Most if not all short men will admit to having faced discrimination be it subtle or overt frequently in their lives. Even though this discrimination, "Heightism" is well documented, shorter guys are still expected to respond to it positively and swallow insults with a smile. The same does not apply to women, short women are referred to as petite and cute and any attempt to height shame them is quickly criticized, especially in a professional environment. They are shielded protectively from heightists and their derogatory comments.
See Also: Why Men Should Lie About Their Height On Dating Profiles
Wendy Williams Is In Hot Water After Height Shaming Ariana Grande | Source: YouTube
Case in point. Wendy Williams, the famous talk-show celebrity gossiper for over three decades routinely ridicules men for their lack of height on all of the shows she's ever done. She however all of a sudden "went too far" when she bashed Ariana Grande’s 4’ 11” frame by stating “She’s 21. She’ll forever look 12. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I don’t look at her as, like, a woman.”. Immediately following this, the hashtag #cancelwendywilliams was trending all over the web, even before the actual show was done airing. There was a huge backlash against Williams all of which was covered by Radio, TV and Print. This is the same high profile celebrity who bashed short men for decades with no recourse. Really? They want her off now? Make no mistake, the comments Williams made were indeed heightist, demeaning, insulting and is a de facto form of body shaming. Everyone who spoke up against her was certainly on the side of good. However, we can’t help but ask. Why do we not receive the same response when a man is the target?
The Hasthtag #CancelWendyWilliams Flooded Twitter | Source: Twitter
Men are regularly shamed for their height. It's ubiquitous and goes unchecked. It's celebrated and even encouraged. Here are a few recent examples in mass media:
Melissa Harris-Perry Thinks Short Men Shouldn't Play Sports (5:55) | Source: MSNBC
Melissa Harris Perry of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, has built a career as a strong activist and advocate for minorities. She is quick to admonish anyone who bashes a person for their skin color or any other immutable trait. That ideology however does not extend to men who because of their DNA, fall short of her ideal height. On a recent show, she scoffed at a possible Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao match up because of their short stature, ignoring their excellent track records as boxers (undefeated in Mayweather's case). Her attacks included, saying arrogantly that she "outweighed them both" and asking why should people care about 'little guys' fighting. She even made it a point to scurry her arms and changed the tone of her voice to emphasize them being diminutive. Insinuating that short men shouldn't participate in professional sports is the epitome of hypocrisy. Would she react the same if someone suggested that blacks shouldn't apply to Ivy Leagues or that no one should care, while snapping their fingers and rolling their heads? Melissa Harris-Perry is always quick to censure anyone who says anything offensive including her guests. So then why was there no outrage when she shamed two very successful athletes for being short?
DirecTV Engaged In Height Shaming Men To Attract Customers | Source: YouTube
Another case is a DirecTV ad released this summer featuring two versions of Randy Moss, one tall ("Real Randy Moss") and the other short ("Petite Randy Moss"). The commercial ends with, “Don’t be this Randy Moss” with the "Real Randy Moss" pointing to the petite version. The entire ad is heightist down to the chosen attire and facial expressions for the two participants. Though there were a number of outrageous comments on YouTube following the posting of the advertisement, staff reviewers at USA Today and SB Nation found the ad "hilarious". When questioned by AdFreaks, the response was that their viewers "understand" [the humor] and the feedback they received suggested that a majority of viewers enjoyed it. It is unfathomable that in 2015, a huge corporation like DirecTV can launch a nationwide body shaming campaign and the only consequence they receive is a few users canceling their subscription. Go figure.
Melissa Rauch Slams Short Men In A Rant On Conan | Source: YouTube
Strangely enough even women who are short themselves join in on the short men bashing bandwagon. In a Conan O'Brien interview in 2013, 4'11 Melissa Rauch said she fears short men and paints them as "roving gangs who shop at Gap Kids". Never mind that most "short men" stand half a foot taller than she.
But who can blame short women from hopping on for a ride on the short man shaming bus. There is a clear double standard when it comes to how people are treated when it comes to their height and it's all rooted gender norms. Men are "supposed to be tall" and women are "supposed to be short", so we can't make fun of women who are short can we? They can't help it! Shaming men for something they had no say in and can't change is defended as freedom of speech while shaming women for the same merits condemnation. It certainly is an interesting world we live in.
See Also: Women's Height Preferences vs. Men's Racial Preferences
Research conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reports that short men are twice as likely to commit suicide as taller men. The extensive study involved 1.3 million men between 18 years and 49 years of age. Researchers wrote that short men, from childhood suffer discrimination and stigmatization. The proof in the pudding was that short men in places where the population is statistically short do not have increased suicide rates. Recent news stories support this research. Fourteen year old Lamar Hawkins III whose growth was stunted due to health complications growth committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with his father’s gun. Prior to the suicide, he was bullied because of his height. In one instance, a student literally slapped him out of his chair. Twelve year old Joel Morales of East Harlem, New York City committed suicide by hanging himself in his bathroom after being bullied because of his small stature. His mother had him switch schools, but the bullying persisted.
East Harlem Boy Joel Morales Committed Suicide Because Of Height Shaming | Source: New York Post
While Heightism isn't gender specific, if women are the target, be it short or tall, they are fiercely defended. The same just does not hold true for their male counterparts. Society has conditioned shorter men to be gracious and ignore such attacks, but it doesn't make them right. It is time people that people call foul when such behavior takes place. Consider this, one day, your son, male relative or best friend could be subjected to such scorn.
Like This Article? Chat About It And More On Our Forum For Short Men!