Instead of “height enhancement” surgery to make people taller, we should enhance our personal and societal perceptions around body image, presence, beauty and success.
An orthopaedic surgeon in Delhi, India routinely makes people taller. The surgery is called “cosmetic height enhancement.” He told Brent Bambury on the CBC radio program, Day 6, that it’s a “life-changing procedure” that he only performs on people with low self-esteem and that much of it has to do with societal pressure in some parts of India.
As a short person who has worked hard to overcome low self-esteem and to develop a compassionate relationship with her BFF (Body Friend Forever), I have to wonder if maybe our personal and societal perceptions are the ones needing an enhancement.
Programmed to Love Tall
Research has suggested that the taller you are, the more chances you have of being rich and successful. Models, actors, athletes, corporate, social and political leaders–we are more awed by them and more willing to listen to them and to follow them when they are tall.
Tall can even outdo the weight card on which many still focus. “Oh, it’s okay if she’s heavy, she can carry it. Look at her stunning, long legs.”
It comes down to this: we might be programmed to have confidence in tall people. Our confidence in the taller of our species may be evolutionary. In many animal species, the bigger you are, the higher your social rank. One theory is that, evolutionarily, man may have valued the greater protection and resources offered by taller humans. Interestingly, anthropologists have discovered a clear association between greater height and political control with ancient Greeks and Mayans.
Enhance Perceptions, Not Height
So now it’s our job, each one of us, to deprogram: we have to enhance our perceptions, not our height. We have to learn to love our BFF–Body Friend Forever–no matter if it’s short, tall, skinny, fat, wide or narrow.
Only by developing a consistently loving relationship with our own body will we be able to deprogram ourselves and, in turn, help to deprogram societal perceptions around the need for a certain physical body type.
The key word here is “consistently.” It’s easy to say “I love my body and I don’t care what people look like” but it’s much harder to change what may be a few hundred thousand years of evolution. To do that, we have to learn how to harness our thoughts when they stray–which can be many times a week or even a day.
Small Scale Daily Healing – Self-Directed Healing Strategy #2: Build a Strong Relationship with Your BFF (Body Friend Forever)
- Start by becoming aware of your thoughts and words about your body and that of others. Pay attention to your immediate reactions to the people you see, the comments you read and hear, and how you feel when you look at your body.
- Consciously change your thoughts and words as they appear. When you catch yourself thinking, “Will people take him seriously if he’s as small as a kid” or “That woman looks like a giraffe,” try to change your thought: “Do I really care how short he is? How is he as a leader?” or “It’s not always easy to be tall.”
- Treat your body like your BFF (Body Friend Forever). Unless you get a body transplant, you and your body will be together for the rest of your life. So treat your body like you would your best friend: talk with it, love it, thank it for everything it does for you, laugh with it, apologize when you hurt it.
- Infuse your BFF with loving, compassionate energy on a regular basis. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, send the breath into your entire body as you say silently: “I love you, my body, unconditionally, as you are.” Open your heart and really feel the love you have for your body.
The longer you work at it, the more your thoughts will veer in all aspects of your life and the more your heart will open to a different set of perceptions. Soon you will be looking at more people in the world with a non-judgmental, respectful and compassionate gaze.
A few years ago, I might have read about height enhancement surgery and thought, “Wow, I’d love longer legs.” Today, I’m good with my short, physical stature and I value my large presence. No height enhancement surgery for my short legs, thanks.