Would You Date a Man Who's Shorter Than You?
My husband and I were at a friend's party when someone commented on the fact that I was a little taller: "I'd never marry a woman taller than me. Taller women look "too alpha" next to a shorter guy." He said it proudly, standing next to his petite wife who was smiling in agreement. Looking back, sure - it was a stupid remark from a narrow-minded moron, but it made me think.
I'm 5'7'' and I'm aware that most people perceive me as "tall". In fact, I enjoy it. Being a tall leggy blond kind of worked out for me, although when I was younger, I felt a bit awkward about it, hence the slouching habit. But I never really considered my height a disadvantage.
Am I missing something? Is there a tall woman bias? Are taller women considered less feminine and more "manly" perhaps?
To be clear, I have no prejudice the other way around. I've dated shorter guys. I've dater older guys. I've dated weird guys. I've dated snarky cerebral assholes - I'm pretty democratic in my dating approach (which is not the same as being indiscriminate). I've even dated a Republican. Once. By accident.
Kidding, lighten up. I would never date a Republican!
The point is, we can all be swayed by a pretty face and a good body, but a person's physical characteristics should be secondary to who they are and how they make you feel. Personally, I just dated people I was attracted to - those I found interesting, stimulating, mysterious, charming. Granted, also not the best approach - but at least it wasn't based on some stupid superficial attribute, like height.
So if you think you're too short, too fat, too hairy or too bald: know that the right person won't care about your height or weight or what you look like, because she'll be fascinated with your mind, your spark, your kindness, your sense of humor - everything that makes you YOU. And hopefully, you'll recognize that person when she/he comes around.
Still, I must admit that my gender is consistently prejudist against shorter guys, and short men in general.
"Like most animals, we're wired to associate height with power," so short guys...get the short end of the stick, excuse the awkward pun. What's worse, women are enforcing the notion that a guy has to be taller more than men do! Really, ladies?
I've heard women say with the same certainty as the party moron that they would NEVER date a shorter guy because they want to feel "frail" and "tiny" next to a guy, to know that he's bigger and stronger than them, so he can protect them. Similarly, guys often profess a preference for "shorties". This is infuriating to me.
Why would you want to feel small and frail? Why are women conditioned to be helpless and seek the man's strength and protection? Are we simply destined to be 'the weaker sex'?
I'm so sick of this pseudo-romantic notion of a 'damsel in distress'. You know what's romantic? A man who's not threatened by my strength, my intellect, and certainly not by my height. In exchange, I promise not to care about your height, the apparent lack of six-pack abs, or that bald spot you're trying so desperately to camouflage.
Think about it: how many short men became assholes to women because they were rejected so many times, or teased growing up? Consult your Ian Fleming, if you don't believe me:
“Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big - bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napoleon had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.”
Do we really need more Hitlers in the world?
Conversely, how many tall women harbor insecurities about their height, or give up on relationships altogether? And how many short women are tired of being patronized and infantilized because they are seen as cute and adorable, and not much else? Being a "shorty" can be a pain in the ass, too.
Ladies (and gentlemen), remember this: height is not something a person can control. It's mean and superficial to reject someone based solely on their height. To admit it and to even boast about your height "standards" in public is callous and idiotic, and speaks volumes about your character.
So can we all just shut up and get over our height hang-ups?
I understand that everyone has their preferences, but there is a fine line between preferences and prejudices. Find it.
Do You Think a Man Has to Be Taller Than a Woman?
© 2015 Lana Adler