Sergio Oliva was an uncontested bodybuilding legend in his time—a mass of muscle and impressively defined physique that earned him the nickname “The Myth”. In 1972, Oliva went up against a young, new adversary in the Mr. Olympia competition. Oliva had the bodybuilding advantage, better endowed with muscle mass and definition and should have been poised for victory.
But triumph in the 1972 Mr. Olympia competition belonged to a young man named Arnold Schwarzeneggar. At 6’2”, Schwarzeneggar towered over the 5’8” Oliva, making him a more impressive figure, and pushing him to the win—not just on the Mr. Olympia stage, but again and again throughout life. Schwarzeneggar, despite having a tongue-twister of a name and speaking little English when he came to the U.S., ultimately skyrocketed to fame with a successful Hollywood and political career, while Sergio Oliva’s name is mostly relegated to the history books. It turns out that height and perception of height have a huge impact on “winning” in a multitude of daily scenarios and, ultimately, stature can have a profound impact on shaping the course of a person’s life.
Height and Winning in Everyday Life
Even if you don’t have plans to become an internationally-renowned bodybuilder, everyday life involves a series of competitions—and often a vertical advantage is what determines the winner. A recent study looked at how height is related to dominance in interpersonal encounters in everyday, natural settings, including looking at how height impacts which pedestrians give way and who takes dominance on sidewalks, busy streets, or narrow passages. The study observed that taller people dominated these encounters—essentially “winning” at little moments throughout everyday life.
Inches Add Up to Financial Wins
It’s not just the little things; there are quantifiable financial advantages to being tall, with some studies showing that each inch of height could mean up to $800 in increased annual earnings. It’s also been demonstrated that this financial advantage is especially true in jobs which require social interaction, either because those with a height advantage demonstrate more confidence, or because others view tall people more positively and as more authoritative figures.
Winning A Mate
What you may have heard anecdotally, observed, or suspected, about the impact of height and winning a mate is likely true. A recent study looked at heterosexual male and female preferences for height in a mate. It found that men tend to prefer shorter women and women tend to prefer taller men—no surprises there. What was interesting, however, was that women were “much more selective, and much more consistent” in their height preferences than men were. Women also showed that they preferred a larger height difference than men did, and were more satisfied with a partner who was much taller than them.
Research also suggests that height may be connected to the type of woman a man will attract. Women who married taller men, a study found, tend to have lower body mass index (BMI), are better educated, have higher incomes, and are in better overall health, than those who were married to shorter men.
If you think your height is costing you “wins” in your daily life, the good news is you can take action. Height lengthening procedures can be a safe and effective option both for cosmetic height lengthening and for deformity correction. Some patients are able to gain as much as half a foot—and every inch can matter. Many people report increased confidence and improved quality of life after height lengthening surgery.
The minimally-invasive surgery increases the length of the long bones in the leg, either on the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia), or both. A small incision is made in the front of the knee. The bone to be widened is cut into two sections and an adjustable “nail” is fitted inside the center of the bone and secured. Over the course of several weeks or months, the bone is lengthened millimeter by millimeter using a remote control and magnet technology. The body repairs bone tissue during the process, filling in the gap. Learn more about the height lengthening process here.
Dr. Shahab Mahboubian, D.O., MPH, is a national leader in limb lengthening and deformity correction surgery. Using the most advanced techniques, Dr. Mahboubian has helped patients achieve their height lengthening goals and begin realizing the wins in their lives that were out of reach before.
Contact us today to learn more!