Monday, July 24, 2006

Tall People

There was an interesting show on Discovery yesterday about tall people, which I watched while lazing about the house. Being married to a bona-fide Tall Person, I've seen at least some of the behaviors (people often ask him how tall he is, or how the weather is "up there", etc). Much of the show focused on how tall people often try to hide their tallness or try to minimize their size -- women especially. Even many of the tall men said they were embarassed by their size, or had low self-esteem, or spend their childhood trying to be invisible to avoid teasing. I rather doubt that the Adorable Husband has an residual self-esteem issues from his height; he's always viewed his size as positive.

Only about 5% of the male population is taller than 6'2" and the generally accepted range of "Tall" is 6'-6'3". Less than 1% of the US male population is 6'4" or better. The Adorable Husband is (depending on when you measure him, morning or evening) between 6'4" and 6'5".

Average height for men in the US is 5'9" and for women, 5'4 1/2" (which makes me just about average! Ha!) . Of course, average height for men in the Netherlands is 5'11 7/8".

I've had tall women get pretty snippy with me about marrying a Tall guy -- there is still a weird stereotype that the woman must not be taller than the man, and for tall women the dating pool of tall-enough men is pretty small. I have to admit that I definitely fit the stereotype: being around men who are my height or shorter is always weird, so I can sympathize with the tall women who believe I've unfairly snagged one of the guys in their height range. Sorry about that.

But, being tall apparently does have some benefits: Taller politicians do better, taller men are seen as more trustworthy, tall people are more likely to marry and have children. More than half of the CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are over six feet (in 1980), and studies have shown that taller people tend to have higher salaries.

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