Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

The Long and Short of Height

Gila Arnold

Despite being “vertically challenged,” I have rarely felt handicapped by my height. True, I remember feeling anxious as I waited in line at the amusement park, praying that I would pass the ride’s height requirement. Still, I felt I’d fared better overall than my tall friends who, after being teased in elementary school for their height, faced limited choices in shidduchim as adults. And yet much research — as well as natural instinct — indicates it’s the tall people of the world who come out, er, on to

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

measuring a boys heightTake income, for example. An Australian study found that men standing at least six feet tall tend to earn more money than their shorter counterparts. Similarly, even though a minority (15.5 percent) of American men are six feet or taller, they comprise more than 30 percent of the country’s top earners. Stature gives a proven advantage both in getting hired and in being promoted to higher level, top-paying positions.

Height also brings people to the top of the social ladder. Let’s face it: when you’re tall, people see you as a leader. As the pasuk tells us about King Shaul, “From his shoulders upward, he was taller than the whole nation.” (Shmuel I 9:2) A crowd naturally turns to a tall person to show them the way, assuming he sees more from his vantage point — both literally and figuratively.

As I can attest from personal experience, when a short person and a tall person stand together, others tend to focus on the tall person, assuming he is in charge. It’s therefore no mystery why many world leaders have been tall. (With notable exceptions, which are always proudly cited in articles touting shortness: Napoleon, Caesar, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco. Maybe there’s a correlation between shortness and megalomania?)

Tall people may have one more key advantage, according to researchers Kanazawa and Reyniers who analyzed results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, They suggest that tall people are — ouch — more intelligent. Almost makes a short person want to crawl back into his cave.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

A Response to "Too Far from Home"
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Chareidi Israel is not happy to absorb immigrants”
Life after Kollel
Yonoson Rosenblum Remaining a ben Torah requires remaining a bar daas
Angel's Advocate
Eytan Kobre Because this is how’s it’s supposed to be always
Bring Back the Wonder
Yisroel Besser Look around and say, “Ribbono shel Olam, wow!”
Make Your Words Count
Rabbi Shneur Aisenstark This story delivers two sobering lessons for all of us
I Know of What I Speak
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman I would allow my mask to fall, my soul to be revealed
Meet the Tzaddik
Jacob L. Freedman “Aren’t there meds that can get him back to yeshivah?”
Two centuries later, the Chasam Sofer’s niggunim are heard again
Riki Goldstein The musical side of the Chasam Sofer dynasty
How Do You Think of These Words?
Riki Goldstein “For me, the words are the neshamah of the song”
The Song I Can't Stop Singing: Shlomo Simcha
Riki Goldstein “Which song are you connecting to this season?”
Megama Had the Magic
Riki Goldstein Remembering Moshe Yess a”h and Shalom Levine a”h
Living Beyond the Moment
Faigy Peritzman Someone steeped in Torah always lives beyond the moment
Sarah Chana Radcliffe We can only be sure that we can never be sure
Instinctive Knowledge
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Jewish babies are born knowing Hashem
The Gardener: Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s a secret language called body language”