Saturday, December 26, 2009
What Price Height?
How much would you sacrifice to make your child taller. Would you stick acupuncture needles into your child? How about spending hundreds of dollars per month for dubious herbal and hormonal treatments? In South Korea there is a whole industry that revolves around making children taller, or at least they claim to. Some of the equipment resemble medieval torture devices, like a treadmill with a harness that stretches your spine and relieves pressure on your legs as you exercise. Many of the children reported are barely in kindergarten.
But can you blame the parents? The usual qualities that women seek in a mate are described as "tall, dark, and handsome". Notice that "intelligent" is not considered a desirable trait. Studies have shown that taller people are more likely to find a spouse than shorter people. It is widely known that taller people are more likely to make a higher income and to get promoted more easily than their vertically challenged counterparts. Of course you can find very successful shorter people, like Robert Reich, or Prince. But they usually have to work much harder for their achievements. And short people who do succeed are often denigrated as having a Napoleon syndrome.
So even though we may look at these Korean parents as desperate, maybe they are only doing what is logical. It's surprising that there aren't clinics like these here in America. When children in middle school are able to dunk basketballs, there is a great deal of pressure for everybody else to keep up by any means necessary, thus the proliferation of steroids and hormone abuse in sports.