Photo : Tarquinius Superbus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, depicting the king receiving a laurel; the poppies in the foreground refer to the "tall poppy" allegory. Copied from : Wikipedia
[Periander] had sent a herald to Thrasybulus and inquired in what way he would best and most safely govern his city. Thrasybulus led the man who had come from Periander outside the town, and entered into a sown field. As he walked through the wheat, continually asking why the messenger had come to him from Cypselus, he kept cutting off all the tallest ears of wheat which he could see, and throwing them away, until he had destroyed the best and richest part of the crop. Then, after passing through the place and speaking no word of counsel, he sent the herald away. When the herald returned to Cypselus, Periander desired to hear what counsel he brought, but the man said that Thrasybulus had given him none. The herald added that it was a strange man to whom he had been sent, a madman and a destroyer of his own possessions, telling Periander what he had seen Thrasybulus do. Periander, however, understood what had been done, and perceived that Thrasybulus had counselled him to slay those of his townsmen who were outstanding in influence or ability; with that he began to deal with his citizens in an evil manner...................Of the Australian definition, Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald writes, "(Australian) citizens know that some among them will have more power and money than others... But according to the unspoken national ethos, no Australian is permitted to assume that he or she is better than any other Australian.
— Herodotus, The Histories, Book 5, 92-f
How is this enforced?
By the prompt corrective of levelling derision. It has a name—The "Tall Poppy Syndrome".
The tallest flowers in the field will be cut down to the same size as all the others. This is sometimes misunderstood... It isn't success that offends Australians. It's the affront committed by anyone who starts to put on superior airs"
KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Malaysian internet users have come to the defence of Natasha Qisty Mohd Ridzuan who is being criticised for wearing cosmetics during an interview about her straight-A results in the 2016 Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examination.
The student from Kolej Tunku Kurshiah in Negri Sembilan was also denounced for purportedly speaking with a foreign accent as well as her attire during the interview with state news agency Bernama.
Most comments expressed either disapproval of her appearance or claimed that she will rely more on her beauty than her intelligence to succeed.........
“This is why Malaysia finds it so hard to progress, so many uneducated people yet so powerful when it comes to bashing others,” he wrote.