Poor Sarko. As we are all very much aware, Carla Bruni in particular, the current French President Nicholas Sarkozy is suffering from a chronic case of what is called affectionately ‘Small Small Syndrome.’ This, in essence, is something of a psychological disorder in which one is not only frightfully self conscious of one’s petit figure, but also crippled by an overwhelming paranoia. It’s the overwhelming paranoia that everyone in the entire world, who is even marginally taller than you, is ridiculing you. Intensely. Such is the case for old Sarkozy, who has provoked an enormous amount of media speculation about the unfortunate affliction- his height- which he feels has dogged his entire political career.
There is an interesting conflation of cause and effect dancing in this circle, one could assert. Sarko seems to be under the impression that unless his lack of height is bien caché at all costs, his global reputation will implode, his identity cast into the murky pits of ridicule, low self esteem and general gnashing of teeth. This has become evident on numerous occasions. Perhaps the most intriguing was a nuclear conference- they won’t admit it, but the French just adore their nuclear power-at which all attending scientists were vetted regarding their size. Sarko had panicked that, should he be photographed on stage alongside anyone of average height, his great secret of not being particularly tall would be compromised – he would suffer a great deal. Therefore, no one who exceeded the not so lofty height of 5’’5 was permitted on-stage. Those lucky scientists who did happen to exist at a height beyond this figure were nonetheless forbidden to wear high heels.
High heels, in fact, truly are a pet-hate of old Sarko. He seems to absolutely despise them. He despises them so much, in fact, that until recently even his beloved (or perhaps not so beloved, time will tell) wife (watch this space) has been forbidden to wear such elegant footwear. Poor Carla had admirably agreed to wear flat soled shoes whenever appearing in public with dear Sarko, and until very recently, he seemed to think that this had solved the problem. Finally, the nail in the coffin for him, it seems, is the fact that at only 5’’5, the French president stands shorter than Napoleon, who was of course well remembered for lacking in stature.
However, the length between Sarko’s feet and the top of his head is not, ironically, the problem with Sarko. Most people are far more concerned with his dubious right wing politics and penchant for deporting vulnerable young immigrants into an uncertain future. In other words, the problem with Sarko is Sarko’s policies, and his height is at best peripheral to this. Had old Sarko not made such a song and dance of attempting to conceal his height, then the problem, and this somewhat inflammatory article, would probably not exist in the first place. Had Sarko ‘ridden out’ initial finger pointing, giggling, and the odd poke of fun at his height, then the blows to his self esteem would eventually have evaporated. However, it’s his constant efforts to conceal this rather insignificant flaw which has brought such ridicule down upon his shiny head. So spare a thought for Sarkozy and his chronic self-consciousness this Easter. He sort of deserves it.