The One With My Napoleon Complex

Here’s the thing. I don’t really have a Napoleon complex. Not exactly. I do not feel that my height is inadequate, and I have to compensate for it. There’s nothing wrong with my height, after all. People come in all shapes and sizes and all that jazz. Some guys are short.

I don’t feel the need to compensate. I feel pissed the fuck off that I have to be a short guy in a society that thinks I need to compensate.

My problem with my height is not a body issue. I came to this realization just a second ago, actually, while trying and failing to fall asleep. Which is why you’re getting this blog post.

Anyway, it’s not a body issue. I do have some body issues, but this is not one. My height related proportions are quite nice. I’m comfortable with the size of my skeleton and it’s relative dimensions. In fact, when I wear shoes with more of a height boost than converse, I often feel precariously far from the ground, although that’s probably just conditioning.

No, my body is fine. The world is too big. Fucking cabinets, man! I have to scale furniture all the time just to get to stuff! That’s irritating.

But that’s not the part that gets me. I don’t mind climbing things all that much. It would be nice if the basic necessities were regularly stored in places I could reach without a ladder or the assistance of a normal-to-tall heighted person. But climbing things can be fun. And sometimes it’s a good excuse to make people do things for me.

The problem is what I know is going on in the mind of most anyone who sees me standing on the kitchen counter to reach something. Or, probably, anyone who sees me. I’ve never particularly cared how I look, I’ve cared how people view me, and anything that predisposes people to think I’m something I’m not is not okay with me.

The associations we, as a society, have with height are simply far too entrenched. The majority of people don’t even question them. Even the outliers, who spend enormous amounts of time agonizing about their height. They wish that their height were different, but they don’t necessarily consider why, not just the laundry list of complaints they have about it, but where they got the idea that those were things worth complaining about. It’s just taken as a given that if you’re “too tall for a girl” or “too short for a guy”, or sometimes just “too short”, that your tragic ailment must be causing some serious deficiencies in your life.

The problem with being a short guy is that short just doesn’t match up with accepted notions of masculinity, and therefore is equated with all the things that aren’t masculine. Short means girl. Short means child. Short means weak, helpless, etc. Short means probably not sexy, definitely not badass. Short means you’d better have a great sense of humour, because what else is anyone going to find appealing about you.

I’m perfectly happy to prove all of that wrong. In fact, I’m determined to. But that doesn’t mean I’m compensating for anything. That just means stubborn and ambitious is who I am, and if a short guy isn’t allowed to be that without having a “complex”, than you can suck it.


~ by onetiddlyridley on July 1, 2011.

2 Responses to “The One With My Napoleon Complex”

  1. Fucking cabinets! On the plus side, airplanes are more comfortable for us than for 99% of the population, clothes are cheaper on the kids side, and your shirts are smaller than a parachute.

    But yes, I believe that for me height is one of the main features that gets people to see me as a “girl” rather than a “guy” or at least a “not sure,” and barring any other signifying features (facial hair, facial definitions, deep voice) height is truly a gendering factor.

  2. Small is so much easier to ‘tuck in’ and re-tailor with existing cloth… I always suffered from too-shirt sleeves and pants-legs with no material to go-to’. Hell is as we make it…

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