Friday, May 21, 2010

Is height a natural advantage? Part 1 - Benefits

I've spent most of my life being tall. I'm 24 now and a full grown 6'6", although my family continually insists that I have "grown" since the last time they saw me. I wonder when that will stop. Probably after I get married.

True story: the summer between 7th and 8th grade I grew 7 inches (we have documentation) which was a very trying time for me with the constant growing pains and having to eat and sleep so much to facilitate the growth. I ended up playing Goldeneye with my friend who had foot surgery all summer. One of the best times of my life.

Anyway, I sat down yesterday to think of all the benefits and disadvantages of being tall. I wrote them down and they formed enough material for a two part entry. Today's entry details all of the advantages that I wrote down. Anything with a (*) has a reciprocal that will be on Monday's post, e.g. tall people always get shotgun even without calling it but that also means that small and compact cars are off limits. That constrains my choices on what I'll buy during my mid-life crisis. As a libertarian, I hate having my choices constrained. It means I'll probably end up being stuck with a choice between buying a new SUV or a new truck - how exotic.

Despite a long list of things that are sucky about being tall, (I hope it doesn't mean I'm a negative person) I believe being tall is absolutely an advantage in life. In fact, did you know that of the last 31 presidential elections, the taller candidate has won 26 times? Well, here is the list of advantages that I came up with, which is by no means exhaustive:
  • (Most) girls like tall guys.
  • Always able to view concerts and sporting events no matter where I stand.
  • Similarly, family and friends are able to find me very easily in crowded public places.
  • *Height is an icebreaker. Shorter people will never understand how often tall people are asked: "how tall are you?" Shameless: I even know how bad it is but I saw a guy that made me feel short so I felt compelled to ask him the question. He was 7'3".
  • I ride the Metro to work every day and I noticed that I am able to make uncommon hand placements easily, which reduces the chances that I'll get nasty germs spread by short people like children.
  • The longer strides save time. Add it up over a lifetime and I probably get a few more hours less in transit and more with the people I love because I can walk faster.
  • *I can reach the top shelves without climbing on counters or getting a stepping stool. This reduces the danger of me having a serious household accident.
  • Tall people can carry extra weight easier. For example, yesterday, a coworker was shocked after he learned that I weigh 50 pounds more than he thought I did.
  • Tall people exude more presence and are more confident when they enter a room.
  • *Height is a natural advantage in most physical sports.
  • Tall people are often been perceived as older and more experienced than their relatively shorter peers.
  • Most importantly, studies have shown that tall people earn more money, have more successful careers, have higher IQs, and live longer lives. I believe all of these factors are highly correlated with their parents income, because these children are more likely to receive the better nutrition necessary to grow as well as all of the other support they need to excel.