiny Sandford, the tall guy next to chaplin on the production line in Modern Times, was reportedly 6 foot 5. sandford appeared in a load of Laurel and Hardy films during the 20s and 30s and looked to be a good 3-4 inches taller than the 6 foot 1 Hardy.
Chaplin was rejected from the army because he was too small. So over 5’5″ is not likely.In a documentary they show Chaplin’s passport and it says he was 5ft6, which may have deen a comedic exaggeration.Chaplin claimed that Hitler was roughtly the same height as he, though the Mustache form Munich got downgraded by Allied propaganda. In Limelight he and 5ft6 Buster Keaton look about the same height. However in Modern Times 5ft4 Paulette Godard (in flats) looked nearly the same height as Chaplin which would make him 5ft4.5. This man is a bit of a my
”They found 20 of the site’s shortest workers to stand behind Mr Sarkozy as he delivered the keynote address.
They were bussed in from all over the Faurecia motor technology plant near Caen in Normandy after aides made sure none exceeded Mr Sarkozy’s 5ft 5in. However, yesterday the strategy was exposed by a worker at the site who admitted she had been chosen because she was short. A TV journalist asked the woman researcher: ‘Is it true you were all picked to appear alongside the president because of your height?’When the woman answered yes, she was asked: ‘Because you shouldn’t be taller than the president?’ She answered ‘Exactly that.’ TV pictures were then shown of the 20 workers on board a coach which brought them in from other parts of the Faurecia site.All admitted that they were among the smallest members of the 1,400-strong workforce, and had been selected to replace the usual staff in the unit where Mr Sarkozy made his speech about the car industry.” ( dailymail.co.uk)
They might call it the Sarkozy complex now as a variant to the Napoleon complex; similar but more comical. Its a natural counterpart to the Gentle Giant. While the Gentle Giant is large and kind-hearted, The Napoleon is nasty, brutish, and short. The Sarkozy strain shares some of the same flavorful characteristics: pushy; compensating for their lack of height by acting “big”,delusions of grandeur, or it might just be an incidental part of their character. By and large, small things are Acceptable Targets, so expect the Sarkozy to be a cross between a villain and a Butt Monkey. Much of Sarkozy’s concern is to be handicapped by negative stereotypes associated with the diminutive; if they are not comic, touching and compelling, they have to snarky and temperamental and with an inferiority complex to big fit inside an air vent.
The name comes from “Napoleon complex” (popularly known as “short-man syndrome”), an inferiority complex said to be suffered by short people. Aggressive or dangerous people who are short are often labeled as such to mock them. This was most famously done to the legendary French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. Although Napoleon was of average height for his nationality and time period, he rarely rode a horse and was often flanked by giant bodyguards, causing him to look short in comparison. The misconception was compounded by the fact that the French “foot” was thirteen inches rather than twelve. Thus Napoleon was 5’3 in the French scale, though the French have also had a flexible understanding of weights and measures. English propaganda of the time seized on the perception and portrayed him as comically short to deflate his image.
”‘It’s O.K., dear,’’ her mother, SeoHyekyong, told her tearful daughter. ‘‘It will help make you pretty and tall. It will make you Cinderella.’’ Ms. Seo and many other South Korean mothers believe that being tall will be crucial to their children’s success, both at school and later, when they seek jobs and mates. As Korean standards of physical attractiveness become more Westernized, more parents are striving to increase their children’s physical stature. Their mantra: ‘‘You can always fix your face with plastic surgery, but you can’t do anything about your height if you act too late.’’ This conviction has spawned hundreds of ‘‘growth clinics,’’ which attract streams of toddlers and teenagers, shepherded by mothers intent on ensuring that their child will be the one looking down, not the one looked down upon.
‘‘In our society, it’s all about looks,’’ said Ms. Seo, 35. ‘‘I’m afraid my daughter is shorter than her peers. I don’t want her to be ridiculed and lose selfconfidence because of her height.’’ At Hamsoa, a growth clinic with 50 branches across the country, Ms. Seo spends 900,000 won, or $770, a month on treatments for her daughter and her 4- year-old son. The supposedly growthstimulating regime includes acupuncture, aromatherapy and a twice-a-day tonic that contains deer antler, ginseng and other medicinal herbs.‘‘Parents would rather add 10 centimeters to their children’s stature than bequeath them one billion won,’’ said Dr. Shin Dong-gil, a Hamsoa physician.” ( Choe Sang-Hun )
Certainly, a physically diminutive Sarkozy is a smaller target for would be assassins. Which is one advantage. Secondly, being five foot five is hardly the end of the world. John Keats barely scraped five feet, and five foot nine was considered a ”heroic” height at the time. Anyway, who wants to go on a diet of deer-antler, sting-ray guts, ground-hog toes and other concoctions of Macbeth type proportions to please a fickle electorate.