Tag: copmarative heights

The Height of Things

There isn’t a holiday in existence for which I can’t find some cranky-ass detail to dislike about it.  Mother’s day is no exception.  My lack of sentimentality is well established.  If I was an important person it would be legendary, but as I’m not, it’s merely irritating.  I’m feeling charged with the magnanimous air of spring and have decided not to tell any of you my thoughts on this up coming holiday which I don’t dislike but about which I have some predictable complaints.  I am tucking them in a tender hand-tatted handkerchief where you will not trip over them.  Unless you are on facebook, where I already let the acid drip a little.  That can’t be helped.  I’m tucking it all away now.

I have recently become height obsessed.  I suppose I always have been, what with my old teenage wish to be 6’3″ tall, but it’s become very focused now on famous people.  I just can’t get over how a man like Jon Stewart can appear so tall to me and yet only be 5’6″.  My perception of people’s height seems to be always a little skewed.  I feel like a tall person but I’m only 5’7″ (and shrinking), my brother thinks he’s taller than me but when we had Philip decide the issue it turns out we’re the exact same height.  I am fascinated how some people who are very tall appear average until standing right next to a much shorter person.  This slight obsession is finding its feet in my television watching.  I now look up actors’ heights constantly.  IMBD nearly always lists their height if a height is known.

I imagined that Mathew Macfadyen was tall but it wasn’t until I saw him in Little Dorrit next to Claire Foy that I had to wonder if he was crazy tall or if she was crazy short.  I couldn’t find anything on Foy but Macfadyen is 6’3″ so even if Foy was average she’d appear quite short, still, the scene near the end where he picks her up and kisses her?  She looks like a mere child (slightly disturbing) so I think she must be quite short.  Why does it matter?

It doesn’t matter one tiny little bit.  But aren’t you happy not to come here and have your brain taxed for once or your conscience prodded or your reason questioned?  The question of height has zero importance.  All heights of people are interesting and I don’t see any heights as bad.  That’s very boring of me.  So it isn’t a question of ideal heights or heights I prefer but is simply my fascination how tall people can appear average or short and short people appear average or tall all depending on their surroundings, the people they’re standing next to, and what perspective your eye is allowed to see them in.

I am also fascinated with the idea that Americans are generally super tall people and English people are more average yet many of the English actors I most enjoy are quite tall.  Rupert Penry-Jones is 6’2″, Richard Armitage is 6’2″, Lawrence Fox is 6’3″ and there is one I’m forgetting right now who is 6’4″.  That’s a lot of tall people.  But if you suddenly see a person who is 6’5″ all those men seem sort of average.  But then there’s Jon Stewart who calls himself a small man, which I thought was just his little joke for a long time, or until he stood up next to Liam Neeson (6’4″), and then I had to find out if Stewart really is short or what.  He is.  Reports vary between 5’6″ and 5’7″.  I think he has a tall personality.  Then there’s Tim Roth, who I love, and he’s only 5’7″ too.  My height.

What does it mean?  What are my conclusions?  Nothing and none.  Except that I can’t stop looking people’s heights up.  I’ve mostly been mentioning men here and I suppose I am more fascinated with men’s respective heights than women’s because in general* there is less wide variation in women’s heights.  There are very very tall women, of course, but it’s more unusual.  But lest you think I’m sexist, I actually have looked up quite a few women actor’s heights as well.  I love Hermione Norris so I looked her height up, she’s 5’7″, pretty average, but I actually thought she looked much taller.  Heels will do that, of course.  Keely Hawes (who is married to Mathew Macfadyen) is fairly tall at 5’10” but appears much shorter to me than another of the costars on MI-5, Miranda Raison, who is actually 4″ shorter than Keely at 5’6″.

And lastly, Nadia, my mom’s dog (pictured above), is quite tall and makes my medium sized dog look very small in comparison.

This also is meaningless but curious.

*Generalities being what they are.