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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Heightism and Language

"A lot of people still laugh when people mention "Heightism" as if it's not a real form of discrimination, but they don't understand how incredibly ingrained it is into culture. Really. It's everywhere. Just take language:

When you admire someone, you "look up to them". You don't ask people "What is your height?" you ask them: "How tall are you?". If a man is made less important he's "cut down to size". You're "standing tall" when you're proud. You're "head and shoulders above the rest" when you've done something exceptional. We have "shortcomings", and we're afraid that we "don't measure up".

Heightism is extremely pronounced, but it's not something people really notice unless they are on the recieving end. I'm 5'11", so I'm about regular height for a male. But growing up, I was extremely short compared to all my peers. When I finally had my growth-spurt, I noticed immediately how much more people respected me - it was like night and day." - Source

My favorite is "I'm (insert height) on a good day." That one is less figurative and there's no arguing over the intent. They're basically admitting they view taller as better. It'd be like my Asian self saying "I'm whiter on a good day." Or how about "a man of his stature?" What stature? Short stature? I doubt it.

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