You've seen them. I'm talking about all of the Anti-Fat Shaming campaigns that have ballooned into full onslaughts over the last few years. If you even suggest that a someone, usually a woman is even heavy, you can lose your place among friends, or even your career. It's not polite to use the "F" word anymore. It's fallen victim to political correctness. And this is for good reason. From the time a woman is a young girl, she's consistently bombarded with images and messages reminding her of what a "good body" is. That "good body" would make her likable, respected among her peers and even liked by (gasp!) boys.
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A lot of that has changed now. Have you seen the new barbies? All shapes, sizes and colors represented. How about the runways? Skinny isn't the only thing you'll see in the green room. The days of Pamela Anderson and Kate Moss types dominating magazine covers are a thing of the past. This is something that's taken a while to accomplish. As far back as my childhood, I remember a Dana Plato playing Kimberly Drummond on the hit 80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes forcing herself to vomit to fit into a dress. It was the show's way of bringing awareness to Bulimia. Things have changed so much that now making fun of skinny women is now the norm. Remember that Family Guy episode when Kate Moss was able to slip into a floor vent? Yeah.
Skinny Jokes are now all the rage | Source: YouTube
So what about the men? Will there ever be a short Ken doll? A fat ken? How about a Ken with a receding hairline? Seen any fat men walking down the runway? Any fat male strippers at strip clubs for women? How about short, balding men on women's magazines?
What Society Sees As "Fat" Has Changed A Lot Since 1980 | Source: YouTube
So what we're saying then is that there has been a demand for body acceptance for one gender but not the other. And no one seems to really give a damn. Certainly women can appreciate, admire and even lust after all of the different shapes and sizes men have to offer. Social Media tells a different story. Just about every meme that demands body acceptance and disparages men who refuse to buy in looks a little like this:
Memes That Calls For Female Body Acceptance Feature Tall, Muscular Men | Source: IG
Notice how the men on each of these fit the same trope we've been told we needed to possess in order to be considered attractive, tall, dark and handsome. All of the men are muscular, all are taller than the women, all have hyper-masculine (bad boy-ish) traits. So what if you're a young man nearing adulthood and don't possess any of these traits. 6 feet is the gold standard and 85% of men fall beneath that benchmark. Now it would be nice if all of that had no impact on a man's life, but it does. The thousands of studies and millions of anecdotes of shorter men, plus the plethora of negative commentary by women and non-short men about men show that shorter boys are in for a rude awakening when they cross into adulthood.
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So what are young boys supposed to do and how is society is addressing this? By going after the Media? Nope. Reprimanding height-shamers on the job and amongst friends? Not at all. Vladimir Putin, Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber and Kevin Hart can tell you there's no mercy when it comes to shaming them because of their height. They're treating shortness as a disease and parents everywhere are juicing up their kids so they won't become the next court jester once they hit 18.
5' Mother and 6'8 Father Worry Because Their Son Is 5' At 13 | Source: ABC News
In 2003, the FDA allowed kids with who are idiopathically short to receive Growth Hormone for the first time. Prior to this, you had to suffer from Growth Hormone deficiency. Now, if your child was perfectly normal, but just short, you could ask your doctor for HGH. Demand exploded, so much so, that Governor Cuomo of New York had to ban HGH being distributed on the taxpayers dime, stating that kids who are short should just deal with it and that these "height wars" should cease.
Governor Cuomo Of NY Cut Funding For HGH To Children In 2011 | Source: New York Post
The drug isn't cheap, on average $50,000 per inch and the medicine of course might not work if the child is producing adequate growth hormone. Its usage caused so much of an uproar in the medical community that many doctors spoke out against it being prescribed citing that there is no "medical need" for boys to be tall, but that the desire for height in boys is a societal issue. Try telling that to the parents who worry that their boys might not make the mark.
Should Short People Take Growth Hormone? | Source: YouTube
HGH can be administered for height growth within a small window of "opportunity", so what about the boys who miss that timeframe? Well, there are the dozens of height blogs that advertise bogus stretching exercises and height inducing drug cocktails that can lead to fatal injuries, "height clinics" that promote bogus and costly procedures and of course, the famous Leg Lengthening surgery that thousands of men spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on to have their legs broken so they can grow 2.5 inches max potentially leaving them crippled. Don't think it's just the sub 5'8-ers who are doing it either. Plenty of orthopedic surgeons report men in excess of 6 feet requesting the procedure also.
5'10 and 6' Height Requirements Are Plentiful Online | Source: Plenty Of Fish
All of it done for respect amongst their colleagues and admiration from the fairer sex for which according to a large percentage of online dating profiles, less than 5'10 just won't do.
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If all of this is happening, and hundreds of men commit suicide annually because of height dysphoria, why isn't this receiving the same attention that is directed toward female body acceptance? Well, the answer is simple. Men are just expected to "deal with it". While both men and women run like knights charging into battle to tend to women's issues, men are expected to treat their wounds themselves. If you're looking for sympathy, don't hold your breath.
Sanders Or Cruz Would Be The Shortest President In 116 Years | Source: Time
While studies say otherwise, with the current presidential candidate crop clocking in at 5'8 max this time around (both Democratic Front Runner Bernie Sanders and Republican Front Runner Ted Cruz are 5'8), this year's most critically acclaimed entertainers averaging about 5'5 (Recording Artist Nick Jonas is 5'7, Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 5'6, Singer/Songwriter Bruno Mars is 5'4 and Comedian Kevin Hart is 5'2), and some of this year's greatest athletes averaging at 5'7 (Boxer Floyd Mayweather is 5'7 and so is Denver Broncos Running Back C.J. Anderson), parents should in theory have very little to worry about. See, being short for a man has never been a problem, but society's attitude toward short men is a constant problem. Fix Heightism, problem solved.
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