Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sepia Saturday #316: A Tall Tale

You can't miss the tall guy in this week's photo. Head and shoulders above the crowd, he looks about 6'6" or more. 

He'd have something in common with Yao Ming, the famous Chinese basketball player who is 7' 6" and a former member of the Houston Rockets team. Apparently he's retired from basketball now. I wonder if he'll end up as the CEO of some company. After all, taller people are at an advantage in the workplace. Studies have shown that short people are paid less than taller people, with disparities similar in magnitude to the race and gender gaps.

The tall guy looks as if he might be part of the film crew. I wonder if there's an advantage to being a tall assistant in the film business? Many jobs require, or at least favor tall people such as professional sports and fashion modeling. If you aspire to become a captain of industry, height is a definite asset:

"A survey of Fortune 500 CEO height in 2005 revealed that they were on average 6 feet tall, which is approximately 2-3 inches taller than the average American man. Fully 30% of these CEOs were 6 foot 2 inches  tall or more; in comparison only 3.9% of the overall United States population is of this height. Equally significantly, similar surveys have uncovered that less than 3% of CEOs were below 5′7″ in height. Ninety percent of CEOs are of above average height."

Height is not required on the other side of the camera in the movies. Many of the popular male movie stars are short.  Dustin Hoffman, for example, is only 5"2". Danny DeVito is barely 5 feet. He's always been a hero of mine since I read about his determination. When he was getting started in his acting career, he'd go to every audition call, no matter how absurd. For instance, he auditioned to play Hamlet. Obviously because of his unusual appearance he had to be a superb actor to convince directors that he would be right for a particular part or even, at times, that they should re-write the part to accommodate his short stature. 
Danny Devito teaching Hamlet in Renaissance Man 

In my personal experience with tall people, they may be paid more on the job,  but life, in general, offers plenty of challenges. Tall people rarely fit into ordinary chairs...they never know what to do with their feet, which always seem to be in the way. Clothes are hard to find as are shoes. They don't hear as well because their ears are up too high. Beds are too short; economy class airplane seats are torture chambers. They hit their heads on low doorways and beams. Hugs are awkward. They can see the dust and dirt on top of refrigerators or high shelves. Their view of the world is different.

Here's a photo I found while browsing for things to use in this blog. It combines the illusion of being tall with beach attire and joie de vivre. You might want to listen to this You Tube performance while admiring the tall? girls.

And finally, here's a photo of me, an average size human being,  two years ago, checking out one of my brother-in-law's antique cameras. He collects them.

And my brother-in-law with more of his cameras and photographic paraphernalia.

Check out more stories of camera, film, beaches and other memories at Sepia Saturday.


  1. What a great post! You made me think about Danny Devito in a different light! You made me smile with tall people having more difficulty! Now my husband will blame his height on having the TV up so loud!

  2. Good observation to pick out a background element. My son who is 6'4" and fairly thin, has found that the clothes that fit best are made in the Netherlands and Scandinavia countries, which he order over the internet. It happens that I played a Pops concert with Randy Newman just a couple of weeks ago. He sang "Short People" right at the beginning, I think because he wanted to get his most requested song out of the way for his better but less popular music.

  3. Great observation from the prompt. Tall people have the advantage of being able to see above the crowd and tall cameramen/women can probably get better shots without people getting in the way of the lens.

  4. I’d never hear the Newman song before, which is probably for the best as I am only 5.0 tall myself. Christma 1977 I had my hands full with anther short person, my newborn baby daughter! Well done for using the height as a theme from the prompt.

  5. You must take the prize this week for focussing on the most unusual element in the prompt photograph. Well spotted!

  6. Good connection for your post...and I enjoyed the flow from tall to short to all the camera paraphernalia. Yep, that song was always fun to sing. I'm also amused how we feel about our own height. I'm always a bit surprised when in the company of women taller than I am, though I'm really only an average height at 5'5".

  7. Who would ever have thought to do a study on height as a potential for discrimination in the workplace. Somebody was desperate for a PhD research topic. But it made for a fun slant on this week's prompt!

  8. I had never heard that is a classic. So glad you remembered it. Love the shot of the girls high above the beach. Those look like unusual pogo sticks to me. That shot of you looking into the camera is sososo cute, and just look at all of those old cameras. Quite the collection.

  9. Thanks, Randy Newman, for making a year of my childhood miserable.

  10. I never even noticed that tall man, and my husband is 6'4" so he always stands out in a crowd. I love the photo with the stilts but stilts were always part of our family's entertainment and I don't think stilts and sand mix:)

  11. What a great slant on this week's S.S. Your post reminded me of a motel/restaurant we used to go to in L.A. I think it was on Olympic near downtown. The restaurant was full of birdcages and exotic birds. The motel part catered to super tall people - mainly basketball players. They had super big beds just for them. I wonder if it's still in L.A. I think it might have been closed because of the birds being unsanitary.
    Love the photo of you and the big frame camera.

  12. To say nothing of the "So, how's the weather up there" line they are all forced to hear their entire life.

    What a great camera collection!