Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Velma J. Bowen (wren) Thu 8 Jul 10 08:08
<scraps> was 5'4" as well, but I suspect he's now about 5'3" because of the stroke. I am intrigued by this topic, and the book, because of the wide ranges in height in my blood-kin (we all, male and female, range between 5'2" and 7'6", within the same generations).
David Albert (aslan) Thu 8 Jul 10 08:26
Have you spoken to a lot of people who DID give their kids growth hormones? How do they and their kids feel about it now? Do they feel that they or their children have truly benefitted from the treatments? Of course, you point out in the book that people are in general going to want to feel good about ANY decision they have made, so it could be hard to distinguish between truth and wishful thinking.
John Schwartz (jswatz) Thu 8 Jul 10 10:07
I did not speak to a lot of parents, but I spoke to doctors and looked at research on parents who give their kids hormones. The surveys suggest that parents and the kids are happy with the choice to get the treatment, irrespective of the effect. They are glad they did it, and tend to credit the hormones with any growth that occurs. Those surveys, it seems to me, miss the people who drop out of therapy, which could introduce a bias toward positive results. But that's what the surveys say, in any case.
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Thu 8 Jul 10 10:46
It used to be instructive to read the personals ads and see how many women, even the short ones, insisted on a tall man. One would seldom see a man post that he was looking for a woman with big tits, even if he was.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 8 Jul 10 11:52
True. Men do feel free to indicate that women should be significantly younger than they are, or specify "hot," "cute," "full-figured," "slender," "blonde," "asian," etc... I suspect that in general girls are less concerned about being short for their age, and their parents are probably less likely to look to growth hormones. John, are there numbers available that confirm that?
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 8 Jul 10 12:51
<rik>, I can't speak for why all women might do that, but in my experience, with a few delightful exceptions, short guys can have a real chip on their shoulder about it, and it's just easier to avoid that. I'm 5' 3 3/4". Everyone's tall.
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Thu 8 Jul 10 13:07
Well, I used to cruise the ads. Met a great little (5'1") woman that way, and we've been together 22 years. So I'm pretty familiar with what women claim to want. And I really doubt that women's desire for tall men is based on personality. Biology makes more sense, both on this issue and the one about men's attraction to youth and big racks. And, of course, there are exceptions.
John Schwartz (jswatz) Thu 8 Jul 10 13:38
<rik> writes: >> It used to be instructive to read the personals ads and see how many women, even the short ones, insisted on a tall man. One would seldom see a man post that he was looking for a woman with big tits, even if he was. I've got a riff on that in the book, explaining to these young readers that there are women who say they only want to date tall guys. And others who only want to date rich guys, etc. etc. I recommend that they consider themselves lucky to not have to worry about them. <gail> writes: >>>I suspect that in general girls are less concerned about being short for their age, and their parents are probably less likely to look to growth hormones. John, are there numbers available that confirm that? I haven't seen numbers, but the pediatric endocrinologists confirm that this is so. Boys, and parents of boys, show greater interest in height and hormones.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Thu 8 Jul 10 13:59
I used to be 5' 1 1/2" when I was in high school. I told people that I was 5' 2" on a good day. When I was measured at the time I was pregnant, the doctor said I was 5' 3". I wasn't really happy about it, because by that point I was comfortable with my short stature. That's me. My best friend's daughter is another story. At 14, she is not 5' tall. It disturbs her because eveyrone treats her like she is 10 and she is NOT TEN! She is currently reading your book, John. I'll let you know what she thinks as soon as I speak to her about it.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 8 Jul 10 14:04
If there was a skinny hormone, I expect girls and parents of girls would be all over that.
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Thu 8 Jul 10 14:12
You bet. John, your advice is excellent. The way I cousel guys who bitch about the fact that the average woman wants a tall guy is to ask them if they're really looking for an average woman.
person of crevice (obizuth) Thu 8 Jul 10 14:37
>Biology makes more sense, both on this issue and the one about men's attraction to youth and big racks. i find that people ascribe all kinds of cultural and individual preferences to evolutionary biology. whenever i see an interview with an evolutionary biologist in the paper, i expect him to tell me that men are GENETICALLY OBLIGATED to cheat on their wives. it usually comes in paragraph 3.
Lisa Greim (lisa) Thu 8 Jul 10 15:49
John, I gave the book to my Sara, who at 5'2" is trying to figure out how to be authoritative while young, female, pretty and small -- without being bitchy. It's a tough task, but she's 15, so she's got some time to figure it out. She has passed the book along to her tiny friend Kathy Chawla, who passed it along to her tinier eighth- and sixth-grade sisters.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 8 Jul 10 16:01
#36-37: word! both of youse!
