Ammo Grrrll puts her request in the imperative: MOVE OVER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT GIRLS!!! She writes:
Standards of beauty for women have morphed considerably over the centuries. I once saw a glamour shot of Clara Bow, ’20’s siren, and her thighs looked like Lee Roy Selmon’s (RIP). Clara was the “IT” girl of her era! (That’s “it,” not I.T., kids). The naked lady in the portrait above every Western bar was never a curve-free runway model either. Real Men preferred a woman who could not only keep them warm at night but had sufficient musculature to pull a plow should they be forced in a harsh winter or drought to eat Old Dobbin.
Marilyn Monroe, who was born one year after my Daddy, would be 97 today if she were alive! Marilyn was very nicely proportioned but not scrawny, probably about a size 6-8. In any event NOT a Double Zero, so coveted by young anorexics. Naturally, I was a teenager and young adult in the Age of Twiggy when the last thing anyone would think of when looking at me would be a sapling.
But in recent years, we have seen the pendulum swing the other way. We have seen the standards of beauty include the pleasingly plump (yay!), then the very large (okay, slow down, now…), and then the morbidly obese. A pox upon you, you racist, you sexist, you fat-phobic bigot, if you don’t find extremely big women just as attractive as, say, Jamie Lee Curtis, Scarlett Johansson or Halle Berry.
But that is weight, not height. What of us short girls? I know lots of otherwise nice men who RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME have waxed eloquent about the tall, long-legged ladies. Yes, in front of me! Me, whose legs helplessly dangle off almost every chair I occupy unless I tuck one of my legs under the other, thereby putting it to sleep. Sigh. I have little footrests under both my work station and the kitchen table. They should be mandatory in restaurants so you don’t have to limp out after eating, as your sleeping leg grudgingly wakes up.
Shortness is not utterly without good points: We can curl up and sleep on a Greyhound or in Coach Class. We have unwritten permission to approach other women’s men in the supermarket and ask them to reach something on a high shelf.
I read an interview with the thriller writer Lee Child, who, like his protagonist, is actually over 6’5”. He said that, once in a market with his wife, an older lady asked him to fetch something from a high shelf and his wife remarked, “Well, if this writing thing doesn’t work out, you can always be a ‘reacher.’” And so was his main character’s name born.
But back to us short ladies: do those few upsides really make up for all the gosh-darn HEMMING we have had to do in our lives? First, I would just order “Capri” pants or even pedal-pushers, which would often fit perfectly as regular-length slacks or jeans. But when you have to start ordering Bermuda walking shorts instead of Capris, you know you have truly slipped beyond that five-foot mark you treasured for so long.
Just as all men 5’9” and up say they are “about six feet” tall, so the shortie woman claims to be “about five feet tall.” So what a devastating blow to see that my clinic’s Nurse Ratched has written on my chart that I am 4’11.8” Seriously? You couldn’t spot me the .2 of an inch, you miserable choice of several bad words beginning with letters early in the alphabet???
When will we “shorties” have OUR moment? Well, I am told that moment is NOW. WE are the desirable ones to “breed” with (how romantic!) because we will people the world with dwarves and elves and pygmies who will eat less and save the Planet!! How d’ya like THEM apples?
Yes, there was quite the piece on it in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago by one Mara Altman, herself a vertically challenged lady. It was also commented on at PJ Media under the rubric of “Why do the crazies always tell us that several billion of us need to perish to save the planet?” (You notice that the ones encouraging mass death or murder never seem to volunteer to get the ball rolling by going first.)
So Jane Goodall notwithstanding, she of the gorillas in the mist who postulates that at least 7.5 billion of us have to croak, supposedly a better way is simply to BREED with short people and eventually eliminate the tall ones. Alas, my breeding days are o’er. Although I must state for the record that a man over six feet tall made a baby boy with ME and that boy is EVEN TALLER by a good inch than his father. So THAT was an epic fail. My late, great mother-in-law started as a robust five-foot-tall adult and gradually shrank till she could walk comfortably under the kitchen table. Her husband was about 5’6”. And here came her last of five sons, the famous novelist Max Cossack, who topped out at 6’1”, not even counting his hair.
What the heck?! Apparently, this breeding fix is going to take longer than the nine years the deranged eco-loons claim we have left. HOW DARE YOU BE TALL? HOW DARE YOU?
One Thomas Samaras, who has been studying height for 40 years — yeah, I’ve never heard of him either. How can you “study” height for FORTY YEARS?? — calculated that if we kept our proportions the same but were just 10 percent shorter in America alone, we would save 87 million tons of food per year (not to mention trillions of gallons of water, quadrillions of BTUs of energy and millions of tons of trash). Ten percent SHORTER? Can’t wait to be 4’6”.
Well, you couldn’t prove it by me! I see scant evidence that we Hobbits eat any less than say, 6’1” tall men, to take a hypothetical example from a hypothetical family. Hobbits eat seven times a day, including “elevensies” between second breakfast and lunch.
At any rate, it’s going to be a lot of fun to see the latter-day Malthusians duking it out with the All Race, All the Time Folks. Okay, the Asians are already quite a bit smaller than the other races, if you put the Samoans into some other category. Presumably, they would be most desirable breeding stock under this terrific new “Honey, I’ve Shrunk the Population” paradigm.
But what of the great big African-Americans who dominate pro sports and The View? Are these eco-freaks telling us that black people have to go to save the planet? And what of my late, great Mom’s favorite sports legend, Charles Barkley? Tell Sir Charles to his face that he is too large to be good breeding stock going forward. His wife of 30 years is 5’2”. He credits their long marriage to her being a great mother and also to his being “away a lot.”
Mexicans and other Latinos can be on the shorter side, but then there’s Fernando Valenzuela, so you can’t count on it. I’m happy to see any plaudits for shorties, but, though I freely stipulate that I have not “studied height” for 40 years, or even 40 minutes, I think the theory needs work! In fact, Max Cossack says, “What [poppycock]. If you’re talking about a differential in using up resources, clearly, the problem is not height, but width. But that is THTCBM (The Thing That Can’t Be Mentioned) without being read out of the human race. Because the New Current Inarguable Postulate is that ‘Fat is not only beautiful, but healthy.’ So they pretend it’s about HEIGHT. Ridiculous!”
What say you, commenters? Who is right – Thomas Samara or Max Cossack?