The height issue and self-confidence

I was reading a piece about short kings a new coined term for short men.

The whole thing is about how men under 6ft tall are always the brunt of jokes and bullying. There’s also some critical points about the way society,  masculinity and our culture thinks about short men.

Sizeism is hard to avoid on dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder, where users commonly forbid men under 6ft from contacting them. Tinder even made a 2019 April Fool’s joke about launching a “height verification” update that would prevent guys from exaggerating their stature.

Yet short-shaming isn’t harmless. “There’s a host of studies that show short men are stigmatized in many ways, not only in people’s perception, but in actual real world outcomes as well,” says Joseph Vandello, a social psychologist at the University of Southern Florida. “People perceive shorter men as having fewer leadership qualities,” he says, citing findings that majority of American CEOs are over 6ft in and voters prefer tall presidential candidates (including, at 6ft 2in, Trump).

All this starts early – even in kindergarten, studies have found, teachers perceive the shortest boys in their class as less academically capable than their peers.

Height is also perceived to correlate directly with masculinity. As Vandello explains: “Because of [the correlation between height and perceived masculinity], a lot of men feel kind of a chronic sense of anxiety and uncertainty about their manhood status.” Insecurity generally manifests in oversensitivity to insult (which may contribute to the stereotype of short men as angry, resentful, over-compensating Napoleons.)

I’m almost 6ft tall at 5ft 11 so rarely gotten much of the criticism of others much shorter than myself.

It got me thinking about a few things related to height in the past. Okcupids the big lies people tell in online dating and also the discussion we had on BBC Radio Merseyside about height. Even then, I was thinking there’s got to be a connection with self confidence here, for example a lot of the women I spoke to who couldn’t imagine dating someone shorter than them was shocking. Likewise men who wouldn’t dare date someone taller was equally shocking. This is where I started keeping a rough tally on how self-confident they appeared, and it seemed my rough theory might have something about it?

Like many short men, Steven recalls an adolescence spent believing masculinity was defined by a set of immutable characteristics – like being tall and imposing – and that by not fitting that ideal he was “kind of cursed.”

But as he grew up, he began thinking about manhood as something he could develop by embodying his values, rather than a blunt appraisal of his physical self. “I think to be masculine, to be manly, whatever that word means, is about doing good in the world. It’s about contributing. It’s about finding a way to serve other people, to be kind, to be strong in defense of those who need strength in their corner. The more masculinity is an idea of service the more I think it is helpful.

Now happily committed to a taller woman, Brendan hardly thinks about his height at all. “Once you get into that sense of self-confidence the height issue kind of melts away,” he says.

The Height debate on BBC Merseyside

BBC Merseyside's Upfront

Third time on BBC Merseyside’s upfront with Ngunan and Jody. This time the topic centred around the height issue.

You can find the show on BBC iplayer for another 6 days.You need to start about 1hour 6mins in the stream.

I have also added it to archive.org and removed the music.

Its a good fun debate and although were laughing most of the way through, there is the serious side which only hits Ngunan when Jody pointed out how it works in online dating. You rule out a massive selection of potential people just because they are not your ideal height. It was also great to have Ngunan’s other guests who were a gay couple and gave us a view from the gay perspective.

Don’t worry we’ll be back on Upfront in the new year with other topics of interest

Radio Merseyside: the height debate

Self Portrait School Assignment.

I’m on BBC Merseyside radio again with Jody and Ngunan tonight (Sunday 17th November). This time its the height debate…

To be very clear this is the debate.

How many women would go out with someone shorter than themselves?

How many men would go out with someone taller than themselves?

Why in 2013 is this still a issue beyond seeking perfection?

I wrote about this before, but it was mixed up in a number of other issues. Of course I’m taking the modern/progressive view that it shouldn’t really matter but I do get that its a real issue for many people. I’m lucky being almost 6ft tall, so I generally tower over most women even with heels on. Some would suggest this is all frankly stupid but you can’t avoid the fact society, the media and our social circles all point to a man should be taller than a woman.

