It’s time to have an open conservation about tall privilege

The conversation of why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election has taken a lot of sharp turns: it was because of those pesky russians, being a bad candidate, racism, the emails, James Comey, misogyny, whatever. For many americans, the real reason was evident from the moment she first had to share a podium with Donald Trump: it was because of tall privilege. At 5’5″ she would have been the second shortest president after James Madison (it’s no wonder she couldn’t reach the glass ceiling), but she stood no chance against Trump’s 6’1/2″, and our inherently heightist society denied her rightful throne.

Priviliged people, living in the safe neighborhoods above 5’8″ street, could never fathom the stress of being short. You are less successful. You’ll never be as respected. You have less chance to score a date. Essentially, you have to earn more to compete with men taller than you; too bad that shorter men earn less money on average. And the jokes and the nicknames… don’t even get me started on the M-word! We can’t declare ourselves a healthy society until we judge people by their height instead of their merits, and avoid a confrontation with our heightist past.

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Henry Victor, Olga Baclanova, and Harry Earles from Freaks (1932)

Unsurprisingly, President Obama has never brought up the extremely sensitive topic of tall privilege, since he is the eleventh tallest president ever, inside the most privileged 25%, standing at a comfortable 6’1″. Thus the reason why Obamacare never got a Midgetaid Expansion, so that underprivileged short people could have access to a life-saving limb-lengthening operation, which is all the rage in India, is the fact that Obama is a disgusting heightist. You want more proof? One of Obama’s favorite sports is basketball, an institutionally heightist sport (the average height of an NBA player is 6’7″, while the average male height in the US is about 5’9″). If he was really serious about his progressive agenda, he would’ve chosen another, less problematic sport, something like chess.

I feel it is my duty to share some proposals for the consideration of the new administration on how to improve the life of short people. I don’t have much faith in them, because of President Trump’s height, but I’ll give him the benefit of doubt (for now).

1) Create a Short History Month (set in February, of course), honoring the achievements of some of the most famous short people in US history: celebrated writer Truman Capote (5’4″), philantrophist Andrew Carnegie (5’2″), James Madison (5’4″), the fourth US President, who helped drafting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights etc.

2) Help twitter hashtags like #OscarsSoTall get trending (did you know that the average height of Oscar nominees for Best Actor in 2017 was 5’11”?), because emotional blackmail never fails.

3) Create an app that splits restaurant bills so taller people pay more at group dinners (based on the idea of EquiTable).

If you think these are laughable ideas, or you try to tallsplain to me, then seriously, fuck you. Being short, struggling with daily discrimination, and getting laughed at, can lead to mental health problems and a really bad case of insecurity. Case in point:

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Robert Downey Jr.

And never forget: I love my shortness. And yours.

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