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Myth or Fact? Short people are poorer and dumber

May 12, 2010

As a continuation of my blog regarding taller Sudanese girls raking in more money than shorter girls, I wanted to put in some more research behind this idea that it pays to be tall.

In daily life, there are times when being taller is handy. A larger selection of shoes to choose from, being able to reach the higher cupboards in the kitchen, comfortably sitting in the driver’s or passenger’s seat without having to move it all the way forward and upward.

But what about the science behind the benefits of being tall? Many well-known news outlets have discussed this phenomenon, such as CNN and ABC News.

A psychologist, Timothy Judge, at the University of Florida and a researcher, Daniel Cable, at the University of North Carolina performed a study in 2004, where every inch of height leads to a salary increase of $789 per year.

Therefore, hypothetically, someone 6 feet tall will earn $5,225 more annually

By this calculation, someone who is 6 feet tall earns $5,525 more annually than someone who is 5 feet, 6 inches. Over the course of a career, of course, those numbers can really add up.

Perhaps this is because of people use height as an indication of power. Sometimes people think shorter people look younger and thus, not as smart or don’t take the short people as seriously as taller people.

The National Organization of Short Statured Adults (NOSSA) states that they get a number of calls and letters from parents saying their children are targets of bullying. Sometimes, it gets so bad that parents consider giving their kids human growth hormones, which is expensive and risky.

I think it’s hard for adult men to be short as well, especially when trying to find a partner, because women would want a taller person to date. But, hey! Tom Cruise was able to date Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes who are both taller than him!

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise!

(Photo courtesy of: http://www.topnews.in)

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise!

(Photo courtest of: http://www.smh.com.au)

What’s going on? What’s happening? I can’t see!

May 10, 2010

My very first blog about the difficulties of being short was about how airports, planes and traveling can be a nuisance. Another place that isn’t the greatest for someone short is a concert — especially if it’s a standing-only concert.

I’m attending the Cobra Starship concert here in Portland on May 25, which will be hosted at the Roseland Theater. Now, I know for certain that this concert is a stand-only event with no selected seats, which makes it difficult for me.

I’ve been to numerous concerts like this and my neck always ends up being so sore from having to crank it up to attempt to see the people on stage! Oh my, when I attended the Myspace tour my freshman year of college, which starred HelloGoodbye, I was able to get pretty close to the front! There were probably only three people in front of me, and I was actually able to see!

But all of a sudden, BAM! some dude who was definitely over six feet tall, came up and totally blocked everyone’s view!

New rule: If you are over 5 feet 10 inches, there is no reason as to why you need to be up close to the stage. I’m sure you can see just fine from further away, unlike us short people.

But, in a way, I like having no seating in concerts because it lets you roam around, be free, and enjoy the concert!

I hate hate hate hate it when ROCK CONCERTS have seating, like in the Philippines. And it’s not even in a stadium where the seats are drilled in to the floor — these are outdoor venues on just a plain field and the sponsors of the concert decide to have the concert be selected seating so they put MONOBLOCK CHAIRS OUT AT A ROCK CONCERT.

This is a monoblock chair that some Philippine concert sponsors have.

(Photo courtesy of artnet.com)

The reasons why I dislike this idea are:

  • It is a rock concert. People will not be sitting down at a rock concert. They will be thrashing, jumping and moshing, which leads to my next point.
  • Monoblock chairs at a rock concert is a bad idea. Certain people who come to the event a little intoxicated, a little high or just ready to be plain rowdy will take these chairs and start tossing it at innocent bystanders. I have seen this happen. It is not pretty.

I’m sure some people have never seen monoblock chairs at a concert, and you’re probably thinking I’m just making it up. Well, I have a photo to show you of a concert I went to in the Philippines my senior year of high school.

This photo was taken at the My Chemical Romance concert in the Philippines a couple of years back. Examine the hundreds of monoblock chairs for people to sit in at a rock concert.

Question: If you were at your favorite band’s concert, would you be sitting down calmly enjoying the show? (That is, if you weren’t injured in some way and had to sit down).

