Friday, November 03, 2006

Height (Dis)Advantage

At an early age of 16, I have the height of an average 40 year-old man: 5'9". Relatives, friends, even strangers, would always notice my height. Yes, I'm taller than my mom and dad that we look like siblings when we walk along the street together. Sometimes they even mistake me to be a Korean balikbayan. I have the features of a Chinese kasi. (I have a Chinese bloodline, that's why.) But they always tell me that I look like a Korean. (But Koreans are well-known here in the Philippines because of Koreanovelas, yes?)

Sometimes, I want to have a 'normal' height. Yes, most of us would want to have the height like mine. They'd do anything and everything like taking food supplements that promise to give them the 'Height Advantage' (Cherifer and Growee are perfect examples) Height enhancers are now also being endorsed even in home TV shopping shows. I admit, I took Cherifer for about two years and got this height as a result. Perhaps these food supplements are worth the time and effort(money) after all.

Being tall may be advantageous, but there are also consequences that you should understand. I will try to discuss my views of why having the 'height advantage' is not always an advantage. I'll tell you the advantages, and then the disadvantages. After this, maybe you'd be glad to be an "average" person as you are right now.

People smaller than you get envious about your height. They'd always ask you how you were able to reach that height (hereditary, food supplements, etc.) You might even end up being a fashion model or a basketball player because of you height. People look up to you. Literally.

In crowded places like concerts and theater plays, you can still have full view of the show even from afar. You don't have to end up bumping other people to get a good look at whatever you want to look at. No blocks at all.

Again in crowded places, people would not miss a chance of seeing you. Try and ask them how they were able to find you: "Ang tangkad mo kasi eh!"

You don't need to stand on something else like a ladder, to reach objects located in high places. If you still don't get it, take a look at the Growee commercial. You'll understand my point.

You look older, really. This enables the minors (like me, haha) to drink alcoholic beverages and do other things that are not allowed for their age.

Well, of course being tall also has disadvantages. (this is the reason why I wrote this blog entry, by the way) Simply balance of nature.

You don't get to fit anywhere you like. I had experiences of hitting my head on the CEILING of a computer shop and other establishments with low vertical clearances (haha, kotse ka ba?) because I'm tall. Thank God, malls are big enough for me to fit in.

One more thing: Desks don't fit, chairs don't fit, controls designed for "average" people often don't fall where a tall person can reach them. In order to do what the "average" people need to do, you often have to stretch, reach, bump and slouch.

If you are T&T (tall and thin), you'll have a hard time trying to gain weight. I consider myself a T&T, and this is always noticed by my relatives. Unlike when I was 2nd and 3rd year high school, I had a normal BMI. If you are super T&T, you look like a walking bamboo stick.If you're just thin but not tall enough, you look like a walking toothpick.

You'll also have a hard time looking for clothes that fit you. At my age, I should be looking for clothes at the Boys Teens' Section but because of my height, I'm looking for them at the MENS' section now. Looking for shoes is also a problem. I have a size 9 foot. Well, at least imagine if you are tall and you have a size 4 foot: abnormal.

Tall people have a higher tendency to have bad backs. Tall people have difficulty moving around properly because their spines cannot take their body mass anymore. Simply because the taller you are, the more body mass you'll have.

Tall people are more likely to be seriously injured in crashes and other trauma causing events. The reason is that tall people's heads are closer to roofs, knees closer to the dashboard, shoulders closer to the doors. Also, the protective devices like seats, airbags and headrests are designed for average people and may not work optimally for a tall body. Lucky me, I'm not yet injured like that. (But I will soon be.)

Perhaps having this 'height advantage' is not really an advantage after all.

(!)Tall men have a moderately higher risk of having prostate cancer than their shorter peers.
(!)The taller a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer.
(!)People over 6' are 27% more likely to be injured in a car crash than someone shorter.
(!)Abraham Lincoln, based on his towering height, stooped posture and long limbs, is believed to have been afflicted with
Marfan's Syndrome, the most dangerous disorder that threatens tall people.


flight scheduled at 5:45:00 PM


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Arnel C. Uyaco Jr.
Sixteen Seventeen years old.
UP Manila Sophomore.
An alleged loverboy.
A pilot of my dreams.










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