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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Do Other Cultures Have Their Own Versions of Napoleon Complex/Short Man Syndrome?

I believe the British first perpetuated the myth that Napoleon Bonaparte was super short, but the actual label of "Napoleon Complex/Short Man Syndrome" was later coined by Alfred Adler, who ironically couldn't find an actual short villain so he named the label after a guy who was average height. One would think if short men were so diabolical that stereotypes are created about it, a dwarf tyrant could've been easily found as the mascot.

Anyway, while other places outside of the West also discriminate against short men, I'd be curious to know if they came up with their own derogatory short stereotypes. I don't mean a translation of "Napoleon Complex" either, I mean inventing their own version. If these complexes and syndromes are so real like many believe, surely they'd exist everywhere. Yet no matter how much someone worships tall stature in Japan or India or Africa, I don't see them having a term for how evil short men are. Too bad I can't find much more on this. Even the Wikipedia page on the Napoleon Complex only has sources from the West. I tried searching this and did come across a 5'10 guy who wondered if "little man syndrome" was cultural. It's nice to see someone who's not even short thinking outside the box.

I first started pondering this when I came across a clip from a Japanese series I used to follow (Yu-Gi-Oh), and there was a character literally named Bonaparte. His official bio describes him as, and I quote, "loud-mouthed, hot-headed, vertically-challenged sidekick." This is a blatant example of how a prejudiced stereotype, the angry little Napoleon, came from the West to the East. I wonder if Japan knew of this stereotype before Western contact, and what the official term for it is.

Either way, if clothing, language, architecture, etc. can be imported, I don't see why derogatory stereotypes can't also spread.

Click here to find the rest of my posts regarding stereotypes about short men.

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