However, some reasons that I do like being short at concerts are:

  • I can sneakily meander my way through the throngs of people to get to the front.
  • (Some) people feel sorry for me when they see me jumping up and down trying to see the band that they let me stand in front of them.
  • I just sit on a friend’s shoulder and make everyone else suffer because I’m blocking their view. 🙂 It’s evil, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

And even if I hate those stupid monoblock chairs at a concert where gradual upward incline to the floor, which lets the people at the back have some sort of view, there is good use to those chairs for a short person. What is it?

Well, examine the photo below:

If you didn’t catch it, this photo that I took just at my face level seems a little bit higher than everyone else in the crowd. You know why?

Because I was standing on the chairs.

Can you see it better now?

Sorry for the lack of photo quality, this was taken a couple years back when my digital camera was a mere 5 megapixels, and I was trying to zoom in as well.  But I just wanted to show a visual illustration of my love/hate relationship with monoblock chairs at rock concerts.

Short people are just the same as you and I

May 9, 2010

So, I was perusing Youtube world the other day, when a recommended video popped up with a title called, “Short People.” Slightly curious, and slightly scared that the Internet (Facebook, youtube, gmail ads) can remember what you’ve researched before and find things that fit those needs, I decided to click on the video. And as the title indicated, it was a video for a song called “Short People” that was released in 1977 by Randy Newman.

Randy Newman is most popular, in my opinion, for the song “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” that was used as the theme song for Disney’s Toy Story. He’s actually done a lot of songs for Disney, such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 1, Toy Story 2, he’ll probably do one for Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc., The Princess and the Frog, Cars and James and the Giant Peach!

Click the video below to listen to the song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me!”

Anyway, back to the subject of Short People; when it came out in 1977, there was a lot of controversy over it because of the “message” it sent out to people. The lyrics of the song made a pointed attack to short people with verses, such as:

Short people got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin’ great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
`Round here.

(Lyrics found on: www.sing365.com)

So, from reading the lyrics, there seems to be some pretty hateful things regarding short people. But! The chorus for the song has a completely different viewpoint:

Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It’s a wonderful world)

With that, what really is the meaning for this song? From the research I did (i.e. Wikipedia and Google), a lot of radio stations banned this song from play on-air. But, in the later years when Newman was interviewed, he said that he didn’t mean for it to seem like an attack. The verses were made from a narrative point of someone who was a biased bigot, but then the chorus rebuts this notion of prejudice that people have about short people.

Later on, he also said that this medium was probably the wrong one to use to send out a message about prejudice, because of the way people can interpret the song, which I understand. I’m always trying to decode the meaning of songs, and I can see how people can find this particular song hurtful.

But, with further research as well, he’s done songs before that were written with a biased point of view as well, such as the song, “Rednecks,” and that song got no complaints. Maybe he should just stick to movie soundtracks? Though, I appreciate his efforts in trying to write about something more meaningful.

Personally, I actually like the song about short people! The tune is catchy! When I first heard it, I was a little bit amused but a little bit confused about the lyrics, as well. But from my English literature interpretation skills I got from high school, I thought that Newman didn’t want the prejudice side of the song to be taken seriously. If he really did think that short people didn’t deserve to live, well then he wouldn’t have the chorus say that ‘short people are just the same as you and I.’ But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

To listen to the song, click the video below!

Taller = More $$$

May 6, 2010

According to an interesting article I read in the Los Angeles Times, a Sudanese tribal chief explains that taller girls rake in more money when the girls are exchanged for cattle.

I still find it extraordinary that in the year 2010, when technology just keeps growing, that some communities can still live life unaffected. Of course, you’ll see them wearing Nike shirts, running shoes and sunglasses. But their daily rituals and their culture is still in tact.

Some people today may find the idea of trading your daughter for a cow barbaric and unethical, but this is how they were – and are – able to survive. I know that I can’t imagine being sent off to marry an unknown man just so that my dad could get 20 cattles.

On that note, the article says that taller girls can be exchanged for as much as 60 to 100 cattle from a suitor! That is a lot of cows.

