Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Height 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. It'd be like me saying my skin is lighter on a good day. When you're a great successor, you're "standing on the shoulders of giants." A stupid person is a mental midget, an intelligent one a towering intellect. Or how about "a man of his stature"? What stature? Short stature? I doubt it.

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