Why do we still consider it acceptable to shame men over their height? Jameela Jamil takes an ingrained cultural tic to task in her latest Twitter missive.
When it comes to body diversity, we tend to think it’s women who face the strongest pressures to conform. But men often fall victim to impossible standards, too – as highlighted by a recent tweet from Jameela Jamil.
Writing this weekend, the actor and campaigner urged people to stop judging men based on their height, comparing it to the “ridiculous” stigma around women’s weight.
Referencing her narcissistic alter-ego Tahani, who judges her lover in NBC sitcom The Good Place, Jamil wrote: “Tahani had an issue with her lover’s height, and that bench was in hell, where she belonged…”
She also shared a link to a piece titled “30 male celebrities who are shorter than you think”:
A 2012 study found that body shape and appearance concerned more men than women, with four in five talking in ways that promote anxiety around perceived flaws and imperfections.
Research shows that unconscious bias around male height is so ingrained, it can affect everything from dating to workplace promotions.
Despite this, as Jamil points out, it’s often considered fodder for banal jokes; a topic men are expected to laugh along to, even while feeling secretly shamed.
There’s little to laugh about, though, when you consider that short men are more likely to have poor self-esteem as a result of internalised prejudices which we refuse to acknowledge or take seriously.
Jamil’s plea hit a nerve on the Twittersphere, sparking a debate around how heightism plays out in today’s society. Many agreed with Jamil that judging someone by how tall they are is entirely irrelevant:
One man also joined the thread so say how much better it made him feel about himself:
Interestingly, a man on the other end of the scale said he also faced prejudice:
Another Tweeter called for shorter men to be more celebrated:
When one woman commented she just happened to prefer men taller than herself, Jamil urged her to question the motives of that desire:
The model also outlined the most important quality she looks for in a lover – something we can all get on-board with:
Images: Getty, Twitter