Discrimination is wrong. We can all agree on this.

Racism is evil, it's wrong to pay women less than men for the same job, and you shouldn't mock people's weight or appearance.

Of course, we can still make fun of short people. That's still okay. Especially men. 

If you're a guy under 5 feet 10 inches, go live under a bridge, you widdle troll! 

I'm being sarcastic, obviously. And at 5 feet 7 inches myself, maybe I'm a little sensitive. But some companies clearly still do think it's okay. 

Case in point: Tinder, the dating and hookup app, which said last week it's unveiling a new feature that would require men to verify their heights, since taller men are more attractive. 

"[M]ost of you 5'10ers out there are actually 5'6. The charade must stop," Tinder wrote, introducing what they called the new "Height Verification Badge (HVB)." 

Yes, the whole thing turned out to be an early April Fool's joke. But:

  • Can you imagine the controversy if they'd joked that they were going to verify weight or income? (A lot more than for this.) 
  • A lot of people thought they weren't kidding. It's not very difficult to imagine a company actually doing something like this. 

A few years ago, DirecTV ran a television ad making fun of a short NFL player (a goofball who had cable), compared to his taller, real life counterpart, who was supposedly their customer. 

Also, take President Trump. He's 6-foot-3, and a plurality of his nicknames for political opponents are based on height. ("Liddle Adam Schiff," "Little Jeff Zucker", "Little Marco," "Little Rocket Man.") 

Look, it's a free country, more or less. But the median height for a U.S. man is about 5 feet, 9 and a half inches, and let's just say that men on the shorter side of that line are an underserved demographic.

It's always surprised me how blatantly eager some brands, companies, and politicians are to treat close to half their male audience as punchlines. Maybe it might make a little more sense to treat them as customers.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

Published on: Apr 2, 2019
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