Unfortunately, shorter girls can only usually get 20 cattle. Or even worse, as low as only 5.

But what I couldn’t get from the article, was why taller girls are more preferred! I read the article, but I couldn’t find a reason why taller girls got more money!

The only section that sort of answers it is written below:

“Tall girls fetch more cattle because their daughters will quickly grow and can be married off to fetch even more cattle,” said the chief.

What do you think?

For the full article, click here.

The Power of Small

May 3, 2010

The Power of Small….People! 🙂

Ever since the new slogan and logo came out for Linfield College, there’s been some debate on the effectiveness of the new slogan, “The Power of Small.” And since my blog is on being small, I thought I might as well join the bandwagon and start discussing it.

According to the most recent Linfield Review poll, 49 percent hate both the slogan and the logo, following with 32 percent who like the logo but hate the slogan. I like the logo because it symbolizes the heritage of the Oak Grove at Linfield, and how it also symbolizes growth.

I think the main reason people dislike the slogan is because of the immature innuendo behind it. I’m not going to deny it; when I first heard it, it was as if I turned into a 15 year old boy and giggling over the word “small.” And since we are targeting incoming freshmen, aka highschoolers, they’ll be accustomed to the innuendo of the word small.

Someone on Facebook commented on how it’ll be embarrassing for a guy to wear a shirt saying, “The Power of Small.” And this problem was brought up at the branding meetings before it was finalized, so people who are saying that we had the chance to change this before it was final can quit it, because it was discussed at the meetings.

A big problem is that many students didn’t have the chance to preview it because these branding meetings were scheduled at inconvenient times – either we’re at work or in class because it is mid-afternoon.

But, overall, if you get past the immaturity behind the slogan, it can be a powerful statement. One of Linfield’s strong points is that it is in a small community, a small college with small classes. One of the things I looked for when looking at colleges was the size. I wanted a small school so that people are more familiar with one another. I also wanted a small class size because I feel that student-faculty interaction is very important. I wanted professors to actually remember who I was and that I wasn’t just another person in their class.

But just remember, you can never please everyone.

Cinderella feet

April 29, 2010

Despite me being 21 years old, I’m still a huge fan of (certain) Disney movies. I’m especially a fan of the classics, such as Snow White, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.

My mom says that when my older sister and I were younger, we’d watch the Little Mermaid on repeat. As in, we’d watch Little Mermaid at least 3 times before deciding to call it quits.

I brought on the subject of Disney because I wanted to know if you’ve ever heard of the term Cinderella feet? If you don’t remember, the only way Prince Charming could have found Cinderella was because of a glass slipper. And this glass slipper was special because it could only fit Cinderella’s tiny feet. Cinderella’s stepsisters could barely fit her toes in the shoe!

This being said, I’ve been told to have Cinderella feet. If you’ve ever seen my feet or shoes, you’d probably agree. I wear a kid’s shoe size 2.5 and a woman’s shoe size 5 (but size 4.5 if it’s heels).

Next to a ruler, my flats are only 9 inches.

It’s difficult to find shoes that are stylish enough to fit my feet, especially when it comes to heels. That’s why I’ve adopted my mom’s mantra, “If it fits, buy it!” I regretted not doing it a few months back. I was shoe browsing at Nordstrom with my boyfriend one day when I had an “OMG” moment. I found a Michael Kors four-inch platforms for merely $70! This is an amazing find when it’s only half the original price AND they had it in a size 4.5! But noooo, I was told NOT to buy it because I’ve spent enough money already. To this day, I’m still pining over them.

And with my “problem,” I go back to specific shoe brands that I know will have my size. For example:

The benefits of having small feet?

  • No one can accidentally step on my toes unless they’re like standing right in front of me
  • Small feet look cute
  • Kid’s shoes are cheaper!

Below is a little video I made about how to make larger shoes fit better. Enjoy!

Hello, up there!

April 25, 2010

Being here in the States, I’ve gotten used to the neck cramps and having to take 4 steps to someone taller’s 2 steps. But there are places, like the Philippines, where my height is normal.

