By: Meredith Sparks
I have a general deal breaker when it comes to guys: a man has to be at least 5’10” for me to be remotely interested in him. That requirement would sound reasonable if I was an Amazon woman, but here’s the thing, I barely break 5’2.” I am one of those girls who could date a dude of any stature, but I prefer guys that tower above me. I’m not the only girl who’s guilty of loving tall men though. Women love tall men for superficial reasons like the ability to wear any height of heels around them. There’s nothing better than having to stand on your tippy toes to kiss a guy or being completely enveloped by his arms. Some petite women even say they feel more protected by tall men and tall men agree that dating a much shorter girl makes them feel more masculine.
The idea of tall being a sexually attractive trait has been propagated by the myth that taller guys are better hung. Also, think of the typical saying that describes a good-looking guy: tall, dark and handsome. Not average, dark and handsome, and definitely not short, dark and handsome. The keyword is tall. Hollywood popularized the idea of the tall sex symbol and the short men that don’t measure up are known to use every trick in the book to make them look taller. Actors like Tom Cruise and Robert Redford are known to wear “elevator shoes” that give them an extra 2 to 3 inches and they are often filmed standing on top of hidden platforms. HBO engraved the ultimate tall-short couple in women’s minds when they portrayed Carrie and Mr. Big in Sex & The City, with Sarah Jessica Parker a measly 5’2” and Chris Noth a lofty 6’2.” Carrie’s other main love interest in the series, Aidan, stood taller than Mr. Big at 6’4.” My favorite real life tall-short couples in the media include Sacha Baron Cohen at 6’3” with Isla Fisher at 5’2” and Reggie Bush at 6’ with Kim Kardashian at 5’2.” The biggest celebrity couple height difference came perhaps when Christina Ricci at 5’ became engaged to Owen Benjamin at 6’6.” The average male in the United States stands at about 5’9” and the average woman about 5’5”, so there is typically a 4 inch difference between men and women. When you look at couples like Christina Ricci and Owen Benjamin, it’s mind blowing to realize that they have over four times the average height difference between them.
The tall attraction isn’t just superficial though. It’s a part of natural selection and research has shown that women actively seek out tall men leaving a higher percentage of short men childless. The decision by a great deal of the female population, including me, to seek out taller men has led to society recognizing this form of prejudice as “heightism.” Don’t be angry with us females. Scientists have proven that “heightism” is instinctual because height is seen as a measure of health. Women perceive tall men as being more successful and intelligent than their shorter counterparts. Tall men statistically make higher salaries than short men, with an average of $789 more per inch. “Heightism” privileges tall men, which leads a lot of shorter men to develop a Napoleon complex or Little Man syndrome. Not all is lost for short men though and we all know that love is more than height or weight or any aspect of physical appearance, so short men still stand a chance with the ladies. But I know what I’m looking for and you better believe it’s tall, dark and handsome.