Sat | Nov 17, 2018

As A Man: A matter of inches

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Don't let anyone fool you. As a man, size matters. That is why there are height requirements for the security forces. Can you imagine having that immediate, innate regard for a man who seems to be shorter than his rifle?

Chances are you were thinking about another kind of pointed instrument which dispenses

potent substances when I said size matters. I am sure it does there as well, but the dimensions will remain hidden from most persons (unless there is a social media slip). Height is an altogether different matter, although the two can overlap. As a former female colleague at The Gleaner once said, she does not want a man under a particular height because "short man tear up sheet." And she had to be at least 5'11".

And I have never heard a woman drool over a man who is short, dark and handsome, unless they are themselves tiny. Even then, many a little lass hooks up with a skyscraper fellow.

If I pretended that height does not matter to me, I would be fooling myself. I was very happy to gain a couple of inches in Christmas 2014. Having always thought I was 5'9", I was measured at a family gathering, and, lo and behold, I had added one and a half inches to top out at as close to the much vaunted six feet as I ever will. I was not any taller than I had been before, but I still felt as if I had added something.

While the security forces have their height requirements, instinctively, we may institute minimum measurements for males in other fields of endeavour. I had not thought much about it before I mentally leapt past 5'10", but from my suddenly lofty perch, I could reassess what was happening with other males. Is it my imagination, or do quite a few men in service professions tend to be a bit on the shorter side? A tall male employee in a fast-food restaurant seems to stand out because they are generally short. Same goes for men who are into hospitality services. And when last have you seen a strikingly tall male customer service representative at an organisation? They seem few and far in between.

Then there is the SMS - and this is not related to cell phones. It is Short Man Syndrome - a condition that afflicts some vertically challenged men who always seem to be doing a semi-ballerina posture to add another half inch, or inclining their jaws skywards in order to look taller. And for those whom SMS affects, lawd dem aggressive!

Maybe they have reason to be, as all their lives they have been measured by their lack of inches and come up short. Maybe the world discriminates against shorter men very badly, in one of those unrecognised biases which has no lobby group to plead the case.

What makes it worse in Jamaica is that there are so many tall women. How many want to crack their keens to kiss their mate, or attempt to give him a one bubble in a dancehall session and find themselves rubbing his chest area?