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?

April 26, 2007

Short Male Reporter Gets Publicly Ridiculed

Thank you to Alex for letting me know about this!

BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg (5'6") was sent to interview German MP Silvana Koch-Mehrin (6'4" in heels). Having trouble getting both of them in the shot (supposedly), Rosenberg was asked to stand on an equipment box.

Someone snatched a shot and sold it to Bild, Germany's biggest-selling daily newspaper, where it was mocked under the headline: 'Little Brit Questions Big Woman Politician'.

The situation is clearly ridiculous to people either because he's standing on a scruffy box and/or because he's short.

What's interesting to me is:
  1. Was this actually physically necessary or just something to tip over the edge to require a "fix"?
  2. Are female field reporters afforded the same luxury? And if not, is it because they're typically tall anyway? (and thin and attractive...)
  3. I'm assuming there's some level of national rivalry that made this worth it for the paper. (i.e., it's ok to make fun of him because he's British)
  4. If the gender situation was reverse, it's clear that this wouldn't have been quite as amusing to everyone.
  5. Is there some journalistic rule that they can't just both sit in chairs? It's not exactly a war zone or security issue here.
I feel rather sorry for Rosenberg because he was obviously just trying to do his job. With the box, he's either vain or insecure. Without it, he appears weak to people because he's so short. It's a lose-lose situation, and clearly unfair. Publishing the photo was undeniably mean-spirited of Bild for any number of reasons.

For you those versed in German, here's the actual article and picture:

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Anonymous elaine said...

34cm is about 13 inches. i'm 4ft10 so with the box i'd be 5ft11, plus heels, 6ft2. still 2 inches shorter than the MP. if it were me i'd use a chair. at least that would get me about eye level with her.

April 26, 2007 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm sure they would do the same thing if it were a female interviewer. though i guess it would depend. if the female interviewer were 5ft10 and also in heels she probably wouldnt need the box. maybe you're onto something amy. are they all amazons?

April 27, 2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger Midori said...

all i have to say is...this is sad. i think having them sit would indeed have minimized the height discrepancy and allowed rosenburg to retain a little more dignity?

April 27, 2007 1:45 PM  
Anonymous lisa said...

holy cow............Mick Jagger is having the floors in his home lowered - because his super tall girlfriend keeps hitting her head on the ceilings.
The Rolling Stones frontman is currently dating stunning model L'Wren Scott who, at a towering 6ft 4in, was finding his plush London apartment a little cramped.
So the outrageous singer has decided to have all the floors in the flat lowered by ten inches in a bid to make her visits more comfortable, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

April 28, 2007 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, imagine being so tall that you have to have the floors in your apartmet lowered. mick jagger is only 5ft8. i think its great that in heels his girlfriend is a full foot taller than him. are there any pictures of them together on the web?!

April 30, 2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's one where she does indeed seem to tower over him. 6ft4. wow. actually i think all the women mick jagger dates are taller than he is. wonder if it's some kind of thing he's into:

April 30, 2007 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of people getting taller: i read this statistic today:
Of the 164 women in the wnba,
101 of them are 6ft or taller.
what amazes me about this is that 25 years ago most women's basketball teams had maybe one girl 5ft10 or over. now 2/3 of the players are at least 6ft tall. something hard to fathom for a person less than 5ft tall!

May 01, 2007 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Gene said...

The issue here is that the box makes him taller than the MP, which makes him seem like he's insecure. That makes me believe that he's either got a Napoleonic Complex, or his crew was completely unprepared for this eventuality.

I did a mod of this picture to see how this pair would look like without the box:

(Image tags aren't allowed in comments, I guess)

May 03, 2007 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it could just be that that was the box they had. i'm 4ft10 and i bet if i were the reporter they just would have used the same box even though i still would have been a few inches shorter than this tall woman while standing on it. she is really tall. wow.

May 03, 2007 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You've got to be joking. This was an equipment box, and it was probably the only box available. From what I understand, the camera man told him to do this so that he could "frame the shot". I doubt many short guys would want to stand on a box on a public street unless it couldn't be avoided.

Plus, they've already shown the "Napoleon Complex" to be an absurd myth.

May 06, 2007 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of 6ft4 and also of mick jagger again, i saw this update in the news today:

Mick Jagger and his towering girlfriend of five years L’Wren Scott have sparked engagement rumours after the stylist was snapped with a large diamond ring on her engagement finger at a recent event in New York.
She's famous for having the longest legs in fashion, 42inches long compared to an average 29inches. At 6ft 4ins tall, she towers over 5ft 8ins Jagger who met her at a fashion shoot for a French magazine. Recently, Jagger had the floors of his flat lowered so that the amazonian Scott would not hit her head on the doorframes.

May 18, 2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I wonder if male celebrities date taller women because they're sort of doing what short girls do: improve the chances that their kids will be taller!

Well, ignoring in this case that certain celbs always want to date models - who are always tall too.

May 19, 2007 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah it does seem that evevy time we see a male celebrity with a new girlfriend she is 5ft10 or taller. rod stewarts girlfriend is 6ft1 for example. you'd never see these guys show up on the red carpet with a 4ft10 woman, would you? it makes you wonder if these super tall women would be dating these guys at all if they weren't rich and famous......

May 19, 2007 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having the interviewer stand on a box to do the interview was belitteling and condscending.

It spotlights their unprofessionalism in the professional world.

May 30, 2007 1:18 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

i'm a big fan of women's tennis but in recent years i've found it difficult to relate to many of the newer players. i'm 5ft1 and although i'm short, most of the players in the past were not much taller than me in a pair of high heels. but today there are about a dozen top players 6ft or taller. is this tennis or basketball. take a look at this picture of maria sharapova next to 5ft6 patty schnyder:

Schnyder is now one of the SHORTEST players in the game. for someone only 4ft10 like you amy, dont you find it weird that if you stood on a step you'd be no taller than one of the shortest players in women's tennis today?

June 04, 2007 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Jelly said...

I'm in journalism. Typically the rule is for both people to sit if the interviewer is taller than the interviewee. Funny how no one really considers sitting if the interviewer is shorter than the interviewee. Of course, unless gender comes in...

Don't blame the reporter. In terms of the hierarchy in tech matters, reporters usually have the least say.

June 20, 2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the funny thing is that the woman isnt even wearing high heels has that would make her much taller POOR GUY!!.Maybe they should have just sent a taller guy has this picture just riddiculed the man.Being 5'6 for a guy is still under average height for a guy.
I went out with a guy who was 6'4 and me being 4'10.Never again the height difference was 1 foot and 6 looked ridiculous.I just couldnt handle it he was fine with it.I can understand some people especially guys wanting to be taller than their partner.tiduglc

October 15, 2007 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They say that it is alot harder for a guy to be short rather than a woman.I find that total rubbish has alot of short people find it hard anyway.I think maybe it is just the Germans being funny has to losinf 2 wars and trying to riddicule the british people.I mean if this m.p went to Denmark then she wouldnt look out of place anyway has the woman are mainly over 6'0.So it isnt too different there then.I would never have stood on a box to compliment her height.Maybe they should have just sat down where it would not have been so significant.Being 5'6 is better than being 4'10 so he still has a good 8 ins on me.I bet he is married to a short woman.People should not have to be riddiculed about their height.

February 09, 2008 10:11 AM  
Blogger Dan Smith said...

Laura, In the post-Pete Sampras power serving tennis world, isn't it advantageous to be taller? The angle on serving the ball over the net improves. Perhaps shorter players are having difficulty competing with taller one.

September 21, 2009 11:01 PM  

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