Why are celebrities so short?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Meister, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Meister, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #1
    It's something I've always wondered about. I am of course aware that there is also certain actors, singers and other famous people who are tall, but if you do a bit of googling on this topic or maybe meet some celebs in real life you will quickly notice that many, many actors and singers are extremely and unusually short.

    I recently watched The Big Bang Theory and recognized two of the kids from Rosanne. I remember that they were short back than and John Godman, an average sized man, seemed tall compared to them. They didn't seem short in the show, because all their co-actors are tiny! Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) seems tall compared to the rest of the bunch and he isn't exactly tall in real life.

    Scott Caan, Kanye West, Prince, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Herschlag, Danny DeVito, Scarlett Johannson, Elijah Wood, the list goes on and on. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Snoop Dogg seem like giants compared to other celebs and they are shorter than me and most other grown males I deal with in real life. I've been to LA many times and some friends of mine work in the industry. When I stand next to them they look like little children :confused:

    Is Hollywood munchkinland or does fame stunt growth?
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    Well, all those deterministic biological models (which are often used with great confidence and utter certainty, married to complete cluelessness by men when writing about women) may afford some (exceedingly limited) insight here.

    Perhaps what we are looking at is an elaborate (and largely successful) attempt at compensation, over-compensation, (for lack of height) which is the answer put forward by one school of thought. Seek attention by other means.

    Another, slightly more subtle approach, offers the 'appear defenceless' or 'appear not as a threat'. This old chestnut - which is frequently trotted out - attempts to argue that clichéd alphas will not thump, or otherwise attack, or wallop, the guy who plays the role of 'fool' or 'clown' or 'entertainer' precisely because as an entertainer, a mere 'fool', he will not seem to be a threat.

    Then, there is the biologically determinant model which describes how the under tall males who have a glib mouth and a witty tongue may seek to attract the ladies (wallet shy models included) by exercising their wit rather than using their muscles. As a strategy, it has had some considerable success at times……….

     
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #3
    In some cases, I suspect natural dramatic selection.

    Many actors begin at a fairly early age. They are attractive, if perhaps stereotypical, children or babies. If they don't remain attractive for their roles (many of which are ads at that age), they don't get more jobs, so they move on to other things. In other words, the selection process of auditioning naturally removes them from the pool of working performers.

    On the other hand, if they remain attractive for their roles, they get jobs, and keep doing it. For child or youth roles, size is an important criterion. One must look the part. And since very young children can be hard to direct, older children that look younger are often preferred. Thus, the selection pressure is for those who are physically small, looking well under their age, yet with enough age and experience to work well with adults in the cast and crew.
     
  4. AlliFlowers Contributor

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    #4
    Or maybe there are more "short" people out there than you realize, and we are the majority as opposed to women over 5'5 and men over 5'11, whom I would describe as freakishly tall. ;)
     
  5. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #5
    So the distribution of heights for celebrities is what? It differs from the population they're drawn from? How was this determined?
     
  6. Meister thread starter Suspended

    Meister

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    #6
    Amazing answer to my trivial post!
    I had similar, but not as well worded, thoughts.

    ----------

    Also very good. I've also had that suspicion. Child actors seem to be more effected by this phenomenon.

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    How many adult men below 6" do you know?
    How many women below 5"5?

    Most of the actors I am refering to are between 150cm and 165cm.
    That is really, really short by all standards.

    ----------

    If you read the OP you'll notice that I am merely talking about my own observations. I did not conduct a study.
    But you could look here: http://www.averageheight.co/average-male-height-by-country
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #7
    I did read the OP, hence the question. It seemed a bit strong to assert the fact that celebrities are shorter than the rest of the population, although you do make apparently interesting (if quite limited) observations. The problem is lack of rigor, but, okay, I'm at work and in a particular mindset (no offense intended in these posts).

    I think Scepticalscribe and chown33 offer some interesting suggestions (IF the difference is real).

    Thanks for the link, although I wish they at least gave the second moment of the distribution.
     
  8. Meister thread starter Suspended

    Meister

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    #8
    Maybe I am wrong. As written, this is merely my very subjective impression. But I am a movie buff and the size thing is something I noticed over many decades and I've given a number of examples. If you start looking at actors and other people in the entertainment industry, you will inevitably notice the size thing. Spielberg, Lucas, Coppolla, Pacino, Jack Black, Ron Howard, Rob Schneider, Martin Short, ... Hell, they make Jim Carry look tall.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Actually, no offence to Meister, but I think he may be casting his net a little wide with the use of the word 'celebrities' in his thread title, rather than seeking to refine the parameters somewhat.