According to the ever reliable WikiAnswers (note a little hint of sarcasm), the average heights for a Filipino are:

  • Male: 5 feet 4 (163.5cm)
  • Female: 4 feet 11 (151.8cm)

Therefore, as someone who is only five feet tall, I don’t feel so left out. It’s the complete opposite back home then. Taller people are the ones out of place and not the shorter people. My boyfriend, Robert, came to visit my family and me in the Philippines two Christmases ago, and he stood out like a sore thumb!

My sisters, mom, and I all stand around 5ft.

In all of our photos, it’d be people of all the same general height and then an anomaly of someone who is 5 feet 9 inches. So now, he knows how I feel like when being on the other side of the spectrum.

Wow! A HUGGEEE difference in height!

I could go into the science and history as to why people from different regions are of different heights, but I feel like I’ll just bore you and myself. But if you are interested in it, just let me know!

An interesting fact:

According to the Philippine Star, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had to decrease the height requirement for those wanting to apply. The previous height requirement was 5ft4 for men and 5ft2 for women, but since January 2010,  it has now been reduced to 5ft for both genders.

Joy Dela Pena, a representative for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, says the reduction is because many applicants who do pass the entrance exam are rejected merely because of height. I agree to the reduction in height, because if they are able to do the strenuous activities they endure before and during the entrance exam at their current height, then they shouldn’t be rejected. It can, in a way, be a form of discrimination.

Click here for the full article.

ugh…!…can’t…reach!..must…tip toe…more..!

April 21, 2010

Being short – or vertically challenged as some people say – is a lifetime full of experiences. Sometimes, I feel as if it is a disability and I should be entitled to have one of those handicapped or disability parking stickers. Or better yet – I should be one of the first people to board an airplane because of my handicap!

Needing to be on my tip toes just to be able to see who’s at the door

This brings me to the subject of my blog entry.

Personally, one of the worst places to be at for a short person like myself is when traveling via airplane. As mentioned in my other blog, I am an international student who flies back and forth across the Pacific Ocean twice a year. I love to travel; but it can be hassle. Not just because of the strict flight regulations since 9/11, but because of my lack of height.

Let me explain:

  • Because I can’t easily stuff all my dorm belongings in a car, I need relatively large luggage when traveling – that and I’m a girl so I tend to bring a lot of things. These luggages, when at 50 pounds a piece, tends to be pretty heavy for someone who weighs 105 pounds (I think?) and is merely 5 feet.
  • I know, I know. You’d probably say that I should just not bring that much stuff back home and back to school. But I fill them up to the maximum, because what’s the point of having all that extra space when I can fill it with more shoes and accessories? A trick I do is that I bring less stuff home, buy everything I want there, and bring more stuff back to school! Marvelous idea if I do say so myself.
  • The problem with the luggage and my height is that it doesn’t work so well when lifting them up onto the weighing scale or pulling them off the conveyer belt. It’s just as big as me, and it weighs just as much as me!


Just two out of three luggages I have!

TIP:
If you are short and have heavy luggage, you should position yourself to someone taller, bigger and stronger to help you. Act like a damsel in distress. But be grateful and say, “Please and thank you!” It works like a charm.

Another reason why flying is difficult for me:

  • Along with my check-in luggage, I also have a carry on suitcase. I’ve been traveling all my life, and I travel prepared. I bring an extra set of clothes, mini-toiletries, an mp3, a book, a laptop, and everything else I might need if I miss my flight or get stuck at the airport like everyone in Europe because of the volcanic ash from Iceland.
  • But the problem with this is that I can never reach the overhead compartment, especially when I’m trying to lift something above my head. Maybe I just need more arm muscle? Even when I tiptoe, I can’t reach the compartment.

TIP:

  • Like the previous tip, wait for someone to see you in distress…or just ask someone who doesn’t seem so cranky, because flying for more than 20 hours does that to someone.
  • Toss the carry-on suitcase and just bring a super big – and cute – handbag!

But the best thing about flying for a short person?
Extra leg room! Even in economy class!