This Is the Average Man's Body
October 14, 2013 12:44 AM   Subscribe

This Is the Average Man's Body
posted by anazgnos (138 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is good, I think the visualization brings home body mass and weight in a much better way than dry numbers. Also next do it without the underwear. For science.
posted by Justinian at 1:05 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am depressingly Todd-like.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:14 AM on October 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you want a vision of the future, imagine Todd fluctuating between slightly fatter and slightly thinner - forever.
posted by aesop at 1:18 AM on October 14, 2013 [32 favorites]


The average American man's body. You left that bit out of the title.
posted by Decani at 1:19 AM on October 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh wait. I see there are a few other nationalities further down. It would be interesting to see a global average though.
posted by Decani at 1:21 AM on October 14, 2013


So now what?
posted by discopolo at 1:28 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I enjoy the page's assertion that anthropologists attribute the fact that Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world to "diet and lifestyle". It could not at all have anything to do with the huge wave of immigrants from Latin American countries in the last 30 years, where the average height is significantly shorter than in much more homogenous north-central Europe.
posted by Justinian at 1:28 AM on October 14, 2013 [46 favorites]


Also a few waves from Asian countries.
posted by Cranberry at 1:33 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Sims 4: The Fat of the Land is going to be the most boring Sims game yet.

So now what?

A web comic, obviously.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:33 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also needs

Beard
Chunky glasses
Flannel


...and now you can start that webcomic
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:46 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


♪ I'm just an ordinary average guy

My friends are all boring
 and so am I

We're just ordinary average guys
We all live ordinary average lives

With average kids
 and average wives

We all go bowling at the bowling lanes

Drink a few beers
, bowl a few frames

We're just ordinary average guys

Ordinary average guys ♪

posted by seraphine at 1:48 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Needs a fedora.
posted by koolkat at 1:57 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


We Are All Todd Now
posted by Justinian at 2:09 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


What? That opie dead-eyed piece of shit?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:17 AM on October 14, 2013 [38 favorites]


I'm hard at work bringing the Dutch average closer to the American.
posted by atrazine at 2:31 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:40 AM on October 14, 2013 [15 favorites]


I am depressingly Todd-like.

But your BBQ is better than his, I guarantee.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:50 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.

You know what they say in Holland, right? If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:52 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.

Actually, suddenly becoming one of the shortest people around rather than just a bit above average is kind of depressing. And surprisingly noticeable.
posted by shelleycat at 2:55 AM on October 14, 2013


Fifty years ago, American Todd would not have been round.

But ... they all look kind of rounded. OK, straighten out my memories here, late-night Mefites. In the article's from-the-side picture, all the men have midsections around their navels that seem to slump down and out as far (if not farther) forward than their chests and hip-tops do. (I.e. there's a gradual slope from their upper to lower abdomens.) But boys, even teenage boys, tend to be "scrawny" or "gangly." Is this a case of gravity-induced growth/sagging, like people were saying about elderly noses and ears in yesterday's old-vs-young FPP? That is, even if the Europeans stay trim and slim, they still won't look "boyish" at the stomach?
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:07 AM on October 14, 2013


It could not at all have anything to do with the huge wave of immigrants from Latin American countries in the last 30 years, where the average height is significantly shorter than in much more homogenous north-central Europe.

From the CIA World Factbook:

Ethnic groups, Netherlands:
Dutch 80.7%, EU 5%, Indonesian 2.4%, Turkish 2.2%, Surinamese 2%, Moroccan 2%, Caribbean 0.8%, other 4.8%

Ethnic groups, USA:
White 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61%
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:08 AM on October 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Um, TheophileEscargot, your list doesn't have Latin Americans on it at all, so it's not like you've proved anything. This seems kind of weird considering the U.S. census asks about "Hispanic/Latino" ethnicity.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:11 AM on October 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


Justinian - I enjoy the page's assertion that anthropologists attribute the fact that Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world to "diet and lifestyle".

It's probably true. According to wikipedia, the averages for Dutch men and women are 6ft 0.5in and 5ft 7in, while for white Americans they're 5ft 10.5in and 5ft 5in. The figures for "all Americans" are half an inch shorter than those.

Height is heritable to some degree, but diet and lifestyle in childhood/adolescence are very important too. As the article says, the Dutch have got dramatically taller over just a few generations. AFAIK it's hard to pin down a definite cause, but this coincided with changes in diet (lots of protein; as a nation they get through huge amounts of milk and dairy), and overall improvements in health thanks to good hygiene and a very high vaccination rate.

Actually, suddenly becoming one of the shortest people around rather than just a bit above average is kind of depressing. And surprisingly noticeable.
Hah, yes. I'm a 6"0' Brit, and when I visit the Netherlands the transition from tall-ish guy to short-ish guy is really disconcerting. It's a much more noticeable feeling than I'd have expected it to be.
posted by metaBugs at 3:11 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


...and, in fact, the CIA World Factbook page for the U.S. specifically says "we're not telling you anything about Hispanic residents." (Primarily because they want to tally up "races," not national origins.) Looking elsewhere I find that ... THE CENSUS BUREAU WEBSITE IS SHUT, DIE DIE DIE IN AGONIZING HORROR YOU TREASONOUS REPUBLICAN VERMIN ... "Info Please" says that 17% of the US is of Hispanic origin.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:17 AM on October 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


It may not look it in the sterile anti-erotic poses that he is placed in here, but Todd is pretty fucking hot (What Real Men Look Like In Underwear Ads).
posted by Blasdelb at 3:19 AM on October 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Lamm just chose to work with white male renderings.

what a surprise!
posted by NoraReed at 3:20 AM on October 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lamm just chose to work with white male renderings.

Rendered fat.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:25 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are we not Todds?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:51 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I enjoy the page's assertion that anthropologists attribute the fact that Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world to "diet and lifestyle". It could not at all have anything to do with the huge wave of immigrants from Latin American countries in the last 30 years, where the average height is significantly shorter than in much more homogenous north-central Europe.

It could but thats not the whole story. It appears there has been a lot of work done in this area by researchers such as John Komlos. Even if you remove immigrants, the trends still hold.

Overall, this Washington Post article is more balanced. And even expresses some healthy skepticism at the end, wondering whether country averages are even significant given the huge height variations within countries.
posted by vacapinta at 4:01 AM on October 14, 2013


As a U.S. male age 30 to 39

I would like to see some younger and older Todds. What do his father and son look like?
posted by pracowity at 4:07 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could not at all have anything to do with the huge wave of immigrants from Latin American countries in the last 30 years

This is purely a matter of diet and lifestyle: Man, I'd sure like me some fruit and vegetables, but I can't be bothered to pick any myself.
posted by three blind mice at 4:10 AM on October 14, 2013


The American "Todd" looks eerily like one of my exes; not just in the figure, but in the face.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:19 AM on October 14, 2013


We are the Todd. Lower your blogs and surrender your comments. We will add your article distinctiveness to our own. Your website will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
posted by mikeburg at 4:28 AM on October 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


I took part in one of these full-body scanning studies when I was 19. I did it mainly because I was given high street vouchers - it was supposed to be a survey of British women's sizes in order to come up with a new sizing system intended to better reflect the population. I never saw whether the data was used, but I'd be interested to find it - the fit of clothing on me makes me feel like my shape makes me an outlier (I'm taller, bustier, larger-footed and have a higher hip/waist ratio than average) and the common consensus is that British women are pearshaped.
posted by mippy at 4:31 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


White 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61%

Interesting that they consider Hispanic white - and yes, immigrants and first generation offspring tend to be smaller than native born folks, and then catch up significantly in a generation or two, as malnutrition and it's knock-on effects are reduced. There are a number of Latino NFL superstars in positions demanding size and strength, and ten years ago, that notion would have been ludicrous. I live in a part of the US with a large southern Italian and Portuguese immigrant community, and the difference in heights between guys my age and their grandparents who came over in the '30s and late '40s is ridiculous.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:36 AM on October 14, 2013


Hah, yes. I'm a 6"0' Brit, and when I visit the Netherlands the transition from tall-ish guy to short-ish guy is really disconcerting.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

I wish I could be Todd at this point.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:58 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


These certainly look like normal folk.
Todd Lokken
posted by charred husk at 5:03 AM on October 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


I wish I had Todd's hair.
posted by biffa at 5:04 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Last time I was in Amsterdam we rented a flat and the owner thoughtfully pointed out the little stool she had provided so us tiny UK peoples could reach the countertops.
posted by Erasmouse at 5:04 AM on October 14, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm pretty much a taller and balder Todd. I was very happy to get my BMI down to 39 last year.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 AM on October 14, 2013


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on Todd's face - forever.

In the grim darkness of Future Todd, there is only Todd.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:08 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


In childhood I developed a theory, based on several observations, that people named Todd were schumucks.

While I admit the sample size since grade school has been pretty small -- leading me to believe most Todds live in Florida, and that perhaps Florida Man's actual name is Todd -- I still have not met any Todds who were not schmucks.
posted by Foosnark at 5:11 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Last time I was in Amsterdam we rented a flat and the owner thoughtfully pointed out the little stool she had provided so us tiny UK peoples could reach the countertops.

As a 6'7" Brit I think I know where my next holiday is going to be.
posted by regularfry at 5:25 AM on October 14, 2013


Lamm just chose to work with white male renderings.

what a surprise!
What would MeFi be saying if Lamm had made the schlubby American non-white?
posted by zamboni at 5:34 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Well, at least Lamm made the schlubby America non-white."
posted by griphus at 5:46 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Click Here to read one weird old tip to reduce your Toddness today!
posted by Rock Steady at 5:50 AM on October 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


So now what?

Same advice as always. Watch what you eat and pay attention to your weight.
posted by mikelieman at 5:50 AM on October 14, 2013


Also, drive less (and be more physically active, but the two usually go hand in hand).
posted by dry white toast at 5:55 AM on October 14, 2013


What would MeFi be saying if Lamm had made the schlubby American non-white?

All Todd people look alike.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:01 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the grim darkness of Future Todd, there is only Todd.

Sorry, Empire of Todd, there are always Orks. In this universe, strangely homogenous Orks, like the guys only bought the same starter box over and over, but Orks just the same.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:02 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, drive less (and be more physically active, but the two usually go hand in hand).

Live closer to work and school and shopping, essentially. Like the Todds in other countries. Stop moving out to car-only places.
posted by pracowity at 6:13 AM on October 14, 2013


Focus on using your BMI vertically instead of horizontally. A mere 3 inches of fat padding on your soles will make a big difference!
posted by mittens at 6:17 AM on October 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.

Close. It was the Dutch taking them away.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:19 AM on October 14, 2013


I am below my Todd on BMI (27), but I'd have to lose like 15 more pounds to get to my putatively healthy BMI. I just don't see it happening (largely because I'm getting there by running and lifting weights).
posted by oddman at 6:21 AM on October 14, 2013


The albino population must be booming if the average American man is pasty white.

but hey, no, I get it, they just went with a normal...erm...I mean neutral...erm...you know, they went with someone without any ethnicity - average, you know?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:25 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I expect my all-male underwear parties to be kind of wild, but it's not when it's just a room full of Todds.
posted by xingcat at 6:30 AM on October 14, 2013


Odd question - is "Todd" an acronym for something the render-ist did?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on October 14, 2013


i'm an average man and there's no way i would wear underwear like that.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:31 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also next do it without the underwear.

Hard to get verifiable data for the rendering
posted by bendybendy at 6:32 AM on October 14, 2013


Hard to get verifiable data for the rendering

That's because the scanner looks suspiciously like a taped-together shoebox with a hole cut in the side.
posted by mittens at 6:33 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I figured Wilt Chamberlain would have helped with the height average.
posted by travis08 at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2013


Todd has no basket.
posted by Nelson at 6:38 AM on October 14, 2013


I, for one, think American Todd is quite attractive, and if any of you fellows out there are are seeing Todd in the mirror and thinking that's a bad thing, allow me to give you a virtual Leroy Jethro Gibbs-style slap upside the head and my best hello-sailor whistle. I realize that could be really confusing, but it's the best I can do given my own media-driven body anxieties.

You know those moments when you realize you didn't know you were prejudiced about something? And part of you thinks you should just shut up about it but the other part things it's better to have it out in the open? Well, the second part has had more coffee this morning.

The history buff in me has read so much about the malnutrition in the Netherlands during WWII and how it affected people like Audrey Hepburn that I was momentarily shocked about Dutch Todd's height. It passed immediately, to be replaced by the awful taste of a giant shame sandwich washed down with a Bigot Gulp. What's more, I have no real excuse, having personally met Dutch men* over the years, and they have all been over six feet. My poor New World brain just didn't make any sort of real-world connection.


* Oh, Martijn the Handsome Botany Student. Why did I think my "Coleus? It's a Coleossus!" joke would break the ice with a non-native English speaker who was out of my league to begin with? Stupid, stupid.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:39 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


My goal is to become a Dutch/Japanese Todd-Hybrid.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.

Close. It was the Dutch taking them away.


Sure, sure, like this is anything new.
It is reported in the chronicle attributed to John of Wallingford that the Danes, thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses.
In seriousness, though, I was completely shocked, this is a really great post. To me, a guy who is 5'9 is not average but short, and at 5'6, I've always personally felt pretty short myself, even though people have insisted I'm above average height. Apparently I somehow acquired Scandinavian standards!
posted by corb at 6:50 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


See, I knew there was a reason I felt so easily "at home" on that trip to Amsterdam years ago - I'm basically an average Dutchman.
posted by dnash at 7:02 AM on October 14, 2013


It may not look it in the sterile anti-erotic poses that he is placed in here, but Todd is pretty fucking hot (What Real Men Look Like In Underwear Ads).

I've been working out steadily for a year and those " average" guys have way nicer bodies than me. This is exactly like how it feels going to gym when the firemen are working out.
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


So now what?

Same advice as always. Watch what you eat and pay attention to your weight.


I'm a woman, but good advice anyway.

And I'll lower my expectations when looking for "hotties with a body."
posted by discopolo at 7:08 AM on October 14, 2013


Fifty years ago, American Todd would not have been round.

What? During the great Age of American Doughy Guys? Color me very skeptical.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:10 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


So now what?

You have to ask? Diet and exercise, boyo, diet and exercise.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:19 AM on October 14, 2013


Are we not Todds?

B E V O
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:25 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


As an American male of above average height, I am doing my best to align with the male Dutch average.

So, goodbye to booze.

Eat Less.

Do More.

Fitter, Happier, More Productive...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fifty years ago, American Todd would not have been round.

Fifty years ago, we would have called him "Joe" and read about each of his organs in monthly condensed installments.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


As an American male of above average height, I am doing my best to align with the male Dutch average.

As an american male of above average height, I can vaguely point to my extremely distant Dutch heritage with some small modicum of pride, for once.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:30 AM on October 14, 2013


Odd question - is "Todd" an acronym for something the render-ist did?
Don't let the hyperrealistic toes fool you; Todd is an avatar. I gave Todd his name, and gave his life a narrative arc, but he is actually the child of graphic artist Nickolay Lamm as part of his Body Measurement Project.
The Atlantic guy came up with "Todd", not the artist.

but hey, no, I get it, they just went with a normal...erm...I mean neutral...erm...you know, they went with someone without any ethnicity - average, you know?

It's a dilemma- is there a public data set that you could use for creating that average, and would the effort satisfy anyone? It's not like the US census asks for your Von Luschan's scale. I suspect that even if Lamm embarked on a research project to create a carefully weighted average of American appearance, à la Face Of Tomorrow or Nat Geo's Face of Seven Billion, we'd still find something to criticize him for.
posted by zamboni at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fifty years ago, we would have called him "Joe" and read about each of his organs in monthly condensed installments.

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:34 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, goodbye to booze

I take it you have never been to Holland......
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


So now what?

Push-ups and kettlebells, for starters.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:45 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have better pecs and deltoids than the average male!
posted by Mister_A at 7:47 AM on October 14, 2013


T.O.D.D.: Typical, Ordinary Dude Design
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:05 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


* Oh, Martijn the Handsome Botany Student. Why did I think my "Coleus? It's a Coleossus!" joke would break the ice with a non-native English speaker who was out of my league to begin with? Stupid, stupid.

That's a pretty good icebreaker /not-native English speaker /IANAB

posted by ersatz at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2013


Or maybe the choice of "Todd" is a riff on the German tod, since the rendering makes them all look a little corpsey.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:08 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Put a beard on Dutch Todd and that's me... weird.

Interesting that they consider Hispanic white

That's pretty common, though. At least here in California, pretty much everything that asks for ethnicity has a white, non-hispanic box or something similar. My school's student info system identifies students as 'white, no, not Hispanic or Latino' or 'white, yes, Hispanic or Latino.'
posted by Huck500 at 8:12 AM on October 14, 2013


I am Joe's police composite sketch.
posted by aught at 8:18 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The average dude is 5'9" ?? Holy shit, that explains why regular toilets are like 4 inches off the floor.

I'm 6'4" and I bought the house I did largely because the old people who used to own it installed those super tall handicapped person toilets and I took one look at them and squealed. Finally, I could shit in an actual sitting position instead of squatting on a hole in the floor.

Don't me started on theater and airplane seats.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:25 AM on October 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


I, for one, think American Todd is quite attractive, and if any of you fellows out there are are seeing Todd in the mirror and thinking that's a bad thing, allow me to give you a virtual Leroy Jethro Gibbs-style slap upside the head and my best hello-sailor whistle. I realize that could be really confusing, but it's the best I can do given my own media-driven body anxieties.

posted by The Underpants Monster


Hee!
posted by brundlefly at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2013


Of course his name is Todd. (That's the name of my ex-husband.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2013


American Todd looks like he's slouching in the last picture. He would look different if he stood straight and pulled his shoulders back.
posted by desjardins at 8:39 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


American Todd looks like he's slouching in the last picture. He would look different if he stood straight and pulled his shoulders back.    signed -- Todd's Mother
posted by taz at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2013 [38 favorites]


TheophileEscargot: As others have pointed out (but I will reiterate since you were addressing me) those stats lump all "Hispanic" into "White" which thus grossly underestimates the ethnic diversity of the United States. If you think the Netherlands is as diverse you've either never been to the Netherlands or you've never been to the United States.
posted by Justinian at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2013


Harvey Kilobit: "Um, TheophileEscargot, your list doesn't have Latin Americans on it at all, so it's not like you've proved anything. This seems kind of weird considering the U.S. census asks about "Hispanic/Latino" ethnicity."

Right, because Hispanic/Latino is a not a race, it's an ethnicity, which includes people who are white or native-tribe or black or (most commonly) some mix. See also: Arab.
posted by desuetude at 8:56 AM on October 14, 2013


It is really weird that a huge number of guys (including me, for a very long time) assume that the average height is about 6". We all have a good idea how tall we are, we constantly see how tall everyone around us is... and yet somehow we all think that the average is 2-3 inches taller than it actually is. I can't help wondering whether there's a weird confidence/dominance thing going on, in which we tend to see other people as bigger than they really are.* Or maybe people taller than us stick in our minds, in a way that similarly-sized or shorter people don't. Or maybe the old line about guys' size estimates is right, and we all genuinely believe that we're a few inches taller than we actually are?

Also, this is a good pretext to reread the OKTrends article about heights in dating profiles, which I still find hilarious.

*I know for a fact that this is true for my images of people, although the way that I remember people is weird at the best of times. However, I do have a very charming and self-deprecating friend who's easily 6'2" and always stands upright, whom people consistently remember as being a bit below average height. It's a very odd experience to talk to him for a minute or two, then have the sudden realisation that you've been looking up for the whole time.
posted by metaBugs at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This mostly proves that men wear really ugly underwear.
posted by srboisvert at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2013


WHERE IS YOUR TODD NOW?
posted by Mister_A at 9:08 AM on October 14, 2013


Comedian Jon Lajoie: I'm Just an Everyday Ordinary Normal Guy (NSFW)
posted by xenophile at 9:11 AM on October 14, 2013


we all know todd only listens to double music
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Justinian, this paper from the CDC [PDF] shows height distributions for various age groups of "non-Hispanic white" US males and females.

Check out tables 10 and 12 for the full details (or 9 and 11 if you prefer cm). Adapted from those tables, the data for "Non-Hispanic Whites":


Sex...........Age group.........Number examined......Height (inches)
Male.....20 years and over.........2,331................69.9
Female...20 years and over.........2,477................64.2


...if we believe the mean height given by Wikipedia for Dutch people (males 72.5 inches, females 67 inches), then the Dutch population really are taller than American non-Hispanic white people. (for this comparison I chose the 2009 Dutch data, on the grounds that it was measured rather than self-reported, and therefore probably more accurate.)

Interestingly, for males and females in the CDC data, the "Non-Hispanic White" groups are only ~1cm taller than the "All race and ethnicity groups" cohort. So the mean height of the US isn't being brought down as much as you think it is, certainly not enough that it makes a difference when compared to the Dutch.

(I choose to believe that a nation of inspiringly tall people living in a low-lying wetland protected by an intricate system of dykes is nothing less than evidence of Lamarckism in action. Because of all the great scientists, Kipling was my favourite)
posted by metaBugs at 9:21 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hmm, I'd wondered what that whooshing sound was, I guess it was all the ladies heading for the Netherlands.

Not me. No way I could compete with the Dutch ladies. Since my experience in the Netherlands has been limited hitherto to several hours in the Amsterdam airport, I had just assumed that the airlines and shops only hired towering, attractive blonds for marketing purposes, the way that all airlines used to pick their stewardesses in the '60s. I'm a little bemused to see that they were actually pretty average Dutch people.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


All hispanics counted as white makes no sociological sense at all. As a particular type of Indian person I have both Caucasian and Aryan ancestry but according to popular belief, skin tone and Supreme Court cases of the 1930s I am decidedly not white. Race being as it is a social construct it doesn't make sense to lump in Hispanics with white in this sense.
posted by sweetkid at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


metaBugs: Yes, it's clear that Dutch people are taller than non-Hispanic whites in the USA. I was responding specifically to Theophile's assertion that the Netherlands was as ethnically diverse.
posted by Justinian at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2013


Oh, I misunderstood. Sorry about that.
posted by metaBugs at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2013


I do have a very charming and self-deprecating friend who's easily 6'2" and always stands upright, whom people consistently remember as being a bit below average height.

This is great news for short charmless arseholes like me.
posted by colie at 9:40 AM on October 14, 2013


metaBugs: "It is really weird that a huge number of guys (including me, for a very long time) assume that the average height is about 6". We all have a good idea how tall we are, we constantly see how tall everyone around us is... and yet somehow we all think that the average is 2-3 inches taller than it actually is."

Apparently I'm about the same height as Tom Cruise, which makes me feel a bit better about my generally Toddesque physique.
posted by brundlefly at 9:41 AM on October 14, 2013


I know two Dutch men (Dutchmen OK?) who are over than 6'3, out of three Dutch men total in my retinue. I have also been to Dutchland and those bastards are tall! And everyone has a couple of bikes, which is a redeeming characteristic. What I don't understand is how, one country over, Belgium, the average man is 4 foot 9! Is it the beer?
posted by Mister_A at 9:42 AM on October 14, 2013


Belgians are constantly being stepped on by invading armies on their way to someplace else.
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on October 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I do have a very charming and self-deprecating friend who's easily 6'2" and always stands upright, whom people consistently remember as being a bit below average height.

This is great news for short charmless arseholes like me.


I once had a boyfriend with an enormous, charismatic force of personality (that is to say, NPD) who was, I thought, one or two inches taller than I am, at 5'7". It wasn't until we stood back to back in bare feet (on someone else's challenge) that I quite believed that he was in fact shorter than me.

So there is hope! Work out that ego of yours till it's huge, and the ladies will be all up ons!
posted by Countess Elena at 9:57 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is really weird that a huge number of guys (including me, for a very long time) assume that the average height is about 6".

I dunno how weird it is, though certainly incorrect. Confirmation bias exists, for one thing, but also, averages are averages--meaning huge numbers of people are taller than that or shorter, and maybe heights in the U.S. are regionally varied? I mean, most of the guys I know at the moment stand in the range of 5'10" and 6'1", and this has been true for some years now. My father was right at the average height and yet definitely came across as a rather short dude. (Possibly mostly in contrast to his 6" father, 6'9" brother in law, and my 6'2" husband?)

I certainly see shorter men around and about, but I'm much more likely to think of people I'm actually acquainted with, rather than strangers, when considering "how tall is a random dude likely to be".

It was genuinely surprising to me to learn that the average is so much shorter. (I am in the U.S., though in the Midwest, so possibly Nordic giants are overrepresented here?)
posted by like_a_friend at 9:59 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


All hispanics counted as white makes no sociological sense at all.

Why not? Hispanic is even more of a construct than most other ethnic categories. Hispanics are anywhere from white Europeans to Native Americans with most somewhere in between. I do know Latin Americans who are almost purely white European. It just shows how problematic race is. Are Spaniards Hispanic?

Where I live now in Britain, BTW , there is no ethnic category for Hispanic.
posted by vacapinta at 10:19 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not how tall you are that counts, it's the size of your feet. I may be getting shorter, but my feet are still big.
posted by mule98J at 11:39 AM on October 14, 2013


Hispanic is even more of a construct than most other ethnic categories

Eh, I don't see how this is any more or less a social construct than the One Drop Rule; Blood Quantum Laws; or just lumping most people of East, South, and SE Asia (which are ~3 billion people) under the umbrella term "Asian".
posted by FJT at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is really weird that a huge number of guys (including me, for a very long time) assume that the average height is about 6". We all have a good idea how tall we are, we constantly see how tall everyone around us is... and yet somehow we all think that the average is 2-3 inches taller than it actually is.

Hollywood has a long tradition of standing its leading men on boxes, that's why. Hand to God. That's why Christopher Lee couldn't work his way up the studio system in the traditional way as a second lead and got cast in character roles and as villains and monsters as a young actor - none of the established leading men at the time wanted somebody 6'5" playing their best friend/sidekick and making them look short.

More from the department of Making It All About Meee:

I come from a freakishly tall family. The only male relative I have of average height is the uncle who had polio as a toddler and didn't quite make it to six feet because his legs and lower spine didn't grow all the way. My sister is the exact average for American women, putting her three inches below the next shortest female relatve, for no reason we can figure. I have to keep reminding her that she's not short. And we recently did find a Dutch branch of the family tree.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:06 PM on October 14, 2013


Two things:

1. I'm half-Mexican, and when I was younger, I'd have anxiety over which box to check, because on the one hand, I have a very English last name, and I don't speak Spanish well, but on the other hand, I've never met the white side of my family, so it's like denying everyone from my mother onward, if I say I'm only white.

But then, at some point, the choices changed to something like: White (not Hispanic), and that made it easier, because I'm white AND Hispanic, so I just pick "Latino/Hispanic" whatever.

2. I'm a little older, thinner, and shorter than Todd, but if he asked me out for coffee, and I liked him otherwise, I'd say yes. He's just a hairy chest away from being a really fit bear .
posted by MoxieProxy at 12:09 PM on October 14, 2013


Todd; you have just done more to motivate me to get back to a stronger fitness routine and healthier diet than anything else I've been exposed to for years.
Thanks Todd!
posted by buzzman at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm 6'4" and I bought the house I did largely because the old people who used to own it installed those super tall handicapped person toilets and I took one look at them and squealed. Finally, I could shit in an actual sitting position instead of squatting on a hole in the floor.

Squatting is better for your digestive health and as a short lady, I shall never be able to poop at your house. Like, physically.

But maybe that's the point. To keep the shorties from pooping.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I woke up, read this article, and then immediately converted my measurements to metric and figured out my approximate BMI. I'm in my late 30s now and I do look more like Todd than I used to, so I was desparate to prove to myself that I really have a Dutch-shaped body. In the end, I was mostly succesful (I'm not quite as tall those Netherlanders), but I'm not happy. I hadn't realized before how insecure I am about the way I look.
posted by Area Man at 1:09 PM on October 14, 2013


All the Todds look adequately healthy and fuckable. Major check plus, nature and society. Though I guess some god-like and/or tragically deformed men might have been dragging the average up/down, so who knows how "typical" Todd is.

My heart goes out to the devastated person now chucking his pitch for a male-centric follow up to "French Women Don't Get Fat."

My heart does not go out to the people trying to convince themselves that all the little children in Lake Wobegon, aka all the guys on Metafilter or related to those on Metafilter, are above average. Maybe they are and maybe they're not but honestly #whitepeopleproblems.
posted by rue72 at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I look uncannily like the average French man. Same hairstyle, build and facial features, nails my waistline and height. My Facebook status is full of mild ribbing. FML.
posted by humanfont at 2:22 PM on October 14, 2013



My heart does not go out to the people trying to convince themselves that all the little children in Lake Wobegon, aka all the guys on Metafilter or related to those on Metafilter, are above average. Maybe they are and maybe they're not but honestly #whitepeopleproblems.


What?
posted by sweetkid at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


What?

I don't know. I think it might be somebody's shell script gone awry.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I must admit I don't understand it either.
posted by Justinian at 2:52 PM on October 14, 2013


I look uncannily like the average French man. Same hairstyle, build and facial features, nails my waistline and height. My Facebook status is full of mild ribbing. FML.

FML actually began as Vie de Merde. Similarly, you began as an American.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:57 PM on October 14, 2013


T.O.D.D.: Typical, Ordinary Dude Design

Sequel to D.A.R.Y.L.
Prequel to C.H.U.D.
posted by The Deej at 3:01 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually, Todd may actually qualify as obese despite what his BMI says.
They studied 1,400 people and compared their BMI with a definitive measure: body fat percentage, determined by X-ray scans. BMI correctly predicted whether a person was obese (25 percent fat for men, 30 percent for women) just three-fifths of the time, and it was particularly inaccurate for women. The researchers propose changing the BMI obesity threshold (now at 30) to 24 for women, 28 for men.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:20 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, BMI is a demonstrably poor measure of health, fitness, body-fat levels, etc. (Although the article P-B-Z-M just posted has somewhat the opposite objection to BMI than the one I am used to seeing, that being "athletes are 'obese' but are actually quite lean!").

Reading the original article (while somewhat distracted), I kept wondering about how they made decisions about how both fat and lean tissue (and how much lean tissue) were distributed on "Todd's" "body." Did I miss something, or are they just extrapolating from BMI (average height, average weight) and average waist measurement?
posted by erlking at 8:42 PM on October 14, 2013


I AM A FRIKKIN' ADONIS APPARENTLY OR AT LEAST I WOULD BE IN AMERICA HOORAY but pretty bang-on average in the Netherlands, so whatever I guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:18 PM on October 14, 2013


has anyone noticed that US Todd as a much better ass than Netherlands Todd?
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on October 14, 2013


I suppose 'better' depends on what purpose that ass is put, though. Sitting comfortably is something I am confident AmeriTodd would excel at.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect people think the average height is higher than it really is because shorter people have a habit of wearing shoes that add an inch or two. I normally wear shoes with almost no lift, but I've got one pair that makes me feel like I'm towering over everyone, and when I wear them I really do notice how much shorter everyone else looks.
posted by aspo at 9:26 PM on October 14, 2013


. Sitting comfortably is something I am confident AmeriTodd would excel at.

Sure, lets say that's what it's for.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on October 14, 2013


And twerking, of course. That goes without saying.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:32 PM on October 14, 2013


I'm pretty sure twerking would be so alien to the nederlandish mindset as to be from Mars.
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2013


I'm pretty sure twerking would be so alien to the nederlandish mindset as to be from Mars.

Yeah, Dutch dancers are not likely twerk with Miley Cyrus. If they want to, they better get twerk on their hip swivel technique. And although they have a lot of pride in their foreign language skills, a lot of them in fact need twerk harder on their English.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:00 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure twerking would be so alien to the nederlandish mindset as to be from Mars.

Ah, but Germanic peoples' familiarity with the form runs deeper than you might expect:
Of course “twerk” comes from the German “Gesamtkunstwerk,” the fusion of all the arts into a single medium of dramatic expression.
- Jeff Greenstein
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:26 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just met a Frenchman who's temporarily working in our building. He towered in my doorway like some latter-day, Gallic James Arness, but with the voice of Charles Boyer. I still love you, American Todd, and Claude will be going home before Christmas, but I think my ovaries just grew back and smoked a pack of Gauloises each.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:17 AM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


FJT: "Eh, I don't see how this is any more or less a social construct than the One Drop Rule; Blood Quantum Laws; or just lumping most people of East, South, and SE Asia (which are ~3 billion people) under the umbrella term "Asian"."

All Hispanics aren't counted under white. They're counted under whatever they identify as their race.

desuetude: "...because Hispanic/Latino is a not a race, it's an ethnicity, which includes people who are white or native-tribe or black or (most commonly) some mix. See also: Arab."
posted by desuetude at 8:26 AM on October 15, 2013




This is great news for short charmless arseholes like me.


There is no hope assholes. But a short sweetheart of a guy with a wonderful heart, me and a lot of other women would sign up with that in a flat second without thinking twice.
posted by discopolo at 10:20 AM on October 15, 2013


yes, agreed no hope for assholes without some sort of un-assholing.
posted by sweetkid at 10:28 AM on October 15, 2013


Whole religions devote themselves to the un-assholing and even they backfire sometimes. I wish one solution worked for everyone, but it looks like we'll have to wait until R&D finishes the Catastrophic Self-Awareness Beam. Which, in any case, would backfire sometimes.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:36 PM on October 15, 2013


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