On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos blasted himself off to space (well, to the edge of space), inviting a whole bunch of memes and acerbic internet commentary. And while most people were talking about Bezos’s dick-shaped rocket or corny cowboy hat, one Twitter user proposed a theory about the tech billionaire that I now can’t stop thinking about.
Graham Starr, a Senior Editor at Business Insider, quote tweeted a picture posted by the official Blue Origin Twitter account featuring Bezos and his crew in their fancy new blue spacesuits. In the photo, Bezos can be seen standing with one foot on a box, not mention the fact that he’s wearing his generously heeled “lucky cowboy boots.”
“jeff bezos is 5’7″ and he’s standing on a box while everyone else sits, kneels, or backgrounds so he appears taller,” tweeted Starr.
As Starr kindly points out in this photo, standing with one foot on a box doesn’t exactly make you a giant. But there are some depth and dimensional tricks at play that — along with the boots and how the rest of the crew is positioned around him (sitting, kneeling, standing in the background) — that do, indeed, give him more prominence in the frame.
And while this silly Twitter theory is enough to convince me Bezos has a height complex, it gets even better.
It seems this isn’t the first time Starr has surmised about a tech billionaire making themselves appear taller. In 2017, the editor tweeted that Mark Zuckerberg, who is also 5’7, purposely stages his photos “to make it look like he’s average height.” Also, during a Senate hearing about data privacy and Russian disinformation on Facebook in 2018, Zuckerberg’s chair was reported to have had an extra padded seat cushion added to it. Perhaps it was for added comfort during the long testimony, but then again, maybe not.
Of course, this is just conjecture and you can use this speculative information to decide for yourself whether these men who seem to be able to bend the world economy to their will are bending the literal laws of human measurement to their will as well.
Nonetheless, there is something to be said about society’s fixation on male height, which is so deeply embedded into our consciousness that men who seemingly have everything — power, influence, obscene wealth — are still insecure about being under six-foot. Haven’t they heard? The short king revolution is well underway. But it’s important to remember that not every short man is automatically a king — it would take a major image revamp for these two to earn that title. Perhaps they could start by using their billions and billions of dollars to end world hunger.
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