Remember that “when he over 6 foot” Vine? At the time, it was such a joke amongst all of my friends, but it’s starting to become a reality. I catch myself swiping right more on guys who are taller, and swiping left as soon as I see a shorter height. That guy I swiped left on could be my soulmate, but I saw that he was my height or shorter and dipped out real fast. It makes me feel shallow and rude, but I talk to my girlfriends about it, and they all say the same thing, making me feel like what I’m doing is normal. But is it? I get upset when guys dismiss me for my physical appearance, so why do we act like it’s okay when we do it to them?
The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not really about their height. Yeah, it’s cute when a guy can look down at you and kiss your forehead or that they will always be able to reach your top shelf. However, I’m starting to find there’s more to why we all go instant heart eyes emoji over a tall guy.
Here’s why you should stop focusing on height and start focusing on what makes you so obsessed with it instead.
Find confidence in yourself first
It’s just a known thing among women that standing next to a guy who is shorter than we are makes us look bigger, and according to movies, TV and the media, women are told they’re supposed to be a certain size. Basically, it’s not about the guys — it’s about our own body insecurities. Being next to someone taller than us makes us feel petite. We want to feel pretty and confident when we stand next to our man. Instead of finding a guy who gives us that confidence, we really need to start feeling confident in ourselves, sans guy. If you can’t feel good about yourself on your own, how can you expect to fully accept and love someone else? The first step in feeling okay on your own? Make a list of all of your values and what they mean to you.
Get rid of all those notions of typical masculinity
Women have been taught for centuries that we’re meant to do the housework and bear the children, while the men make the money. We’ve made impeccable strides in this arena, it’s important to note how these roles still perpetuate even the strongest of feminist icons. There’s something about having a strong, tall man around, from holding me with his large arms while we watch The Bachelorette on my couch or knowing someone will always kill a bug if I need it.
News flash: you don’t need a man to do any of these things for you! Get a group of girlfriends together for Bachelor Mondays, or if you’re like me, make it your pamper night, rosé and a face mask always included. We can do things by ourselves, and you’ll feel even better about yourself once you realize you don’t always need some strong man around.
Be your own role model
Have you ever seen a movie where the male lead is shorter? I haven’t. The media portrays that this is how couples are supposed to look, and we’ve been seeing it our entire lives. Not one Disney Princess is taller than her Prince. (Patiently waiting for a plus sized princess @Disney!) When you see this type of couple over and over again, you just start to associate it with being the norm. If we want to see something happen, we have to do it ourselves. Go on a double date with your friends who all (literally) date up so they can meet your shorter guy! If everyone was so afraid of the norm, we’d probably still be looking for a guy who could tend to our farm for us.
Stop focusing solely on photos on dating apps
This one is really difficult because that’s how these apps have almost all been designed. You can swipe right or left without even reading someone’s (possibly very telling) bio! Instead, start making a point to read about them before you swipe left. And if you’re on Hinge, please stop looking at his height and deciding from there. Connection is what really matters in a relationship, so paying attention to if he makes you laugh or adheres to the values you decided on above is a better bet on if he’s for you. Also, don’t ask him how tall he is. Ask him these instead.
It’s a turn on, not a deal breaker
If I meet a guy who’s 6’5 but has no personality, it’s not gonna work out. If a guy seems like he could make a great partner for every reason except his height, I have no reason to write him off like that. When that preference turns into something more, that’s when you have to overhaul and unpack why you’re so obsessed with only dating guys who are tall.