There are many aspects that go into generating a person’s perspective on the world around them.
After much thought, I can confirm that height is one of those aspects. As a six-foot three-inch person, I can tell you the height you are undoubtedly affects your perceptions.
First things first, with height comes more sense
I’m not talking about psychic senses…tall people do not ‘see dead people’ but we most certainly have more sensory input than the average human.
Assuming a person feels from their toes all the way to the crown of their head, if this length is 1.4m on one person, and 1.9m on another, that is 50 cm more surface area to collect data. In terms of visual, the eyes are also propped up 50cm higher. What does this mean? You know when you’re at a sports game, or concert, and you’ve acquired a seat that’s all the way up the back. Sure the people on stage or on the field look like stick figures, but in the seat you can see all of the rows in front of you. That’s what it means. Tall people see more. And sure we have our blind spots. I’ve knocked over my fair share of toddlers when stepping backwards or forwards. But in the end, height gives us a lengthy perch to see things.
Height is socially cynical
If a person like me has been tall all their life, they’ll most probably tell you that their childhood wasn’t the most brilliant of experiences. Bullying is all part and parcel of having a notable difference. And children, as well as teenagers, can be quite cruel in the playground. Since we’re all aware that childhood is where a lot of development occurs, both physical and psychological, constant bullying throughout these years will lead to some sort of distrust.
Personally speaking, I’m very weary of nice or friendly people. Although I say thank you when complimented on my height or appearance, I know that 60% of the time the compliment is only to mask their jealousy. And we all know where jealousy leads to…
Height follows no trend
It’s ironic that so many people want to be taller, or say to me ‘Can I have some of your height?’ – yet height is not trendy. If it was trendy, finding pants/jeans that cover my ankles wouldn’t be like finding a unicorn.
Due to today’s marketing, being out of trend makes you feel like you’re constantly living on the non-greener side of the bridge. But if a taller person comes to accept their height, like I have eventually done, they will realize there is no greener side, and finally laugh at the people who keep crossing the bridge.
Height accepts others
My socialising ability is amazeballs. A lot of this can be attributed to my personality. But after self-examination and feedback from friends, I know height also plays a role. With difference comes rejection. Having something so central to your core, like your height, and to be rejected from a young age, makes you value other people’s differences. Which is why I’m so good at socialising and creating relationships. Sure I see that you have a lazy eye, or your skin is the colour of obsidian. But to me that’s just all a part of who you are, and who you are is what I want to get to know.
Height doesn’t intimidate Height
When I see a tall person like myself I think ‘Cool, brother from another mother (Or sister from another mister).’
Yet when a lot of smaller people meet me I get fear. I see it in their eyes, I hear it in their voice.
It’s a natural thing though. Sometimes we forget we’re animals. It’s a survival instinct to be intimidated by something bigger than yourself, and taller people are not put off by height. If you want to intimidate me, start yelling or blow a car horn in my ear. I’m immediately put into a weary state of mind with loud noises. If you stand really close and tower over me, I’ll just laugh and try to give you a high-five.
Height does not fit
I’ve only noticed it since I’ve hit my twenties, maybe a little earlier. Whilst height, like a lot of other differences, has trouble fitting in socially, it also has the unique privilege of not fitting in physically. Clothes, seats, cars, beds, shoes, showers, jewellery, the list goes on. Even kitchen benches don’t exactly reach the right levels.
The society we live in caters to a certain ‘average’ height. If you’re below this or above this, tough luck. Vertically gifted people have to pay up if they want to fit – bigger bed, clothes alterations, an aeroplane seat with more leg room, a longer coffin (Just joking, but it’s most probably going to happen). But for me it’s not just about the money – not fitting in physically can make you hate your body. And hating the most precious gift given to you from birth is the worst kind of hate there is.
Hopefully by highlighting how the simple difference of height can alter our perceptions I have conveyed the importance of difference, and the beauty that comes from uniqueness. If we were all the same, no tall or small, the world would be a dimmer place to live in.
It is only through being tall that I appreciate small, and over the years through a lot of reflection and acceptance from friends and family, tall as well.
Want to read more from Sheran? Check out Love from a Height.
About the Writer
Sheran Dempster was born and raised in Western Australia.
When not writing, Sheran enjoys swimming and eating chocolate. Family and friends are a big part of her life, you might read an occasional story that showcases their characteristics. Sometimes on full moons she sings in the shower.
For more from Sheran Dempster, check out her website at www.narehs.com
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