Lisa Harris (lrph) Thu 8 Jul 10 19:41
I love this, "The way I cousel guys who bitch about the fact that the average woman wants a tall guy is to ask them if they're really looking for an average woman." I really thought that your tone in the book was great, John. Authoritative, yet not lecture-y and as hip as a Dad-type person can be.
David Albert (aslan) Fri 9 Jul 10 07:55
There was an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe a year or two ago from a well-educated journalist. The piece was mostly about education and standardized tests, but he started off by writing about being devastated to learn that his son was in the 50th percentile for height and weight, because (not an exact quote) "what parent wants to learn that his child is only average"? If we have people upset that their kids are going to grow to be even of fully-average height, what hope do we have to convince them that shorter than average is also okay?
John Schwartz (jswatz) Fri 9 Jul 10 08:05
Thanks, guys! I'd love to hear what these young readers think--I've gotten zero feedback from kids so far. As for convincing some people that below-average height is okay, well, some people just can't be pleased. They don't understand that every kid will be a basket of above- and below-average attributes. And they fret, and they look for ways to perfect their kids. My parents largely let me be, while encouraging me by example to work as hard as I could to be good at what I cared about. I think they did a good job. It's not just that they declined to give me growth hormone--the let me know, through their actions every day, that they thought I was doing just fine.
Lisa Greim (lisa) Fri 9 Jul 10 09:50
The only thing I can report in the way of young reader feedback is that Sara didn't get much farther than "He's short, he's from Texas, yada yada." It suffered from a lack of zombies. If you had included some undead short people, I imagine she would have been more engaged. But she's not a big nonfiction reader in general.
Mrs. Bigby Hind (jessica) Fri 9 Jul 10 10:06
At this time I will trot out one of my favorite moments from the late great Murphy Brown. Miles, who is short, is agonizing over asking out Audrey (Jane Leeves) who is much taller, and goes to Murphy for advice. MILES: Well, what would you say if you saw a much taller woman out with a shorter man? MURPHY: I'd say "Good evening, Dr. and Mrs. Kissinger."
bill braasch (bbraasch) Fri 9 Jul 10 10:08
definitely throw a few short vampires into the sequel. my daughter who is 5'2" played lacrosse goalie. pity the poor fool who tried to shoot over her head. conventional wisdom was to have a tall goalie, even better a tall, wide goalie. it's better though, to have a fierce goalie. that's how her teammates described her.
person of crevice (obizuth) Fri 9 Jul 10 10:09
josie is away at camp, but likes non-fiction. i'll see if she'll read it when she's back. since she's tall, it might not interest her. i was recently horrified by a comment on the blog Jezebel. it was about a dad in a cyberbullying case who sued his 8th grade daughter's school district after it suspended her for posting a mean video about a classmate on the YouTubes. The dad said his daughter wwasn't a bully -- uh huh -- won the case and insisted that the video stay up, even tho his daughter offered to take it down, because he's a douchebag. He chose to engage with Jezebel's readers, insisting that he had won a victory for the First Amendment, etc. while the readers were yelling at him that he'd only taught his daughter that bullying was ok and daddy would bail her out. what horrified me (i mean, besides the douchebag dad) was that one commenter insisted he had to be short. another commenter called her on it, and she went OFF on short men, and how she just KNEW from his behavior that he had to be short. her language was just BREATHTAKINGLY mean, and i'm thinking um, bully, meet bully!
person of crevice (obizuth) Fri 9 Jul 10 10:11
slippage! Good evening, monsieur et madame sarkozy! Good evening, mr and mrs cruise!
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Fri 9 Jul 10 10:48
In the early 80s, when I was living in Nashville, I had a 6'2" girlfriend who just loved the looks we used to get. Smart, cute, hot, and (obviously) open-minded. It came to an end due to the long separations from my touring, and she married a guy who's 6'4". Their kids are huge. "...how she just KNEW from his behavior that he had to be short." Sizeism rears its ugly head.
E (wickett) Fri 9 Jul 10 12:02
<scribbled by wickett Sat 10 Jul 10 17:37>
David Albert (aslan) Fri 9 Jul 10 12:35
Our language is full of casual references that put short people down. Referring to someone as "little" might mean that they are emotionally backwards, or miserly, or insignificant historically. or just plain mean (as that father a few posts back, who might reasonably in English have been referred to as a "little" man, rather than a short one). It is told famously of Stephen J. Gould that when an opponent referred to him as that "little commie Jew bastard" he retorted at full volume, "How DARE you call me little?"
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