    Frankly, anyone who has managed to get their name in lights, even the most talentless, clueless, witless, gormless individual, has succeeded in having this noun 'celebrity' bestowed on them.

    However, within the general broad field of what may be considered 'celebrity', I think some specific areas do seem to offer a refuge to those - (men - because, while tall women tend to be considered possibly more attractive, lack of height is not seen as quite the drawback for women that it is for men - who are feel themselves to have been short-changed by nature because they may be challenged vertically.

    Comedy is the obvious one, here; while I haven't stooped to looking at this empirically, or scientifically, (sorry, mobilehaathi - other areas attract my scholarly attention) I do think that a case may be made (on anecdotal evidence, granted) that a surprising number of successful male comics are not overly endowed with surplus inches.

    Leading men, on the other hand, tend - usually - to be on the tall side, as do successful sportsmen.
     
  10. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

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  11. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

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    #11
    Height doesn't matter when it comes to acting.
     
  12. Meister thread starter Suspended

    Meister

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    #12
    Of course not. Neither does it matter for singing. Height doesn't matter in most professions.

    ----------

    Good point:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Height...United_States#U.S._Presidents_by_height_order

    And so is your point with comedians. But singers :confused:
    Just look at AC/DC or the Rolling Stones.
     
  13. bruinsrme macrumors 601

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  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #14
    It's an affliction. :eek:

    The few times I've watched Tom Cruise :)rolleyes:) on screen, I'm always impressed at the way they distort his apparent height on set. Now that's a tiny man.

    Or maybe I just think that because I'm half a foot taller than him. :cool:
     
  15. Meister thread starter Suspended

    Meister

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    #15
    Compared to many of the others mentioned, he is relatively tall. I also think he is a great actor and producer.
     
  16. twietee macrumors 603

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    #16
    that's what I heard too. makes sense.
     
  17. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #17
    Yeah, you're right about his height, of the people you listed he is #3 tallest.

    Scott Caan 165cm
    Kanye West 173cm
    Prince 158cm
    Michael Jackson 175cm
    Tom Cruise 170cm
    Michael J. Fox 163cm
    Danny DeVito 152cm
    Elijah Wood 168cm
    --
    Natalie Herschlag 160cm
    Scarlett Johannson 160cm

    Actually, as you can see from the link you provided earlier Germans tend to be quite tall (mean 181 cm). That may explain your apparent shock at all these people being relatively short, while most of the men you meet are around the same height as you.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Ah, of course, I understand. We each approach such a question informed by the training and habits of mind of our own respective disciplines……and seek explanations there, too.

    Now, while busily thinking about such a topic, my mind is drawn to further consideration of a particular type of political leader (some of whom played an ominously large role in history). In other words, those whose stature offers - or offered a considerable challenge to themselves, (back to compensation), their ego, their photographers, or artists, their audience……..They tended to be of a particularly egoistical and strangely autocratic cast of mind, and affected an imperial mien in their demeanour.
     
  19. Meister thread starter Suspended

    Meister

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    #19
    I am 190cm and many men (and even some women!!) around me are taller ...
     
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6

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    #20
    I know a ton
     
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    As do I.

    But, as mentioned earlier, being short of stature is not seen as quite the issue for women that it is for some men.
     
  22. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #22
    Tall country!

    Around my parts, most men and women are shorter than me (I'm 185.5).

    ----------

    For some reason French politicians keep materializing in my mind...Sarkozy, Napoleon...
     
  23. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Among others, yes. Yes, the 'Little Corsican' does very much spring to mind when discussing this topic, as indeed, does Mr Sarkozy.

    I knew a politician (who became a Prime Minister) who used to have the step behind the rostrum somewhat elevated when he was planning to give a speech, so that he, in turn, would appear taller - both on screen and to his audience - when standing behind the rostrum.

    And an imperious character would appear to accompany the lack of stature and possession of political power.
     
  24. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #24
    Heheh, well raising yourself physically above your subjects may be a move as old as time, but apparently it is still very much in vogue.:cool:
     
  25. Meister, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

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    Meister

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    #25
    Adolf Hitler: 173cm
    Dick Cheney: 173cm
    Hugo Chavez: 173cm
    Benito Mussolini: 169cm
    Vladimir Lenin: 165cm
    Joseph Stalin: 163cm
    Kim Jong-Il: 160cm
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 157cm


    Abraham Lincoln: 192cm
    Thomas Jefferson: 189cm
    George Washington: 188cm
    Franklin D. Roosevelt: 188cm
    John F Kennedy: 180cm

    ... it is quite suspicious.
     

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