Gossip Girl star Blake Lively this week stated her criteria for any potential boyfriends. Whilst perpetual favourite “good sense of humour” was of course stated, Lively also listed one of her requirements as height. At 5 foot 10, and with a stated preference for wearing heels, Lively pretty much ruled out any man under 6 feet tall as a future partner stating that she would not like to be with someone smaller than her and did not “want to feel like the man”. The question is – is she right to do this? And also, would it be fair for men to apply such height based rules for dating too?
Lively seems to be at odds with a number of famous celebrities who think nothing of dating shorter men – Tom Cruise is one example of a relatively short guy who has a history of dating taller women than him, including Katie Holmes and Nicole Kidman, who are not afraid to wear heels and wedges. Another example is the statuesque model Sophie Dahl who has no qualms with the height difference between herself and the pianist Jamie Cullum. Why is height such an important consideration to some women and not others?
For some, the problem can arise when, as part of a mismatched couple, they are out in public, particularly at formal events, and the lady is wearing heels – when the height difference reaches a few inches or more, the effect can be the lady is left feeling lanky and awkward; the problem is a shared one caused by height differences and to many women there is no solution to this except exclusively dating taller men. Women with more confidence in themselves may take a different approach to the situation with the belief that laid down in bed, a couple will be roughly the same height. Other women would consider giving up their heels so as to not accentuate any height difference between themselves and the partner but many will plump for their footwear if giving the choice between their shoes and a smaller man.
On the other side of the coin a lot of men would not consider dating a woman taller than themselves due to their own confidence issues – for some such a relationship is still considered taboo and a man entering such a relationship could leave himself open to risk of ridicule and feelings of emasculation. The aforementioned Tom Cruise is one such man who has faced routine jokes about his height which come about, in part, due to the fact he is made to look smaller by dating tall women.
The question, ultimately, is why would someone rule out a potential partner entirely on the basis of height? Although it can be a factor in choosing a partner – and it is undoubtedly true that taller men can help women feel safer and more protected – it seems strange that any one criteria could be a possible deal breaker when it comes to deciding future relationships. Women only considering dating tall men would be similar to men stating they would only date blond ladies; it seems somewhat crazy to cull so many potential relationships so quickly. Yet these prejudices are both true and real. There are, however, a number of pint sized men who have proven, through the years, that size is not an always integral way to win the attention of women. Prince, at 5’2”, is one such example (although it must be stated he often wears platformed heels and wedges to add a few inches to his frame).
In short, although some may consider Lively’s choice at ruling out so many potential partners from her future a foolish choice it is entirely her prerogative. Similarly were a shorter guy to rule out a lady as a potential partner due to her height that is his choice too. If a woman is not physically attracted to a man shorter than her then there is no point for him to cry over spilt milk as there is nothing he can do about that – he would be best focusing his energy elsewhere towards women who do not have such considerations.