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They Say It's a Tall Man's World


I have felt personally victimised by tall people my entire life. In primary school, I was the shortest boy in the classroom. This meant that when we did earthquake emergency training (seismic-country problems, you wouldn’t get it) I was always forced to be in the front of the queue as I was deemed most likely to perish in a stampede.

Then the miracle of puberty hit and almost immediately brought me up to a very respectable 5’8ft (5’9ft if my hair is cooperating and I’m wearing Docs). I thought my days as a short man were over, as I prepared myself to observe the world from new, once unreachable heights. 

A young me, short and temperamental
Then I moved to the UK, the place where dreams go to die. According to very reliable data found on the internet® the average height of men in Italy is 174cm, which makes me above average (by a meagre 1cm, sure, but still… hips don’t lie, and neither do weird internet surveys that don’t disclose their research methodology). In the UK, however, the average man is 178cm tall, which means I am shorter than most. For the purpose of this study, and in order to strengthen the scientific validity of my claims, I will define tall men as every man who is taller than me.

A very telling anecdote to describe the struggles of the not-so-tall man in 21st century society is the time that someone I went on a date with described me as dark, handsome and… [dramatic pause] dangerous. The fact that this person believed that the word ‘dangerous’ describes me more adequately than tall (yes, me, the man who sends hand-painted watercolour thank-you cards) made me realise the extent of my perceived lack of height.

Now, if you take into account the fact that every time I take a mirror selfie my friends ask me why I have such a big mirror in my room, coupled with the more worrying tendency of people to dismiss men who are shorter than 6ft as fundamentally undatable, it is safe to conclude that men on the shorter side find themselves on the periphery of respectable society. We’re outcasts, social pariahs, the last people on the vaccine-rollout list. 

Mirrors. They keep getting bigger.
Anyway, I have decided to become the leading voice in the SMRM (Shorter Man Resistance Movement). While I am indeed opposed to any form of hatred, I draw the line at tall people, whose unfair advantages in life make them acceptable candidates for acts of non-violent discrimination with the aim of balancing out their unfairly favourable position in society. 

Here’s a partial list of reasons why it is legitimate to discriminate against tall people:

  • They have easier access to top shelf liquor, which is unfair to short people because we need it more
  • Tall people in theatres are a very disruptive force. I would urge elected officials to consider the introduction of segregated cinema rooms.
  • They inevitably look down on you. I refuse to look up to them. This explains why I spend so much time talking to belts.
  • Osama Bin Laden was 6’5
  • Studies show that tall people are more likely to receive a salary increase. One can safely conclude that it’s not our current economic model but indeed the presence of tall people in society that is perpetuating issues of class inequality and hindering social mobility. They must be stopped.
  • Tall individuals report more positive emotions than shorter ones, according to a 2008 study. Let’s change that.
  • They are less likely to succumb in a bar fight. I once told a bad drunk man to meet me in the parking lot. Hilarity ensued: everyone thought it was comedy night at the pub. I simply can’t go on like this. 

For the sake of transparency and journalistic integrity, I would like to propose a list of tall people I do like and that should therefore be exempt from discrimination:

  • Dolly Alderton
  • Jeff Goldblum
  • My friend Francesco because I need someone to back me up in case someone takes me up on my offer to meet them in the parking lot for a fist fight.

This is a call to arms. Join me in my protest against tall people. I am planning a gathering in Parliament Square (the act of sitting-down being the great equaliser, I believe a sit-in protest to be the most suitable format, so we all look the same height). The rally will begin by Winston Churchill’s statue (I am willing to forgo his outrageous views of social Darwinism and focus on the fact that he is a rare example of a successful short man). See you there!

 




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