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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Does your height affect your life?
The Cameroon Association of Short People recently held its cultural festival in Bafoussam in Cameroon's Western Province.

The association aimed to express solidarity and hosted round-table discussions on the problems people with lack of stature face.

They claim that shorter people are discriminated against in the job market and when it comes to finding partners.

Can a person's height affect how they get on in life? Tell us what you think.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinions we have received:

We all are human
Ayodeji Owolabi, Oklahoma, USA
The issue of being tall or short should not be a factor in considering how someone can achieve in life. We all are human and our achievements lies on how hard we work in life.
Ayodeji Owolabi, Oklahoma, USA

My height has actually had no effect on my life so far, but height continues to be a determining factor in the social sector in the community I grew up in, and that's West Africa.
Sama S. Mondeh, Sierra Leonean/Canada

Accepting limitations to success in life is the lazy man's excuse for failure in life. All depends on how any individual see his statue, for everyone is unique enough to be able to gain success in any sphere of life.
Christian Merenini, Nigeria

At 5ft, I am certainly not one of the tallest human beings in town. But I try to keep a body size that is directly proportional to my height, which keeps my self-esteem very ok. Let I tell you, it is very difficult to put me down about my height or lack of it.
Caroline Ndolo, Kenya

It's the confidence that adds to the personality
Ishrat Jehan, USA
I am 5'6" and I do not think I have been any luckier in finding a partner. I think it's the confidence that adds to the personality. I have met many people who were short, but extremely sharp and confident.
Ishrat Jehan, USA

It doesn't matter how tall or short you are. The most important element in judging a person is what is above the neck of that person. In the modern computer oriented world, brains and not brawn count for success.
Dr Rajinder Sehgal, Canada

Personality, self-confidence, a sharp mind and the creativity of a person is the key for success.
Juha, USA

Height is nothing. Everything from successful dating to being a business tycoon depends on one's charm, hard work and perseverance. Add sensitivity and sincerity to it all and you soar like an eagle.
Vhukile, Zimbabwe

There are a number of disadvantages faced by very short people which could affect their life. In fact, some occupations like flight attendant and some military service require minimum height of 5 feet. Also, organisers of beauty pageants normally have minimum height of about 5 feet as one of the criteria for participation. This excludes people who are short which, (though I am tall - 6 feet), I find unfair and unacceptable. In most cases, one's height is a natural phenomenon and should not be used as a yardstick of elimination.
Sigismond Wilson, Sierra Leone

Making friends with girls was difficult
Zahid Rajan, Kenya
I am 5ft 2" and got teased a lot when I was in high school especially by bullies. Making friends with girls was even more difficult as the teasing spread. But then all changed when I excelled in my O levels and when I was doing well at A levels - everybody wanted to talk to me which then proved to me that it was all about achievement and self confidence. I gradually did well in outdoor activities and became a leader in many activities. I think it is the moral duty of everybody to fight against discrimination of all kinds.
Zahid Rajan, Kenya

I think either extreme is not favourable. I'm happy to be a 6'1" (1.86m) male, but would not want to be any taller. Men in the 6' height range definitely have an advantage over shorter men. In most cases men over 6'4" also suffer a disadvantage because of their size.
John V, Toronto, Canada

People respect me a lot because of my height (6"3). If I was short, people just wouldn't bother listening to what I was saying. I pity short people.
Alex Murphy, UK

Tall or short - anybody can be whatever he/she wants to be. But short people are always at the extreme; they can be very horrible bosses.
Tayo Ogunkorode, Lagos, Nigeria

It is one's hard work that determines the success of an individual, not height
Devendra Khurana, India
Shorter people tend to be more artistic, but they find life to be tough at times. However, shorter people who pray frequently are seen to be much more prosperous. At the end of the day, it is one's hard work that determines the success of an individual, not the height of a person.
Devendra Khurana, India

I think psychology is at play here in the sense that height may have to do with a person's self confidence, his conviction about his personality and the impact that personality makes on people and society in general. What matters to me is not a person's height per se, but his potentials and capabilities, his ability to take initiatives and pursue them to a logical conclusion wherever that person may be and in whatever position he may find himself. The way out of this prejudice is for society to put a premium on talents and potentials rather than physical features and for short people to develop the charisma, charm and clout that would make them more assertive and break the inferiority complex that threatens their social relationships.
Ernest Cole, The Gambia/Sierra Leone

Only if one allows this. Naturally any physical feature or characteristic will affect you but those who suffer most from such things are those that allow these variabilities to affect them inside - affecting self confidence and the way they projects themselves.
George Milton, USA/Italy

It's illegal to make derogatory comments about a person's colour, religion or sexual orientation but it's OK to poke fun at me because I am short
Peter Hewett, Canada
I stand 5' 2" tall and I have always said that height, or lack of it, has always been an issue when trying to get a job. Indeed you will find that a short person has to "prove themselves" in everything they do and of course there are the jokes to contend with. It's illegal to make derogatory comments about a person's colour, religion or sexual orientation but it's OK to poke fun at me because I am short. I once had a woman ask me what it's like "to be little" so I asked her how she felt about being ugly!
Peter Hewett, Canada

Height does affect your life, I should know. I am 5 feet 2 and never get noticed by anyone and while walking down the street, people run into me because they do not see me. I am always alone and I have learned to live alone. But things could be worse I suppose. I live in poverty that matches that of a person in Haiti. Still things could be worse.
Paul Jaramillo, USA

I believe several studies have proven it so. All I know is that the boys don't like the girls towering over them, but short men seem to like tall women.
Vit, USA

Being short worries me so much that some days I call off from work
Amos Songor, Liberia/USA
If only I was at least 6ft tall! But unfortunately, I'm just 5'3", and because of that I'm the topic for discussion daily at work. In the US, height is very important. It worries me so much that some days I call off from work. Is there any known surgery that can heighten me just a little more?
Amos Songor, Liberia/USA

Being small may have some disadvantages but so does being too tall. Actually, I think tall people are clumsy and oafish. They are often out of proportion and many rely on braun instead of brains.
Matthew, USA

Being short can be a problem in terms of finding a partner or a job or walking in a crowd. But we must always remember that the "literary giant" was short man!
Srinivasan Toft, Denmark

Height has long been known to be an advantage in how we get along in the world. Studies have shown that people respond positively to height (as well as appearance) when selecting employees, and women favour height when choosing mates. However, some of the most successful people in history have been short - Napoleon, for instance, though there have many others. Perhaps when someone is far shorter than others around them, it triggers a competitive urge, just as early poverty propels some to great wealth.
Chris, US

Yes! In Sierra Leone, extremely short people especially guys find it hard to make a perfect match in a love relationship. On the contrary, short ladies consider very tall guys as protective enough to hang out with.
Idris Turay, Sierra Leone




SEE ALSO:
Tall men 'top husband stakes'
14 Aug 02  |  Health
Short boys 'held back at school'
29 Mar 00  |  Health


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