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Advantages Of Being Tall
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Advantages of Being Tall
In the 1988 movie "Big" a young boy is fed up with the hardships that go along with being small so he makes a wish to be big, hoping it will make life easier for him. In the film, he wakes up the next day as an adult, played by the actor Tom Hanks, with a whole new set of problems. But, what about reality? Do tall people really have an advantage in life? All evidence suggests they do.
Culturally, we've become accustomed to looking to the biggest guy in the room as the leader, the go-to guy, and the alpha male. Height communicates power and inspires confidence. Of course, it's not a requirement for good leadership, but it sure does make it easier to command attention, which is one step closer to commanding respect. For example, who did California turn to for leadership in the midst of recall turmoil? Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course; he stands at 6'2" tall.
Human beings are hard-wired to look to an "alpha" for leadership, and height subconsciously communicates that alpha status. Even common phrases such as "walking tall" and "standing proud" bring to mind images relating height to power. In contrast, a person lacking ambition or drive is often referred to as a "small" person. So, whether or not taller people are more adept, charismatic, or dynamic is irrelevant really the human mind is predisposed to believe that tall people are those things.
Many men have an innate desire to be the "alpha male" of their peer group, and a look at our culture's icons of manliness shows a trend when it comes to height. From past legends like John Wayne (6'5'') and Charlton Heston (6'3'') to enduring stars such as Clint Eastwood (6'4'') to the hit-makers of today, such as Will Smith (6'2'') and Liam Neeson (6'4''), society definitely leans towards a "bigger is better" philosophy when it comes to masculinity.
Apart from being the "big guy" of your social circle, there are many practical advantages to being taller. First and foremost--the taller you are, the farther you can see. This is quite an advantage for tall people at sporting events, concerts, or any other crowded event where it's desirable to be able to see above the herd.
But ask most men, and they probably won't tell you that being able to better see a parade is their top priorities. Their top priority is often the fairer sex. Studies have found that taller men certainly seem to have a distinct advantage when it comes to the opposite sex.
James Gould, an expert from Princeton University, believes that women may be genetically predisposed to prefer taller men. According to Gould, height may serve as an indicator of good health. When women are selecting a potential mate, they may very well subconsciously factor the good health suggested by height into their selection, especially in terms of passing on those traits to their children. So being tall conveys virility, health, and energy, potentially making taller men more attractive to the opposite sex.
A University of Liverpool study seems to back up Gould's assertion. The study of 3,200 men, aged 20 to 50, determined that the taller men in the group were more likely to be married with families than their shorter counterparts. On average, married men were found to be at least one inch taller than single men.
And when it comes to perception as a viable provider, height also plays another important role. A recent Australian study determined that men standing over six feet tall are more likely to earn a higher income than those under six feet tall. This idea is confirmed by a United States study finding: while only 15.5 percent of men in the U.S. are over six feet tall, over 30 percent of the top earners in the country stand over six feet tall. So while tall men are clearly in the minority, they comprise nearly one-third of the highest paid individuals in the country. Combined with the health and virility subconsciously conveyed by height, this higher earning power makes for an even more attractive mate.
Although everything naturally comes down to the individual, being tall definitely seems to provide a distinct advantage in one's social life. This can amount to higher social standing, respect, power, attractiveness to women, and even a higher standard of living. That little kid in the movie must have known what he was talking about when he wished to be big.
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