Height Has its Advantages
In the 1959 pop song, “Tall Paul”, Annette Funicello sings the praises of her tall boyfriend.
Chalk on the sidewalk
Writin' on the wall
Everybody knows it
I love Paul
Tall Paul, tall Paul
Tall Paul, he's-a my all
He's my mountain
He's my tree
We go steady
Paul and me
Tall Paul, tall Paul
Tall Paul, he's my all
Former Mouseketeer, Annette, expresses a sentiment that is universal when it comes to a person’s attractiveness to the opposite sex. Tall mates are preferred over shorter mates.
This preference of taller mates is no doubt related to Darwin’s principles of natural selection. Subconsciously, tall equates with better genetics and therefore a better choice of partners.
Women are almost unanimous in their preference of a male partner who is taller than them. Curiously, men are less particular about whether or not their female mate is taller than themselves. But that lends credence to the idea that height is generally attractive to other people, irrespective of gender. The body profiles of tall people are generally seen as being more aesthetic and more beautiful. Hence, the choice of tall high fashion models. Taller women have the advantage over shorter women in that they have less desire to wear heals to elevate themselves, allowing them to wear more comfortable shoes.
In Annette’s particular case, her tall Paul may have stood at five-foot seven or five-foot eight, since she herself only stood at a height of five-feet one inches tall. But she was singing for the masses of her fans, and her message was a true one.
But the advantages to height come into play in a lot of other areas of human life. In business, employees are more likely to be favored for advancement or to chosen to work in a management position if they are tall. For some reason, taller people are more likely to command respect from others. Height is often associated with intelligence and dominance. The choices that employers make regarding their advancement of taller people are almost always subconscious, but regardless of why they’re chosen, tall people tend to advance in their careers and earn more money.
There is actually some good research behind a variety of advantages to being tall.
In 2014, researchers at the University of Edinburgh discovered that a person’s height seems to correlate with their innate intelligence. They looked at over six thousand random subjects and found that indeed, there was a small, but significant relationship between a person’s height and their IQ.
2. Diabetes Risk
The journal, Obesity Reviews, collected data related to the risks of developing type II diabetes, relative to a person’s height. After crunching the numbers, they discovered that tall females were significantly less likely to develop the condition. However, they did not find the same correlation between reduced diabetes risk and tall men. Sorry guys.
3. Executive Status
Bloomberg did an analysis of top executives of Fortune 500 corporations to see if they were taller on average. They discovered that yes, CEO’s are taller on average than other workers, and that half of them were at lease three inches taller than the average worker in their companies.
The magazine, Atlantic, discovered that every inch of height is worth approximately an extra $800 per year in salary earnings. Another publication, The Journal of Human Capital, discovered that those in the top 75% of height earned ten to fifteen percent more than those below them (literally).
Another University of Edinburgh study compared the incidence of dementia in taller people and shorter people. The found that shorter people had a greater risk of dying from diseases involving cognitive impairment that their taller counterparts. They also found this correlation to be more prominent in men than in women. Being shorter wasn’t shown to be related to a higher incidence of dementia, just a higher risk of dying from these types of illnesses. The researchers postulated that shorter height may just be associated with a greater disease risk in general.
6. Heart Health
According to research studies, height is associated with a lower risk of congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.
According to a 2008 study, taller people are significantly more likely to report experiencing positive emotions than their shorter counterparts. Taller people were also less likely to report experiencing anger and sadness. Since happiness has been shown to be contagious, that also means that tall people are more likely to spread joy throughout the world.
8. Productivity and Earnings
A seven-year study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that taller people appear to be more productive in their work and their professions. They based these conclusions on the amount of money earned by tall people, compared to short people. However, some have challenged the study, saying that it is the height alone, rather than the productivity that led to these taller people earning more money.
9. Social Skills
Taller adolescents appear to be more confident and are believed to be better adept at developing social skills than their shorter counterparts. Researchers have also surmised that they are more likely to participate in sports and extra-curricular activities, which may translate into better social skills.
10. Physical Benefits
There are just some practical benefits to being tall. In a crowd or group, you can more easily see over the people in front of you. You’re more likely to be successful in sports (unless you’re a gymnast). It’s easier to command attention from other people. Of course, if you’re really tall, there are short doorways to navigate (ouch) and teeny tiny cars you can find yourself occasionally riding inside of. But all in all, being tall rocks.