Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

March 20, 2007

CNN Features Segment on Short Discrimination

CNN's Dan Lothian released a short video segment online today entitled, "Small World" that highlights a few of the problems that short individuals face every day. Thank you to my friend Farid, who sent me a link. It's a short four-minute video, so watch it!

It's an interesting feature that tries to give the topic a fair shake. He notes that being short can have real world repercussions - particularly for men in dating and "some say" in workforce pay parity. This latter was probably the only point that I found a little disingenuous - pay inequality (along with access to promotions, etc.) has long been documented in the workforce.

He speaks with a few prominent individuals that have been fighting against short discrimination:

Matthew Campisi, president of the National Organization of Short Statured Adults (NOSSA), speaks with Lothian about his experiences with height discrimination.

Ellen Frankel has written and talked about the problems of short stature in her book, "Beyond Measure."

Please take a look at their work!

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said...

Howdy Amy. We have spoken once before when I emailed you regarding the clothes issue. This blog article brings up other issues which are touched upon in the video.

First, any woman who says that she doesn't care how tall a guy is, only that he is smart/funny/confident/whatever, is lying. I can't begin to tell you how many personal ads I've seen where women claim they are 5' 3" or so and are looking for someone who is at least 5' 8". So even if she wears 3" heels, I'm still taller than her (5' 7") in my bare feet but she won't consider me? Gee thanks.

Second, yes, taller men get the promotions more often no matter how qualified those of us on the shorter side of things may be. It's an evolutionary holdover that we need to learn to overcome.

Finally, at what point do you simply tell the department stores, "Since you can't be bothered to have clothes I can wear, I can't be bothered to shop in your store."? I've pretty much done that with the stores in my area and have planned a day-long trip to another state to see if there is a better selection in their stores.

Keep up the writing and if there is some possibility of saying Hi to you in person on my next trip to NYC (next month), I'd like to do so.

March 20, 2007 4:09 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey Kevin! I figured guys would definitely be commenting on this!

You know, I find the whole shopping thing funny :) It's why I started this blog on that focus even though I dress so boringly. Everything else, you sort of just manage. But clothes? It's a necessity that has become a social statement to everyone around you!

Unless you're gonna start making your own clothes, you're essentially held hostage by the fact that you can't walk around naked and that you can't show up to work looking like you are some kid wearing mommy's (or daddy's) clothes.

Feel free to email me when you know you'll be in town.

March 20, 2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger CynthiaC said...

I saw the segment and was wondering: Why is it that when shows talk about short people and their issues it is almost always about guys? Short women have problems too (though I have to admit our problems aren't as bad as a guy's)!

April 03, 2007 4:50 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Actually, the clip did talk about short women's problems - they did an interview with Frankel about it.

But I agree - it's harder being short and male socially.

April 03, 2007 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Gene said...

Amy, can you point to the research that documents height-based discrimination in the workplace? I'm curious. (Unfortunately AFAIK height, unlike race, gender, and religion, is not a "protected class" for the sake of civil rights lawsuits).

April 05, 2007 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Gene: Here are three links to articles about studies done to see if there is a correlation between height and salary in men. It's not so much outright discrimination but our perception of a person's worth based on some long-ago evolutionary trait. The studies are from 2005-2003 and in that order.

The first is a combination of height and attractiveness and has accompanying links to the studies themselves but the idea is the same.

http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/2005/b/pages/appearances.html

http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/standing.html

http://aurora.wells.edu/~srs/Math151-Fall04/tallpeoplewin.htm

I did a search for "men height salary study" and came up with these and other links. Changing the search term should yield more results.

Hope this helps a bit.

April 10, 2007 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Gene said...

Thanks, Kevin. I wonder, despite my previous comment, whether one day we will ever recognize short descrimination, if not legally then at least culturally. Likewise with weight, although there's a link between weight and health, which is why dubious studies linking height to intelligence can be so damaging.

April 13, 2007 12:59 PM  
Anonymous alex said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=450500&in_page_id=1&in_page_id=1&expand=true

as tough as it is for a woman to be short its even tougher for a man. imagine how this poor guy felt being asked to do this. what this does say about how we view height for men vs how we view it for women?

April 26, 2007 8:53 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Here's the clickable link that Alex thoughtfully provided:
The BBC reporter who was caught short...

I do also wonder if shorter female reporters are afforded the same 'privilege'? Or are the short females just weeded out?

April 26, 2007 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you were interviewing a woman this tall amy would you prefer to do it standing on the box or not?

April 26, 2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

If the height thing was such an issue, I don't really see why they couldn't just both sit down! That's what I'd request!

April 26, 2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually this kind of thing happens all the time. do you really think when a female reporter interviews 6ft3 maria sharapova and is eye to eye with her that the interviewer isn't in heels and also standing on a box?!

April 26, 2007 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant see you having too much of a problem being 5'7 especially when i am 5'2.I would be greatful if i could see short guys i am always the shortest person around.My daughter is taller than me and her friends. The only people i come face to face with are 12/13 if i am lucky.
I cant understand why guys have it harder has we are all in the same boat.Buying clothes is a pain,and shopping trying to reach things.
If i need to talk to a taller person i always ask then to sit down has there is nothing like talking to a guys naval instead of their face.That way we are both on an even kiel. Short woman are very inconsiderate when wanting a tall guy i just cant understand it .I dated a guy 6'5 tall never again everyone laughed it was more of a problem for ME than HIM.

May 26, 2007 8:37 AM  

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