Why So Short?

When considering Asian phsyique, the general consensus is short and skinny along with some other intimate conditions.

The average height of American males is 5’10” for men and 5’4″ for women. My family already exceeds that average (and I’m not even measuring with shoes on unlike many people…): I’m 6′, my sisters are 5’7.5″ and 5’5.5″. My mom is 5’6.5, and my dad is average at 5’10”. And my cousin is 6’2″ which gives me mix feelings of pride and jealousy.

My parents beat the American average, but they weren’t born in America. They’re from Taiwan. Taiwan’s average height is 5’7″ for men and 5’2.5″ for women, so we’re giants even by today’s standards. I always love visiting Taiwan and being a head taller than everyone in the subway.

If we’re talking about height and physique in America, the conception is that black people are the tallest. Look at the demographics in the NBA – most players are black and are 6′ and taller.

Uh… | From Soda Head

Yet, if we look at a country like Nigeria, the average height is 5’4.5″ for men and 5’2″ for women.

Let’s look at Caucasian countries in the world. Their average height is around 5’10” for men and around 5’5″ for women, yet around Spokane, I’ve only seen three people taller than me.

What does this all mean?

Height is one of those questions of nature vs nurture. We are limited by our genes and our environment. Arguably, we could say that Asians are short because of their genes.

Yao laughs at your feeble stereotype. | From Know Your Meme

America, Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and all the rest of the first world nations were the earliest to develop. They had their industrial revolution, agricultural revolution, and everything else much earlier. Although these revolutions usually came with intense labor and hardship, they were able to grow out of it and reap the benefits of the change.

They produced more food, healthier food, and better living conditions. These things are vastly important for any person reach their maximum physical potential. Looking back at the average height of enlisted men during the mid 19th century, the average American height was only 5’7.5″.

Asian countries around the world are finally catching up to the first world. It’s going to take time for their height to increase because they still have some terrible living conditions such as sweatshops, terrible working conditions, malnutrition, and intense population density. Some countries are already getting better like Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and parts of China. Their nutrition and living conditions has greatly improved, but they still have to face population density.

So, not only are Asians growing in population around the world, but we’re also growing in height. My Asian High School friends are on average 5’10”. Most of us are taller than our parents because our living conditions were better than theirs.

Snowcones = nutritious

So thanks Mom and Dad! Now, I’m one of the tallest people in Spokane!