We have a fun post about the various ways in which Prince Charles was posed with Princess Diana in order to obscure the fact that she was about his height. Building on this, Geoffrey Arnold at The Social Complex has collected some examples of men’s height being manipulated in order to preserve the social illusion that men are taller (or at least not shorter) than women.
See also Arnold’s guest posts introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.
Diana Huang — August 25, 2012
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about the choice of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta in the Hunger Games next to Jennifer Lawrence. At movie premieres, Jennifer was wearing heels so she looked significantly taller than Josh (in reality she's still 2 inches taller), so my friend didn't think he was believable as a love interest (or really as a strong, captivating male in general). Even if you're aware of the prejudices against short males, seeing a female movie star taller than her male counterpart is shocking!
The height difference: http://gossipcenter.com/hunger-games/jennifer-lawrence-co-hunger-games-paris-premiere-595023
Tom Cruise's pictures with his significant others are often framed to diminish the height difference. http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/latest-gossip/54898-katie-holmes-her-incredible-shrinking-man-tom-cruise.html
Elena — August 25, 2012
May be of interest: Scully Box at TV Tropes.
Seems accurate. I wish the studio had allowed to take pics of Bogart on a box :D
Rhiannon — August 25, 2012
Pictures of Robert Downey Jr from the set of Iron Man showed clearly that they used lifts - I assume to disguise the height difference between Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow in particular. See here for examples: http://www.jfxonline.com/2009/04/07/robert-gets-a-lift/
Japaniard — August 25, 2012
I don't know much about sound design, but is that guy holding a boom mic? I thought those were supposed to be on long sticks to put them above the people talking, not held above the speaker by a guy on a box.
Vicky — August 25, 2012
I am 5'10" and my husband is 5'4". At our wedding the photographer wanted us to pose on the steps that you can see behind us in this picture: http://gallery.jifvik.org/albums/wedding/party.gif
so that we appeared to be the same height. We declined this option as we felt it would not properly reflect *us*, we are the way we are and have no interest in trying to disguise it!
Alf — August 25, 2012
Well, here is Scully on her box (plus bonus boom mike guy to illustrate what Japaniard was saying). http://www.themarysue.com/gillian-anderson-scully-box/
decius — August 25, 2012
Nitpick: Men -are- taller than women, in a statistical sense.
Which is not to say that a given man is taller than a given woman, or even that a given man is taller than the median woman.
guest — August 25, 2012
Anna — August 26, 2012
"I’d love to start a collection of these, so send ‘em in if you see ‘em!"
I have a few examples of height being manipulated in mind, but I also have just as many examples where there is no manipulation, and women are taller than men. Why not ask for these as well? They are common. Unless I am missing something, if you started a collection of only the former, it would be an exercise in confirmation bias.
anon — August 28, 2012
An argument about the properties of statistical distributions that trades on the difference in the definitions of "slight" and "negligible" is especially unlikely to be persuasive when the dictionary disagrees. Substitute "slight" for "negligible" in every one of my comments if you wish and the argument still stands. I think you should consider it a red flag if you have to resort to defending the distinction between synonyms.
SociologicalMe didn't say that the "general height difference [sic]" between men and women is "that large". SociologicalMe made the admirable choice of comparing the two distributions by estimating the probability that an observation of one distribution will be greater than an observation of the other, which we can actually quantify. This actually counts as an advance over most of the other claims about the distributions of heights made in this thread, which are so vague and ill-defined that it is impossible to determine whether one agrees or not. (On the basis of this thread, there are a few department chairs who should be taking a very hard look at their "Stats for Social Scientists" courses.) However, SociologicalMe further claimed that:
. Whatever the OED says about "slight", any reasonable native speaker will interpret this claim to mean that the probability that a randomly selected man will be taller than a randomly selected woman is close to 0.5. In my crazy mixed-up upside-down alternate universe where statistical claims require substantiation with data, however, that probability is somewhere between 0.9 (my estimate) and 0.98 (your abstract).
How can you not concede that point? The probability is between 1/10 and 1/50, not somewhere around 1/2. That is the only point I have been able to make so far in this thread due to the simply stunning degree of psychological resistance among other commenters to "admitting" it.
That is a point best left for SociologicalMe, the 13 people who endorsed their comment, and the other commenters who actually signed their names to various defenses of the view that statistical differences in men's and women's heights are somehow socially constructed. They brought it up, not me.
If someone makes claim X in support of position Y, where X is an absurdity that you could only believe if you were not competent to pass a high school stats course, then it's worthwhile to point out that "not X". Especially when one's audience apparently believes X as well (in addition to believing that X is pertinent to Y) and wants to argue with you about it.
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