Is Height the Key to Success?

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Is Height the Key to Success?

Ho Io Weng, Peta

May 3, 2010

Abstract
Over the years, many researchers have tried to make a connection between some of society’s most respected people. The link they agreed upon was their height. The result raised a lot of controversy. Tall people refused to admit that it was their height that gave them a boost up the career chart, and shorter ones refused to accept that they would need to work twice as much to get the same results. Researchers not only claimed that tall people were happier in life, but also the fact that those who were successful were actually statistically above average height. After these reports surfaced, many who believed that an extra inch could give them an edge turned to risky, illegal height-increasing surgeries for help. In this paper, I will give you an insight on the claims, as well as observations on this controversial topic and the research behind it. Is Height the Key to Success?

Everyone wants to be successful, to be respected, to have power over others and to be better than the rest. For ages humans have tried to put together the perfect formula for success, but ironically, have never succeeded. Although the path to success has never been found, one god-given quality stands out, literally. Experts and researchers claim that the key to success is in fact your height. Studies and stereotypes have shown that tall people live easier and happier lives than shorter ones. Some of the vertically-challenged, who have already faced this problem, are even willing to try dangerous height-increasing surgeries just to get an advantage. In this world of survival of the fittest, short people look up to tall people, both literally and most importantly, socially. By conducting surveys, The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks the well-being of residents of the United States and according to “Taller” (2008), tall people have the edge when it comes to happiness. The index showed that the rates of life satisfaction amongst tall people are generally higher than short people. While those who are taller are less likely to have stress or anger problems and report higher chances of being joyful and happy. The index also showed that when associating height with happiness, two very important elements have to be taken into account, education and money. In summary, the index showed that those who graduated from college are generally taller than those who only graduated from high school, and much taller those who did not graduate at all. This translates to the fact that shorter people make less money, because they have a lower education. The index shows that being tall has its share of advantages and makes life much easier. But what makes this topic so controversial is that if it were widely accepted that tall people are in fact more successful, it would lead to many moral problems like discrimination. Although many would not admit it, according to Brink (2007), many of the traits and characteristics linked to success are already stereo-typically linked to being tall. She claims that being tall not only gives you an edge in your career, but also in your love life. “When it comes to romance, height is often a deal-breaker. It may be that the height of a male is positively associated with traits such as dominance, superiority, fearlessness, protectiveness, athleticism, physical strength, leadership and social power,” (Brink, 2007, p.4)

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Note. The stereotype is so severe that as children, we already start to see it. Do you really think that it is a coincidence that in this Disney cartoon, Hercules, the hero associated with power, is portrayed as a tall and masculine identity and everyone else is a few inches shorter?

Think about the people you consider successful, now think about their height. Social status has long been one of the measurements of success, and as mentioned before taller people generally have a higher education and income, which make it...
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