Don’t body-shame people because of their height

It’s as rude as asking someone their weight

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor


Here’s a depressing trend I’ve noticed on Tinder and other dating sites: People, especially men, including their height in their bios and following it with a “because apparently that matters,” or “since so many people care.” I think it’s sad that so many people are asked about their heights often enough that they have opted to just put it in their bios. Most of us are aware of how rude it is to ask about or judge people based on their weight, so why is it okay to do the same in the case of someone’s height?

It’s body-shaming—plain and simple. In both cases you’re judging someone based off of physical attributes, often entirely outside of their control, and deeming them unattractive because they are not a desirable height or weight. Obviously, you have to be attracted to the person to want to go out with them, but I don’t think it’s right that some people should reject potential suitors outright just because they aren’t taller than them. Judging people so quickly on their physical features is rude and shallow no matter who you are.

In particular, short men often literally get the short end of the stick in the hetero dating scene as most women claim to prefer men who are taller than them. Some even go as far as to say they won’t date anyone shorter than six feet. Because of this partiality to tall men, shorter men will sometimes add a couple of inches to their profile descriptions to have better luck with online dating. I know it’s just a product of our shallow dating culture, but I think it’s horrible that anyone should have to lie about something as insignificant as their height to get any attention.

Isn’t this height selectiveness a weird standard to hold? Height isn’t something that you can change or control, and it can make anyone feel inadequate or undesirable just because they weren’t born of average or even above average height. I’ve even heard some say that shorter men are less manly, which is a ridiculous generalization. Since when does height determine manliness?

Like I said, being physically attracted to someone is important and being tall is often a characteristic attributed to attractiveness. However, if you’re attracted to them and they have the same interests and values as you, so what if they’re not taller? A potential partner’s height shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all when you’re considering a potential mate. You may end up having a great time with them or they could even be your soulmate for all you know. However, because some people have this obsession with only dating tall people , they may never know.

Women being attracted to taller men is nothing new. One 2008 study by the journal of Personality and Individual Differences states that, in early civilizations, height may have been an evolutionarily or biologically attractive feature; ancestral women may have preferred men taller than them because it meant they could protect and provide for them. However, in our present-day society our requirements for success have clearly changed. The study then states that social norms play a significant part in shaping what is considered desirable in a partner—so we have no excuse to abide by and continue to perpetuate the notion that taller men are inherently more attractive or better partners.

There are a lot of attractive and great short men in the world (Bruno Mars, Prince, and Danny DeVito to name a few) and it’s not fair to deem them, or any man for that matter, unattractive simply because society has some absurd expectation for them to be taller.

Asking about someone’s height or weight perpetuates the idea that certain weights and heights are more desirable. It’s rude and shallow to put so much emphasis on someone’s physical features. If things like height or weight matter a great deal to you, you may want to reconsider your values.