the height report: length anxiety

The long and the short of it. Theoretically, the importance of height is based on evolutionary origins, the ideas of genetic mutation and since animals use height as an index for power and force, humans assume the same traits to refer to social status, desirability and mating prowess as possessing some sort of magic gene, a grab-bag of genetic markers that makes them somehow above and beyond. At the extreme, we can enter the realm of natural selection and eugenics far down that slippery path of pseudo junk science that has hung over the white man like religious superstition. It is part of the law of the jungle; the bigger the animal the more dangerous he is. And the harder they fall. So, from the vantage of the sociobiological; there is a close linkage between height and social power, the entire complex gaming structure in which the psychology of stature linked to height has far reaching consequences, or so we told to believe, on disposition, personality and behavior.

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It is mostly oft-repeated baloney; Alfred Adler arrived at the phrase Napoleon Complex, to describe situations where short stature results in feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and subsequently assuming overaggressive behavior to make up for absence of height and power. Its a study which neglects many factors such as weight, bone structure, build, presentation, and the spiritual view that the individual is endowed with exactly those characteristics necessary to accomplish what they have to do in this world; as well as views that the physical world is in part an illusion, a decoy distracting attention from deeper concerns. Still, height is relevant relevant in the workplace where the notion  of persuasion and power can find favorable contexts to express themselves;  and because many employers seem to believe that height and workplace success are somehow linked; bigger, stronger slaves to pull the gravy train.

—The egalitarian ideal that ‘all people are created equal’, which now dominates Western ideology, has not been universal among nations and cultures.11 A major force that has argued against this view was the Social Darwinian eugenics movement, especially its crude ‘survival of the fittest’ worldview.10,12 As Ludmerer noted, the idea that the hereditary quality of the race can be improved by selective breeding is as old as Plato’s Republic but:
‘ … modern eugenics thought arose only in the nineteenth century. The emergence of interest in eugenics during that century had multiple roots. The most important was the theory of evolution, for Francis Galton’s ideas on eugenics — and it was he who created the term “eugenics” — were a direct logical outgrowth of the scientific doctrine elaborated by his cousin, Charles Darwin.’—Read More:

( see link at end) …The obsession of this king over tall men did not end there. Politically, tall men are even traded from other countries, especially from Russia, and these men are traded like products or commodities. They are even received as gifts in some accounts. Illegally, there are some recorded instances when King Frederick even hired agents to smuggle both tall men and women for his army. In those days, height is translated to power and dominion. This also means that taller men have better strength morally and socially in those times.Read More:

—“The results were consistent with the view that small man syndrome is a myth. When people see a short man being aggressive, they are likely to think it is due to his size, simply because that attribute is obvious and grabs their attention.” said lead researcher Dr Mike Eslea, the psychologist from the University.”But really it makes no more sense to say that, for example, Dennis Wise, (ex- footballer), is aggressive because he is small, than it would to say that Robbie Savage (also a footballer) is aggressive because he has blond hair”.Read More:



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( see link at end)…It’s been a while since I was last in Korea..almost 18 years, but I was wondering whether or not Koreans have finally gotten over their obsession or complex with a person’s height as a tool for measuring a person or a nationality’s superiority. When I was there back in 2002, Koreans would always mention and be obsessed with the average height of their people and constantly mention this to me or other foreigners as a way to somehow show that they were “better” than other Asians, especially Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese.

It’s quite interesting because even though the tallest living man and woman in the world are both Chinese and Yao Ming, the tallest player in the NBA also being Chinese, the Chinese never really seem to care or be obsessed with having the rest of the world know that they are the tallest. Also, even though northern Chinese know that they are probably taller than Japanese, Vietnamese or maybe Koreans, they don’t feel the need to have to use this and always mention this to prove their superiority. Even if they did, I really don’t think the other Asians would really care. If anything, they would laugh and feel pity at whoever would say such a thing because it shows that the people who are hung about about height seem to suffer from some inferiority complex.Read More:


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Monetarily, tall men can really have an advantage in this case. In fact, Malcolm Gladwell of Blink showed that 14.5% of men in the United States are 6’ and above tall. And 58% of CEOs in the US belong in that height bracket!

Amazing Facts about Height and Earning Power of a Person

Now here are true findings from a long-time research by Persico and Postlewaite:

• If you are a British, an additional 1 inch to your height means 2.2% more earning.
• If you are an American, an additional 1 inch to your height means 1.8% more earning.
• The tallest quarter of the population has been earning 13% more than the shortest quarter of the population.
• There is a direct relationship between height prejudice and differences in income according to height.Read More:

—Some really “evil” short men were Napoleon Bonaparte (who gave its name to the complex) whose height is disputed between 1.58m (5ft 2in) to 1.68m (5ft 6in); Josef Stalin, the Soviet despot was 1.63m (5ft 4in)(according to 1902 police records) and Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment in Nazi Germany (dubbed “the malicious dwarf”) was 1.65m (5ft 5in).—Read More:



Size Matters By Stephen S. Hall $26, Houghton Mifflin…

( see link at end) …In 1712, a first child was born to the militarist prince Frederick William of Prussia. A year shy of the throne himself, Frederick had high hopes for his son, the future Frederick II. But the child was “small, sickly … delicate, backward, and puny,” writes the journalist Stephen S. Hall in Size Matters, his engaging new nonfiction picaresque. The pitiful size of the crown prince was an embarrassment to the new king, but it was also, Hall suggests, a private incitement.

Between his ascension in 1713 and his death in 1740, Frederick more than doubled the ranks of the Prussian army–from a considerable 38,000 men to an intimidating 83,000–but the figure that concerned him most was not the size of his army but the height of his soldiers. Modestly built himself, Frederick had fallen in love with tall men. “He collected them like stamps,” writes Hall, establishing an elite regiment of outsized grenadiers that became known as the Potsdam Giants. No member of the unit stood less than six feet tall, and many were closer to seven; the drill leader is said to have topped seven feet. “The tallest men ever assembled until the birth of professional basketball,” noted one medical historian. During royal parades, the Giants would escort the king by holding hands above his carriage….

Frederick’s obsession was more than mere schoolyard eugenics. He dispatched representatives to find the tallest men in Europe and bring them home, at any cost. Sometimes, the giants were willing conscripts or persuadable mercenaries. (One such Swedish legionnaire, eight and a half feet tall, was an early coup.) Other warriors were bought as military chattel from their own rulers, “with transfer fees that modern football clubs could scarcely rival.” Still others were simply kidnapped in foreign lands and forced into service like slaves. Though the practice exasperated monarchs and diplomats across Europe, many of Frederick’s rivals played along, even farming their own ranks for impressive soldiers to offer to the Prussian court as gifts. To ensure the Potsdam Giants were not merely a brief sideshow in Prussian history but a kind of vanguard unit of military history, the king insisted his giant grenadiers marry only equally giant women. More than a century later, Charles Darwin wrote that, unlike livestock, humans had never been forcibly bred for select characteristics, “except in the well-known case of the Prussian grenadiers.”Read More:



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