Search results for heightism

A while back we featured a guest post by Geoffrey Arnold about discrimination against short men.  He collects examples of heightism at his blog, The Social Complex, and has agreed to let us feature some of his examples here.

Think heightism doesn’t exist? Think again.

Bridesmaids include “Getting put with an usher who is not shorter than you” among good things in life (at 15secs):

Anne Hathaway takes her shoes off when standing next to a shorter guy (just the first 30secs):

Bravo TV executive Andy Cohen talks about being heckled backstage the 2011 Miss Universe pageant by Miss Montenegro and Miss Sri Lanka (unfortunately the clip ends with the host affirming Cohen that he’s not short instead of just condemning the contestants’ behavior):

Better to be tall: “Why be average, when you can XL”?

Short men are ridiculous and laughable, internationally.

American DirectTV commercial:

Chilean (I think) Doritos commercial:

Korean commercial:

American CRV commercial:

This ad, Arnold observes, actually “uses a statistic about heightism in order to justify and encourage the prejudice itself”:

See also Arnold’s guest posts introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

It seems so.

According to a Gallup poll, “Americans believe that one’s stature has a decided effect on a variety of important dimensions.”

More people would prefer to be taller than shorter:

People think that taller people have a greater likelihood of getting respect at work, and even getting promoted:

 

Via Geoffrey Arnold, at The Social Complex.  See also Arnold’s guest posts from The Social Complex introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Marketers are happy to respond to and create insecurities.  Here’s one we haven’t covered before, shoes and inserts for men that covertly increase their height:

Borrowed from The Social Complex, a heightism blog. See also guest posts from The Social Complex introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In this two-and-a-half minutes of spoken word poetry, Dan Sully & Tim Stafford express their frustration with those who don’t take short men seriously.

Borrowed from The Social Complex, a heightism blog.  See also our guest posts from The Social Complex introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice and discussing heightism (and other icky stuff) at Hooters.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Cross-posted at The Social Complex.

Take a look at these two images.  The people in Image A and Image B are identical, save for their relative heights and the way that their heads are tilted in order to maintain eye contact.  Now how do you think each of these images would be independently perceived by the average person?  How do you perceive the events depicted in these images?

(see full sized image here)

Do one of these men seem “assertive” while the other seems “submissive” or “pushy”?  What would you imagine the woman is thinking in each of these images?  How would you rate the social esteem of each of these men?  Which one seems to have the most business acumen?  The most leadership potential?  Which man would you rate as more attractive?  What do you think these two people are talking about in each image?  Does your perception of what is happening in the conversation change from image to image?

If you are being honest with yourself here, you probably are imagining many differences in the social interactions depicted in these two images that don’t actually exist outside of our cultural framework. From the age that we become aware of our environment we are bombarded with cultural images, traditions, behaviors, and ideals (both expressly and implicitly conveyed) which foster heightist concepts within our psyche.

These heightist concepts come into play along with our perceptions of gender.  Masculinity is culturally tied to “Tall” and femininity is culturally tied to “Short.” Therefore, the negative cultural perceptions that apply to “feminine males” also apply to “short males” and the positive cultural perceptions that apply to “masculine males” also apply to “tall males.”  That is why we perceive Image A and Image B differently, even though there is no story behind the images beyond what we imagine.

Perhaps (to some extent) the negative cultural perceptions that apply to “masculine women” also apply to “tall females” and the positive cultural perceptions that apply to “feminine females” also apply to “short females”?  I do not know.  However, I have my doubts that it works this way for females.

This is because (in my humble opinion – with no evidence to back this up):

  • Being a masculine woman is probably NOT considered as negative in our society as being a feminine man.  In other words, our society values masculinity more than femininity and so it is more important for a male to be masculine, but much less important for a female to be feminine.
  • Additional height (or “tallness”) is considered a masculine trait and so more important for a male to have than it would be detrimental for a female.
  • Tallness (for some reason) is not considered masculine on a female.  Body mass (weight) is considered more of a “masculine” trait on a female than pure height.

Any comments?  Discussion?

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Geoffrey Arnold is an associate with a mid-sized corporate law firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group.  When Geoffrey isn’t chasing Billable Hours in the defense of white-collar criminals, he is most likely writing about social justice with a special emphasis on height discrimination at his blog: The Social Complex.

If you would like to write a post for Sociological Images, please see our Guidelines for Guest Bloggers.

It’s Love Your Body day!  Below is a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Shame.  The second set of posts reveal just what we’re up against, but the first set is a salve, a celebration of all of our beautifully diverse and interesting bodies.

You choose what will amp you up today,  but don’t miss this year’s SocImages Pick: Rachel Wiley offers 10 Honest Thoughts About Being Loved by a Skinny Boy.

The Hall of Fame

Disability
Body Types
Gender
Race/Ethnicity/Color

The Hall of Shame

Body Types
Hair
Transsexuality
Heightism
Disability

 

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s Love Your Body day!  Below is a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Shame.  The second set of posts reveal just what we’re up against, but the first set is a salve, a celebration of all of our beautifully diverse and interesting bodies.  You choose what will amp you up today,  but don’t miss this year’s SocImages Pick: Kara Kamos on the total irrelevance of beauty.

The Hall of Fame

Disability
Body Types
Gender
Race/Ethnicity/Color

The Hall of Shame

Body Types
Hair
Transsexuality
Heightism
Disability

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Hall of Fame

Disability
Body Types
Gender
Race/Ethnicity/Color

The Hall of Shame

Body Types
Hair
Transsexuality
Heightism
Disability