Types of Body Shaming: Height Shaming

Written by: Shruthi Chacko – M Sc
(Psychology)

Last updated date : March 30, 2022

There are different types of body shaming. People think that body-shaming is only on the basis of weight. That is not true. Any bodily attribute that does not fit into the societal norms faces criticism. Do you know that shaming anybody based on height, hair color or even passing a negative comment on somebody’s tattoos is body shaming? Most of us are not aware of this. Similarly, people experience body shaming for either being too short or being even too tall. 

Let’s take a closer look at body shaming

Chapter 1:
What Is Body Shaming?

Body shaming is the act of criticizing or humiliating someone based on their body size or shape. We are all uniquely different bodies. There are times when some people find it hard to accept that difference. Due to their lack of understanding, they start shaming others who seem to look different. This results in the existence of various types of body shaming. As we are living in a world of social media. We tend to compare ourselves. Through social media, the “perfect” image of a perfect body is becoming popular As a result, you may often see yourself comparing to this “perfect” body. This further makes you believe that you have less than a ” perfect” body. Hence, it is very important to remember that you are truly unique and nobody in this world can ever possibly have a perfect body.

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Chapter 2:
What Are the Different Types of Body Shaming?

There are many types of body shaming that people become a victim of. Body shaming often stems from a place of insecurity. If you look around close to the people who body shame others. You may notice that they are insecure about themselves. In fact, this drives them to judge others in order to feel better about themselves. As a result, there are various types of body shaming that people experience.

Sadly, there are many kinds of body shaming. Here's a list of few of them
Weight shaming- this can be skinny shaming or fat-shaming Height shaming- Shaming for being too short or too tall Hair color shaming- Yes, you heard that right. People experience shaming for having a less common hair color Shaming based on looks- People diagnosed with medical conditions such as vitiligo, psoriasis, etc. Shaming based on fashion- Having piercings, tattoos hair extensions.

Unfortunately, this is just a shortlist of things that people experience body shaming. There are various types of body shaming. Since childhood, we are made to believe that outside appearance makes a reliable judge of a character. Especially, cartoons depict the villains who are evil and immoral as different, ugly, and deformed looking. As we grow up we tend to believe anybody who looks different is not good. Thus, Are we making children believe that one should look a certain way to be a good person?

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Chapter 3:
What Is Height Shaming?

As you know there are different types of body shaming. This is a type of shaming that involves discrimination based on a person’s height. Any height that is over or under the normally accepted norms falls under scrutiny. Both men and women experience this. We can see it happening specifically among short men and tall women. This comes down to gender expectations in society. Men who are tall are synonymous with being handsome. On the contrary, women who are short are more feminine and are synonymous with being beautiful. These contrasting expectations are rather very unfortunate. 

Do you think humans have always had these kinds of notions for generations? Let’s have a look at it 

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Chapter 4:
Does Height Make You Superior ?

Since the early days of kings and queens, height was considered a noble physical attribute. Moreover, height gives an advantage to seen and heard. Therefore, medieval knights were tall, dark, and handsome. We can also see this in the famous royal family of Britain. Prince William and Prince Harry are conveniently tall. This shows that height has a link to being superior in society. Hence, royals can have an immense presence with an advantage of height. Hence, since the early days of civilizations height has been a determinant of being mighty and superior. Throughout history, tall people are seen as dominant individuals and leaders. In fact, such notions could have developed into different types of body shaming that we commonly see in our current times.

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Chapter 5:
Harsh Reality of Height Shaming

These features make height shaming different from other types of body shaming. Let’s explore these features.

Height is not in our control

This is the harsh reality of height shaming. Unlike other types of shaming such as fat-shaming. Where you can probably control your diet and exercise. On the contrary, with height shaming, the victim does such as lifestyle choices in their control. I am not saying that people who get body shamed for being fat or skinny have it any easier. Nevertheless, it is partially in their control to change how they look. Victims have no choice other than to find ways to deal with these height shamers. If you are a short man, even though you grow a beard or change your fashion. Your height does not change. It is the same for tall women. It is something that you need to live with your whole life. When a person is height shammed it leaves an emotional scar making them vulnerable to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other mental illness.

Views change based on age

An infant or a toddler views a person who is tall as associated with power and strength. Contrarily, in popular culture, we often see a tall teenager as being awkward and uncomfortable. Similarly, a short teen falls prey to bullies. He/she is assumed to be submissive and naive. Ironically the same tall teenager is more likely to get appreciated by peers and coworkers when he/she is an adult. Hence, height-based norms are different based on age. The same tall teenager will now as an adult be considered to be socially desirable. On the other hand, if the short teener is still a short adult, he/she may experience different types of body shaming.

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Chapter 6:
How Can You Become Body Positive?

The first step to becoming body positive is when you begin to acknowledge and accept different bodies. This can only begin once you start accepting your own insecurities. Working on your self-esteem and confidence can do you good as well as the people around you. It’s a win-win situation. In conclusion, there is no concept such as being too tall or being too short. These are just societal norms that are ingrained in us. Be mindful to not be a part of such antics. Remember this, no matter how you look, you be proud of who you are. You need to embrace each and every part of being you. This is something only you can do, nobody can do that for you. Remember to be kind and accepting to yourself and others. 

Do you want to build your self-esteem and fix your body image issues? If yes, there is a perfect self-help course designed for you. At Epsychonline we have a series of self-help series including one on the title ” Body Image Concerns”. Please visit our Courses page to find it. You may want to read up a bit more on ” Stop body shaming- What needs to be done?” to get a better understanding of body shaming.