At the height of their power


How important is height?  In Napoleon’s case, not very much or perhaps it was – perhaps that was one thing driving him on.  The list of leaders is long – Churchill, Putin, Mevedev, Stalin, Hitler, John Howard, it goes on.

If a man lacks inches, he needs drive, panache or both, which Sarkozy undoubtedly has and it’s all very well saying that people shouldn’t judge by height but people do.  Randy Newman is apparently a shade over 6 feet:

Once seen as maybe lower middle height, I’d be seen as short today. Hard to tell but the lack of hair doesn’t seem to have been an impediment at all – in fact things have gone better in later years than in earlier years. The height does cut out a proportion of women though and one wonders if it isn’t for the best – women who judge by that aren’t worth bothering about anyway, one would think.

Obviously there are extremes at both ends of the scale and even ultra-short women have complexes [unnecessary IMHO but there it is]. Is there any character difference? Well a NYT report thinks so:

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index daily poll of the United States population, taller people live better lives, at least on average. They evaluate their lives more favorably, and they are more likely to report a range of positive emotions, like enjoyment and happiness. They are also less likely to report a range of negative experiences, like sadness and physical pain, though they are more likely to experience stress and anger, and if they are women, to worry.

Not too sure about “less likely to express sadness and pain” but people’s ideal person is clearly seen as a benchmark, a starting point from where they can deviate into accepting someone who doesn’t match that ideal.  I don’t know how tall my mother was but I’d say 5’4″ perhaps.  Now whether that affected my choices or whether it meant that there was a natural sorting out process with women who made themselves available to be taken, I don’t know.

My significant others [sorry about the PC term] excludes the 4 yr old gf when I was 4 and the 10 year old gf when I was 12 but the genuine items were 5’2″, 5’2″, 5’61/2″, 5’61/2″, 5’4″, 5’2″ and 5’6″.  The taller ones on high heels and with hair up were taller than me so they tended to do a Carla Bruni and wear lower heels.  The last one in Russia was my own height but that can’t be called a S.O.


I’m sure it does affect the equation if only for how others perceive it and many people are affected by perceptions of other people, even if they protest that they aren’t.  When WN1 and I were betrothed, I arranged to meet her in a bar in the city where she was with work colleagues and it was clearly to show me off but it backfired because she’d been rabbiting on about beds, taking out the single and bringing in the double and so on and some nasty little toerag said, “Well, at least you won’t be needing a king-sized, will you?”

How can we ever know but I do think it affected her because in the death throes of our life together, one of her little moves was to draw herself up to full height and try to tower over me which I remember thinking was interesting at the time.  It had never been mentioned, unlike with my small gf in Russia [5’2″ and 47 kg] who asked me why I couldn’t be taller.  I thought she should have said “bigger” but it seemed to be height that was her concern.  What did she want – godzilla?  Later I discovered that there had been a tall man in the background.

So, to wind this up, with people like Sarkozy in the public eye, it might be fairly important and yet it hasn’t stopped him philandering.  For the average punter, there’s probably a self-actualizing tendency in mixing and matching, with most of it going unspoken, at least to each other.  Perhaps, in the end, it is how one carries oneself rather than actual height which counts.

Actually, he’s not badly preserved for 55, is he?

4 comments for “At the height of their power

  1. December 29, 2009 at 10:53

    Interesting thoughts, I have never even considered that height might be important. Maybe it is, I don’t know but for me the way one carries oneself is more important than height.

  2. dearieme
    December 29, 2009 at 11:32

    Just remember to subtract an inch and a half from the reported height of tall or tallish men. Except me.

  3. December 29, 2009 at 14:18

    I have seen that among Germanics and Anglos all the best opportunities within the same class go to tall people. Being good looking helps, unless you are devilishly handsome or ravishingly beautiful, in which case looks are something to be overcome. Money can buy one’s way into just about any group these days, albeit with a significant buildup of hard feelings toward the gate-crashers.

  4. December 29, 2009 at 14:30

    Sarkozy really looks like a thug in that picture above. And judging from his expression, he also seems to derive his self worth from the accessory on his arm. There are pictures of him among Anglo and Germanic leaders, and he appears a small man, a foreigner somehow, very out of place. But his politics tell us otherwise.

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