Short stature can negatively affect adolescents’ self-esteem and thus affect their self-confidence in adulthood. This sounds like a true, established and hardly disputable statement. Yet a recent study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) makes us realise that things are not as straightforward and obvious as we think.
This research shows that it is not short stature itself that negatively affects children and adolescents’ self-esteem, but rather the support (or lack of support) they perceive from outside. The results were published in The Journal of Pediatrics and invite parents (and all of us) to a decisive change of perspective and attitude towards children who are below average height. In short, for all parents who have found themselves or will find themselves saying “my child is not growing tall enough”, what is needed for a healthy development of personality and self-concept is not drugs and therapeutic overkill but rather support and understanding.
GuidoMaggi produce luxury elevator shoes and we take this issue very much to heart. Our role is precisely to help men realise their desire to be taller by facing their short stature with serenity and awareness.
Happiness does not lie in stature but in how you deal with it
How important is short stature on the development of healthy self-esteem? According to recent research from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), quality of life and self-esteem for adolescents of short stature are not associated with height but rather with how supported they feel about being “short”.
We took it for granted for many years that short stature could negatively affect self-esteem during development, and today we find out that centimetres matter relatively: what is important is how this is dealt with in the family, and more generally in society.
Apparently, many parents are convinced that short stature has a negative impact on their children in terms of self-esteem and social adjustment, and therefore in many cases pin their hopes on growth hormone treatment, thinking that making their children grow taller will automatically make them more confident and happy. And no wonder then that in adulthood there are those who undergo risky lengthening surgeries. But Adda Grimberg, the paediatric endocrinologist and scientific director of the Growth Center at CHOP (senior author of the study) explained that the data collected from his research show that “self-esteem among young people of short stature is related to social support networks and adaptive coping strategies, not concretely to their height”.
In short, we all know that adolescence is a particularly critical period for identity formation and dramatising short stature in the family could be a major factor in undermining the foundations of one’s self-confidence. Instead, taking a broader psychosocial approach, rather than focusing on increasing height, could have a positive impact on self-esteem.
In summary, this study makes us discover that in healthy adolescents height is not a problem unless we frame it as such. And considering that, according to Swedish research, short stature is a suicide risk factor, it is even more important to understand how to deal with it as a collective.
Let’s not dramatise short stature but solve the problem with fashion
For all the parents who find themselves thinking “my child is growing too short in height”, the findings of research by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggest that it is precisely dramatising short stature that turns it into a problem in a child’s mind.
The secret of good self-esteem is to live it serenely, without fuss and worry, just as one should deal with life’s big and small problems. And when it comes to teenagers, the example that comes from parents is crucial.
Also because an intelligent and risk-free solution exists and that is to wear a pair of elevator shoes. Shortness of stature today, thanks to shoes like the ones we make at GuidoMaggi, is not so different from any physical defect that fashion can solve or minimise. With make-up you can reduce facial imperfections, with clothing you can hide body imperfections, just as with elevator shoes you can eliminate the problem of short stature.
A pair of GuidoMaggi’s can grow in height from 6 to 12 centimetres without anyone noticing the internal elevating systems. What’s more, GuidoMaggi’s are equipped with integrated, safe, patented elevators that are also suitable for wearing by a teenager. The buttress and toe cap are made of the latest technical material for comfort and durability, the fussbet is ergonomic and non-slip, and the heel is made entirely of leather with a special non-slip rubber end.
And as far as models are concerned, at GuidoMaggi we also think of the youngest, with a collection of trendy elevator sneakers for every style, and a collection of elevator boots that alternates between basic models and unique and original models for the most eccentric and creative youngsters.
So, when short stature is a fact that begins to bring some insecurity to a boy, a gift such as a pair of elevator shoes can make him discover that this too is a surmountable problem. It’s all about how to deal with it and really wanting to find a solution. You can start with a 6 centimetre high system, to begin testing this type of footwear and then, when you feel ready, go further to conquer the stature of your dreams.