The New York Post reported recently on a new problem facing our city: “big-otry.” It’s pretty cool of the Post to acknowledge that “big-otry” is a problem, even though it won’t acknowledge homelessness as being one.
But so, it seems that virtually all women in New York share the opinion that dating a man under the height of 5’9″ is undesirable. As in, they flat-out won’t do it. Based on data gathered by the dating website Are You Interested, only 2.4% of women would even consider dating a man under 5’9″! The numbers are even worse in Manhattan and the Bronx (they are slightly better in New Jersey, however I will refrain from making any beggars-can’t-be-choosers jokes because that’s beneath me), where less than one in a hundred women would date a man of below average height.
I don’t like to hyperbolize (ha! yes I do), but this is INSANE. Obviously, these results are somewhat skewed, because the women on this dating site might be trying to attain some sort of ideal in the profile they create, and these same women might—in real life—be a little bit less picky, and care more about the personality of a man, rather than how tall he is. It is also possible that these women would have legitimate reasons not to want to date a short guy in real life, because for every Josh Hutcherson, there’s a Tom Cruise, by which I mean, some short guys (like some tall guys! like all guys! like all people!) are totally insane and have screwy personalities. But this isn’t about getting to know a guy and finding out he’s defective, this is about pre-judging men based on their height. And that’s actually pretty fucked up!
I don’t want to come across here as someone who would actually suggest dating someone based only on, you know, shared interests or compatible personalities. There’s so much more to a person than who he or she is on the inside, obviously. Physical attraction is incredibly important. But the thing is, physical attraction is mercurial…even if you’re someone who has always had a “type,” you’d be surprised at how quickly that can change when you meet the right person. Or even the wrong person! The heart (euphemism, obviously) wants what it wants. But even if you’re a woman who has always loved, oh I don’t know, dating someone whose stature is comparable to Gaston’s in Beauty and the Beast, rendering each hand-holding opportunity into a Disney-worthy moment, you might find out that being physcially dominated isn’t the only thing that turns you on, and that in fact, there’s nothing better than being at the exact same eye-level as the man you’re with, giving you the ability to stare right into his eyes, knowing that the lengths of your bodies are perfectly aligned, increasingly aware that the slightest move by either of you will take things somewhere totally new.
Anyway! I don’t know! I know that this is the most hetero-normative thing I’ve ever written. But also, I don’t know what you’re into. But then, maybe neither do you. All I’m saying, women of Brooklyn, is give short men a chance. Because, two words: Peter Dinklage.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen