Being tall at 6 foot 2 ¾ - the same height as Clint Eastwood as I am always quick to point out; sadly, the similarity ends there (actually it doesn’t; I have a picture of me taken with poncho, cowboy hat, Winchester rifle and 3 days of stubble. Please send 10 € and a stamped addressed envelope) – I have endured a life of “witty” comments; “what’s the weather like up there?”, “Do you sleep in a Gro Bag?” Ah, my sides are still aching. As innocuous and indeed unfunny as these sound now, to a pre-pubescent teenager they were a bit painful. This is probably where our hang-ups about size, weight etc probably start. As a lad I was no different. There was a girl in my school that everybody called “Fatty Ann Smith” (last name changed in case Fat… er Ann is reading. If she is not reading, her surname was Taylor). But was just what we called her. No malice was meant, but obviously now, as a (slightly) more mature adult I can see this must have hurt her.
One way or another, we all have issues with our bodies. I heard on the radio that a survey concluded that 79% of women are unhappy with their eyelashes. That says it all. Max Factor has a lot to answer for. I can honestly say that I have never used eyelashes as criteria for fancying a woman; eyebrows, yes, but not eyelashes.
The other mans grass is always greener. We often think that with different shaped or sized parts and bodies, life could have been different. “If I was taller I could have been a Policeman”. “If I was shorter I could have played for England”. “If I was taller I could have moved to Spain and opened a shop”. Spot the odd one out.
So let us face, there cannot be anybody happy with their bodies but there are definitely politics relating to body shape and size. For example a person of one body type is allowed to make fun of another person of the same body type. This is obvious; you are like that, so am I. We are in this together, let’s have a laugh. But the one I do not understand is why it is OK for the likes of Dawn French and Jo Brand to take the mickey out of skinny people.
I am aware this article may read as a bit size-ist. I promise it is not meant to be. I encompass two areas discussed here, lanky and with a fat belly. Or as a “friend” once observed, I look like a pregnant Cambodian.
Somebody who is probably pleased with his size is the Ukrainian man who has just been named as the world's tallest living person. Leonid Stadnyk, a 37-year-old from Podolyantsi in central Ukraine, was measured at 2.57m (8ft 5in). As a teenager, Leonid was average in height (so never had to put up with the name calling I had to, he had it lucky!) born of parents who were only 5ft and 5ft 8in tall.
So proving that what they say about tall men is true – big feet, Leonid’s shoe size is 64!
However Leonid still has 6in to go to be as tall as Robert Wadlow, the tallest man ever. “What’s the weather like up there”? etc….
I guess that size does matter, but only to ourselves. The rest of us just accept each other for what we are.
Probably the most important aspect of “us” in terms of size is our intellect. I would much rather be clever than a man that women found irresistible (he lied). Probably the stupidest person I have ever known is an ex-colleague called Frank. Frank was in his early twenties when I knew him and did not drive. When I asked him why, he explained that he bought a Lada from his Grandad and was learning to drive in it until one day he mounted the pavement and knocked over an old man. Even as a passenger he was nervous (even more so when we drove past an old people’s home.
One day I drove Frank to London. I cannot for the life of me why Frank was allowed on-site. I think it was for the amusement of customers. We were on the M4 near Brentford, and Frank was born-and-bred there and huge fan of “the Bees”. As we carried a bit further along, Frhjmank said “there it is; the 4 finger salute”. I looked to where he was gesticulating and saw some high-rise flats. “There are 5 of them Frank”.
“Oh, yeah” he replied “I never noticed that before”.
Frank and his small IQ was the obvious target to all of our practical jokes. He was once wedged through a window on a customers site and left for a few hours, but the one that still makes me laugh involves TV magician Paul Daniels. Paul had a factory unit where he used to store and distribute his foreign language Linguaphone-type products. This unit was two doors away from our stores. One day Paul, pulled up in his blue Bentley, as he got out of his car, we threw Frank out of the doors and shouted “Now that’s magic!”. Totally puerile, but we thought it was the funniest thing ever.
So to summarise, if you are large, thin, tall short or have dodgy eyelashes, it does not matter. If you are stupid however, sorry I cannot help you!