Is 5’9” Tall Enough? Robert Downey Jr. Deals with It

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Hollywood creates illusions. That’s what they do. By careful use of camera angles, off-screen trickery, and a judicious selection of costars, men who are ‘vertically challenged’ can stand tall in the movies, even if they don’t do so in real life. From Charlie Chaplin, back in the dawn of cinema, through today’s batch of box office giants, short men have made their mark as popular figures, and the public never (usually) notices that they’re less than giants.

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Take Robert Downey, Jr. He’s Iron Man. He’s Sherlock Holmes. He’s 5’9”. That’s why he also was able to be a credible Charlie Chaplin on screen (who was, in real life, 5’5”). Depending on the role, Mr. Downey adapts his footwear to his perceived height. For his role as Sherlock Holmes, Downey often wore boots with a heel to boost his height, especially when standing next to his costar, Jude Law, who is 6’0”. Keep in mind, the man himself tends to draw attention to his face, rather than his height, by force of personality. For those men who want to appear taller, it may just be a matter of commanding attention, along with a bit of lift in their footwear, to create the illusion of more height than Nature provided.

For the man who doesn’t have ‘star power’, some of the same techniques and workarounds will achieve the same effect. Having confidence, displaying an active interest in other people, etc., is more than half the battle. The remainder can be covered by elegant footwear, with a discreet lift built-in to the sole, that takes the wearer the rest of the way to taller than originally made. Naturally, the choice of footwear must not give away the secret of the increase. It must be elegant, comfortable, and well made. It is up to you to select that kind of footwear for yourself, and make the best use of your other traits to complete the image you want to project.