The knight in shining armor must be the total dazzling package: charming, humble, honest and oddly enough, tall. Swooning over a man’s tall height is an absurd social phenomenon that rules some women’s taste in men, often serving as the deal-breaker to determine whether or not that man is dating material.
Pigeonholing men into worthy or unworthy categories based on traits they cannot control is demeaning. Men’s height should not be a defining factor in a romantic relationship; a glowing personality alongside other healthy and dependable qualities are better indicators that one has struck the jackpot.
The importance of a man’s height to women solidifies the social system of patriarchy, which views men as authority figures, said George Yancey, professor of sociology, in a news release by the University of North Texas.
“The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors,” Yancey said. “And in a society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value.”
However, when the roles are reversed and a woman in heels overshadows her man, it is socially perceived as awkward. Jeers and smirks from peers infiltrate the woman’s mind, pressuring her to cut ties with her short lover and venture into the playing field of tall men.
Yet, by reinforcing height stereotypes, the man’s insecurities are intensified, leaving them with low self-esteem.
“Notably, a negative association between height and height dissatisfaction has been demonstrated in undergraduate males, sexual minority samples, and in a sample of men recruited from an internet forum for short-statured individuals,” according to a 2021 article in the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute journal on obesities. This means that the shorter a man is, the more likely he is to be dissatisfied with his height.
Society shouldn’t devalue men of shorter stature. However, the current environment appears to only undermine short men who try to assert their masculinity.
In an interview with the Guardian, Joseph Vandello, a social psychologist at the University of Southern Florida said, “People perceive shorter men as having fewer leadership qualities.”
This social construct solely fuels tall men’s privilege. For instance, American voters prefer tall presidential candidates and American CEOs who are over 6 feet tall.
It becomes easy for women to gush at the giraffe-like height of men, but this obsession ostracizes short-statured men. This strips them of the opportunity to establish themselves as a potential romantic partner. Constant rejection from women questioning their manhood status only amplifies a chronic sense of anxiety for short men.
Shattering these intricate height stereotypes requires open-mindedness from seemingly picky women. Neglecting men under 6 feet limits the opportunities one has in establishing bonds in order to build a relationship. The tallness check box has to be eradicated from women’s fantasized dream man. Singling out men because of their height would lengthen the process for finding their true love.
Craning your neck toward a man devoid of exceptional characteristics is a lost cause. Tallness does not accurately convey a man's personality, it only creates an illusion for characteristics that may be disregarded during the dating process.
Prioritizing beauty and physical attractiveness reveals the shallowness of the individual seeking their forever sweetheart. Instead, let's encourage men with shorter stature. Our short kings deserve to feel confident in their skin and unveil their beauty within that has been greatly overlooked.
Dismantling height hierarchy and conventional expectations of manliness is crucial in the superficial dating realm. When mingling with a new man, never kick off the conversation with “How tall are you?” because not all tall men are remarkable. Height is of no significance to love.