Napoleon Bonaparte or Napoleon I, was a military and political leader of France during the early 19th century. A great man, by all means. Ruthless dictator, superb administrator and grand master in political and military strategy, Napoleon was paralleled perhaps only by another European in the years to come.
A great man, by all means, but also very short. Nobody is still very sure about his height precisely; it might be anywhere between 5'2 - 5'6. Any how, this quality wasn't something he was very proud of. In fact, it is said that so put off was the great man by the little height, he channeled all his frustration into war and invested in power. (This inferiority complex concerning one's height is also referred to as the Napoleon Complex) See, now that is smart.
That is what a smart man, a statesman nonetheless should be doing. Channeling his 'shortcomings' into other avenues of success. In Napoleon's case, it was taking over the army, staging a coup, toppling the monarchy, reinstating himself as the absolute ruler and then finally invading and conquering most of Europe and surroundings.
Which is also what other great, short men did. Most notably Alexander the Great and Adolf Hitler. The former - the greatest warrior known to mankind - conquered almost the entire known world within the age of 33, and the latter single handedly brought about a World War.
[Oh, and also, my father. Very short, very adorable.]
So you would think, that being short is not a disadvantage at all. If it isn't one for a soldier then certainly shouldn't be one for a politician. Now, see, that's where you are wrong.
Cut to the present.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the current President of the French Republic and in all effect, the political leader of the one of the most politically advanced and radical nation is short. A lamentable 5'5 apparently. Now what does that have to do with anything you ask? Plenty.
First of all, he wears heels. Yeah, I know. I thought he is a confident man when he married that Carla Bruni. Evidently not. Why marry a 5'10 supermodel, if you have to resort to wearing heels then? What does that say about your intellectual faculties? Yes, you are human, but you are also the President. That puts things in perspective.
But oh, that's not all. there is more. It has now come to notice, that Sarkozy does not like having tall people around him at all. In fact according to the Montreal Gazzete:
All security agents have been discreetly advised not to apply for a job guarding Nicolas Sarkozy, police sources have claimed.
The French president, who is about 5 ft, 5 inches, is said to have banned tall bodyguards despite their added value of being able to spot potential attackers in a crowd.
A police source told Le Parisien newspaper that "there's no point recruiting supermen" as "large-sized" candidates stood little chance of being taken on.
The presidential guard has been expanded from 50 to 80 men since 2002, when a mentally disturbed man shot at Jacques Chirac, Mr Sarkozy's predecessor, with a hunting rifle.
Mr Sarkozy is notoriously sensitive and secretive about his height. He is shorter than Napoleon. His wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who is 5 foot, 10 inches, often wears flat pumps when they appear together.
Mr Sarkozy, who wears specially designed stacked shoes, has been caught standing on tiptoes at global leader events and stood on a box to remain shoulder to shoulder with Barack Obama, the U.S. president, when they gave speeches to commemorate the Normandy landings last year.
At a visit to the Faurecia auto parts company in Normandy last September, workers claimed they had been picked to appear alongside Mr Sarkozy because they were "no bigger than the president". But the Elysee dismissed the claims as "absurd".
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Sarkozy+bans+tall+bodyguards/3123608/story.html#ixzz0qcQXISJh
Yeah, well, thats the kind of bullshit I'm talking about. It doesn't say much about the ruler of a nation when all he is worrying about the relative appearance of his height with reference to his bodyguards. I mean, sure you have to hear your British contemporaries making snide jokes at your expense, but you should be used to that by now! You're French, they're British! And if you cannot handle that, I feel a little concerned about France and the world in general.