This widespread height-pressure is bad for shorter men, but it can hurt taller women, too. Some doctors over the years have even advocated estrogen treatment to limit the growth of tall girls at puberty, not because they face any actual health risks but to avoid "social and economic problems." A German study of the practice had parents admitting openly that they were choosing the treatment because they were worried about their tall daughters being unmarriageable. And I'm not talking about 7-foot-tall Amazons here: In Australia in the 1960s, such treatments were often recommended when girls were predicted to reach a height of only 177 centimeters, or just under 5-foot-10.
Almost 40 percent of the girls who received the treatment reported "unpleasant" side effects, but even apart from that, what sort of society deliberately stunts a child's growth simply so she can conform to these unnecessary standards? Maybe a society based entirely around airline seating, but that's all I can think of. Then again, maybe it's understandable, because ...
The Subject Can Turn Both Sexes Into Assholes
Unsurprisingly, the "height differences are icky" attitude isn't just coming from Hollywood. Studies of dating profiles have found that men are not willing to date much taller women, while other studies have found that most women aren't open to dating shorter men. Of course, the average man in the U.S. is just over 5-foot-9, so if you're a heterosexual female who's taller than that, there go your chances with the majority of the male population. You'd end up with a less drastically shrunken dating pool if you decided to only date men who liked the 2011 Green Lantern movie.
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"I'm green in all the places you want me to be, baby."
For obvious reasons, these preferences make people mad. After all, your height isn't something that's under your control, and we really should all be judging each other on our personalities and senses of humor and ability to cook up a mean breakfast burrito, just like we should be dating each other in fields full of wildflowers where chocolates and love-notes are delivered by unicorns. But that's not the case, and so 20 percent of all comments on Internet articles mentioning tall women will be complaints about how ladies don't like shorter men, while 20 percent more will explain that men don't even dare to ask out tall women in the first place because their height makes men feel emasculated. Even this article urging men to approach tall women tells men to expect their target lady to be "touchy" and "aggressive" about how tall she is, as if slightly above-average height is a form of rabies.
It's not just men, either. I've heard tall women bitching about short women who happen to be dating unusually tall men, because those vertically challenged bitches are "stealing" the tall men from women who really need them. As if tall men were emergency medical supplies being delivered to an area that's just been ravaged by an earthquake, and the moral thing to do is to ration them out to the person who needs them most.
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"I should be first. My house is full of really tall shelves and inconveniently high spiders."
So instead of wondering why we can't have a more peaceful society where everyone's happy to watch a Hunger Games movie with a tall heroine, everyone just blames each other, and it's not likely to end anytime soon. Clearly, there's only one real solution here: We need to bring back the great historical trend of high heels for men.
C. Coville has a Twitter here and a funny book on sale here.
For more from C. Coville, check out 6 Insanely Dark Online Games for Young Children and 5 Problems in Movies You Only Notice If You're Old.
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