You know how tall people always complain about how hard it is to find pants that fit? Apparently, that’s really their only complaint about, well, anything. A new study shows that they’re happier than the other famous pant complainers, short people. In fact, even not super tall people report being happier than short people.
In summary, shorties are struggling. (Is it all that time spent hemming pants?).
Results of a National Bureau of Economic Research found that both men and women who were above average in height reported higher levels of happiness. But it’s not just being tall that makes you smile, because the happy line starts at 5 feet 4 inches for women and 5 feet 10 inches for men — heights that a lot of us think of as just average-ish.
According to Sean Gregory, who reported on the study for TIME magazine, men who reported their lives as the worst possible were, on average, an inch shorter than average men. Miserable women were around a half inch shorter than average.
But why the bitterness, little ones?
The study found that taller people tend to have more education, and thus higher income levels, than shorter people. It follows that the smarter, richer tall people would be sunnier than their vertically challenged compatriots. “Money buys enjoyment and higher life evaluation,” says Deaton. “It buys off stress, anger, worry and pain. Income is the thing!”
Ahhh, money, of course.
What I wonder is when this short-people dissatisfaction comes in to play. Are shorter than average kids also more miserable since, presumably, earnings aren’t yet a factor? Or has education and reward already started being bestowed on the taller ones, thereby setting up slow growers for bitterness and pain?
Now I’m wondering if that unspoken growth-chart competition among parents of young kids is just Mom or Dad’s subconcious understanding that a win in the height percentiles means a win later in life.