He happens to be shorter than me.
As I’m 5’5″ and therefore not particularly tall, I found this somewhat surprising at first. Of course, as we had met online first and I had facebook stalked him and looked at all his pictures, no lack of inches could make him un-cute. But the fact that height might make any sort of difference got me thinking.
Height seems to be a major requirement for girls. I have one friend who is 5’10” and she’s quite adamant about having a guy taller than her, which is quite difficult in NYC. Men seem to be on the shorter side here. My best friend has often expounded on the idea of not being able to date someone shorter than her. There’s a whole Sex and the City episode about how Samantha meets a short guy and ultimately can’t handle the fact that he’s short *despite* the fact that she enjoys his company both with and without clothes on.
When you think about it, though, height seems to be a really odd requirement in a mate. Does being tall make someone a better person? Better looking? There are plenty of not so hot tall guys and super hot shorter guys. Yet a guy’s height can often (but not always–see: Tom Cruise back when he wasn’t a freaknut) impact how sexy he is to women.
So now I’m asking the question–why? Why is height–or more specifically, lack thereof–something to be overcome?
My theory–it has nothing to do with the guy and everything to do with the girl.
Note the fact that there is not a particular height which is considered acceptable. It’s always relative to the girl. A 5’7″ guy poses no height issues for me, but does to my best friend, who is 5’7″ herself.
We can pretend it’s the 21st century, and women are now the enlightened sex, crying things like forget the ‘fairer sex’ bullshit. Chivalry is dead. We’re smashing through the glass ceiling. Etc. etc. But at the end of the day, the idea of having a guy who’s taller means the girl can feel protected by his supposed strength. Moreover, she can feel more delicate and feminine. The latter is something I’ve heard from my taller girl friends. They hate being tall because they feel ‘too big’–the idea is still to be small and dainty.
There are some obvious flaws in logic with this way of thinking. For example, height does not equal strength. My ex was a fair few inches taller than me and I could have snapped him like a twig. He was so skinny I could never feel delicate next to him. Not to mention the paradox of wanting equality but not really wanting equality, which is a can of worms worthy of a doctoral dissertation. We can list all we want, but I sincerely doubt it’s going to change the mindset about wanting to be more delicate and feminine and to feel protected. I’m no exception–I spend a lot of time emphasizing my femininity and embracing pink. I actively want to be a girly girl.
But here’s what I’ve learned: height does not make this happen. I do not feel like a huge heffalump next to him. Rather, I fit right into the nook of his arm. I curl up with him and he puts his arm around me and I feel sheltered. He’ll come up behind me and lean over me at the computer, or put his arm around my waist (a particular weakness of mine), and I feel all warm and fuzzy and feminine. Maybe even a little bit dainty. I don’t notice the difference when we kiss, and if we are seated or lying down, the difference doesn’t exist at all. I am very definitely the girl, and with a small (ha) twinge of embarrassment, I’m very happy with things that way.
In short, size doesn’t matter–at least in the height respect. As for other areas, I make no comment, but I’m certainly not making any complaint, either.