India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Size Height does matter

John Bamber, who's 5ft 5in, writes in the Times about how he came upon the realisation that he had to do something about his height.
My eureka moment came when I read a book called Irresistible Attraction: Secrets of Personal Magnetism by Kevin Hogan and Mary Lee Labay. It says that while most women claim that personality is far more important when assessing a potential partner, evolutionary psychology suggests that the human brain is hardwired to find certain physical traits — including height — attractive.

A new study from the University of Essex analysed speed-dating sessions, and found that every extra inch of height a man has over his fellow Romeos correlates to an increase in the number of women who want to be introduced to him of 5 per cent.

Furthermore, statistics show that tall men earn far more than their shorter comrades and are more likely to be offered promotion. I was, I realised, being discriminated against because of my height.
Naturally, the discrimination that Bamber speaks of isn't part of a conscious process, and is veiled, even to those who practice it, by skillful, subconscious rationalisation. (Not that people are ever asked to explain their attractions, as far as that context is concerned.) You may choose the taller candidate in a job interview, or pick John Kerry over John Edwards in the Democratic primaries, and you will have plenty of good reasons for it -- even if your initial instinct had nothing to do with those reasons.

How we rationalise our instinctive decisions will be the subject of a longer piece I shall write some other time. For now, let me just state that I am an exception to this tall-guy thing. I'm around 5'10" or 5'11", but all my success, such as it is, is due to my abilities alone, and my friends love me for my personality. My height has nothing whatsoever to do with it. (After all, did you, dear regular reader, know how tall I am until now?)

I'm off to mix with some puny humans now. Tra la.

(Link via Arts and Letters Daily.)

Update: Angshuman wonders how tall Damien Martyn really is. Dude, when he leans into one of those languid drives of his, he's 10 feet tall. Or more.
amit varma, 12:28 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

I recommend: