Sarkozy gets a boost

At Saturday’s D-Day commemoration, French President Nicolas Sarkozy shared a podium with U.S. President Barack Obama, with predictable results. Yes, that’s a stool underneath the French leader, adding another height bump to his custom-made elevator shoes. As someone who’s bumped his head on many a doorframe, perhaps I’m not the best person to ask this, ...

585089_090610_sarkozy5.jpg
585089_090610_sarkozy5.jpg

At Saturday's D-Day commemoration, French President Nicolas Sarkozy shared a podium with U.S. President Barack Obama, with predictable results. Yes, that's a stool underneath the French leader, adding another height bump to his custom-made elevator shoes.

As someone who's bumped his head on many a doorframe, perhaps I'm not the best person to ask this, but will France and the rest of the world ever get over its fascination with Sarkozy's height? Probably not - the Times of London's Charles Bremner notes that Sarkozy has never ignored the role of height in his public image:

It's part of his view of himself as a scrappy outsider who had to fight harder than anyone to reach the top. During his 2007 election campaign he took pride in describing himself as "un petit Français de sang mêlé" -- a little Frenchman of mixed blood. Petit in this sense also means ordinary, but is still carries the image of height. Sarkozy likes to surround himself with small lieutenants, men such as Bernard Kouchner, the Foreign Minister, and Jean-Louis Borloo, who heads a super-ministry covering the environment and transport. His arch enemies, Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin, Chirac's former Prime Minister, are of tall, aristocratic build. Sarkozy always chooses tall women. All three of his wives have been taller than him. The latest one, Carla Bruni, a former super-model, wears flat-soled ballerina shoes and stoops in order to minimise her superior five-inches.

At Saturday’s D-Day commemoration, French President Nicolas Sarkozy shared a podium with U.S. President Barack Obama, with predictable results. Yes, that’s a stool underneath the French leader, adding another height bump to his custom-made elevator shoes.

As someone who’s bumped his head on many a doorframe, perhaps I’m not the best person to ask this, but will France and the rest of the world ever get over its fascination with Sarkozy’s height? Probably not – the Times of London’s Charles Bremner notes that Sarkozy has never ignored the role of height in his public image:

It’s part of his view of himself as a scrappy outsider who had to fight harder than anyone to reach the top. During his 2007 election campaign he took pride in describing himself as “un petit Français de sang mêlé” — a little Frenchman of mixed blood. Petit in this sense also means ordinary, but is still carries the image of height. Sarkozy likes to surround himself with small lieutenants, men such as Bernard Kouchner, the Foreign Minister, and Jean-Louis Borloo, who heads a super-ministry covering the environment and transport. His arch enemies, Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin, Chirac’s former Prime Minister, are of tall, aristocratic build. Sarkozy always chooses tall women. All three of his wives have been taller than him. The latest one, Carla Bruni, a former super-model, wears flat-soled ballerina shoes and stoops in order to minimise her superior five-inches.

Plus, Sarkozy’s not the only celebrity with this issue. Step forward, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, and even Prince.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

James Downie is an editorial researcher at FP.

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