This therefore means there is a raft of tall women who are imminently discriminated against. And of course a ton of men who are also discriminated against, simply because they don’t match the stereotypical height. This is a crying shame… And what for? The search for perfection?

Interestingly from the rules revisited

The perfect height for a woman is somewhere between 5′ 2″ and 5′ 6″. Most women think this is too short, but this is only because they misunderstand what men like about women. In this range, a woman can be sexy in heels without being too tall and cute without them. Men love women with the ability to be both.

Disclaimer: I am 6′ 2″ and this is only my opinion. The important part is the last sentence.

Even I have to admit although I love tall women, my longer relationships have been with shorter women usually between 5ft 1 and 5ft 5. Its certainly not like I seek them out, it just has been in the past. I would prefer a women about my height, so I don’t have to bend down all the time. (actually have a funny or somewhat funny story about this when I was at school). Heels I have to admit are nice, so if she was taller in heels or even without it wouldn’t be a problem for me. But I would expect some comments from people about the fact she was taller. Why is that?

You can listen live online or with the BBC iplayer app and of course it will be on BBC iplayer catch up for a week afterwards. I’m hoping we can take some calls too, as there usually lots of fun. I’ll also make a archive of it again as usual.

The height factor?

Tall woman (photo: Marion) #floreo #panni

Josh sent me a link to this survey of people in the UK and more interestingly the height factor.

“Love the way you (don’t) lie: Manchester men among most honest online daters in UK, survey reveals”

Dating site WhatsYourPrice.com, which allows members to bid for their dates, released a survey about how often people lie on their online dating profiles. The study asked 15,200 UK members, and Manchester came out in the top five in honesty. The poll revealed that 82% of Manchester men are honest on their profiles, ranking them fourth highest in the country. Manchester women came in at sixth with 78% being honest. The study found that overall 34% of women and 21% of men lie on their online dating profiles.

Ok so nothing new there…

Embellishments included in online profiles can range from small tweaks such as adding a few inches onto height to fabrications of fictional identities. The study shows however, that women most frequently lie about their age and career, while men are most likely to lie about their height and career. Founder and CEO of WhatsYourPrice.com Brandon Wade said: “It’s interesting, though not surprising, that men are lying about their careers. “In this economy, it is very likely that a man is unsatisfied with his career, and might embellish his online dating profile as he would a resume to make himself more appealing.”

Interesting height still matters for a number of a reasons… I know men who wont date anyone taller than themselves Okcupid has something to say about this too

REALITY: People are two inches shorter in real life.

Okcupid has tons of interesting stats to answer the question Do taller guys have more sex? The answer, to a degree, is yes, and they then expand on it… But whats even more interesting is the fact 5′ 4″ woman gets 60 more contacts each year than a six-footer.

It’s plain from these two charts that women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message. The data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6′ 0″ woman to her 5′ 4″ counterpart: the taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners.

But back to the other post…

Dating expert Alex Mellor-Brook of Select Personal Introductions, Manchester, says that the survey shows how difficult the dating game has become. He said: “It’s great that the guys in Manchester are doing so well in telling the truth.

“I can understand height being a point that guy’s lie about.

“It is one of the main criteria that would be high on a woman’s wish list.

“Fashion has a lot to do with this, as shoes get higher, women do not want to be towering over their guy.

So generally, Men prefer shorter women and women prefer tall men? (not saying I do personally) Thats got to suck for the short guys, specially with the trend to towards women with bigger and taller platforms shoes… But what I’m more interested in the fact height factors really high in the list when it could be a problem.

Even when Year of making love experts (if you can call them that and thanks to Pebaline for spotting our YOML expert sticking his nose in on other stuff) were shocked by the reaction of couples who had an unbalanced in height towards the female.

Single black male have a ton of reasons and also ask the same question. The ones which is most cutting and which seems to go through most peoples minds is…

Masculinity In her own words “Being tall gives you that athletic persona, and makes you more of a man”.

There seems to be a height factor…Superficial, stupid, old fashioned? like it or not…