Having spent a good portion of my adult life as a Dating American, I’ve been noticing something for a long time. I’m sure everyone reading this has noticed the same thing. To a large percentage of the population, a whole lot of emphasis has been placed on the height of the different sexes.

It seems to be widely accepted that the “correct” order of things is for the man to always be taller than the woman. Sure sure, there are lots of exceptions out there, but nonetheless you can’t argue that the exceptions are almost always noted. There was a good chunk of time when, even if you actively avoided gossip columns and the like, you were bound to stumble across some headline stating that Katie is taller than Tom (gasp!).

 

Warning: laws of universe violated. Pat Robertson declares a state of emergency.

 

It’s even more clear in the online dating world. When it comes to online dating, one of the few places you can actually count on people being honest in their profiles is when they describe what they want. And though it’s far from the majority, one of the things that you’re bound to see every now and then is, “must be taller than me,” or the even more extreme, “must be taller than me in heels” (I’m assuming she means she’d be wearing heels, not him).

Now, just to be clear, I’m not questioning why this might be preferred. My question is why is it that for so many people it’s a total deal breaker? And not just for the women, a lot of men would never consider going out with a woman taller than him as well – though admittedly not to the same degree. I myself used to have a similar attitude that “it would be weird,” until one day I found myself dating a woman who was about four inches taller than me. And suddenly it became clear how ridiculous an issue it is.

“Taller than me” isn’t something like “Wants children” or “non-smoker.” At best it’s a secondary sexual characteristic. Not nothing. But not vital to a relationship. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the reasons it makes sense for taller men to seem more desirable:

Evolutionary: Regardless of your views on science, I think few can argue that we have an instinctive desire to be with those we believe will be better caretakers and create stronger children. This is what secondary sexual characteristics are all about. Taller guys can see the lion from further away, are probably stronger for when they have to deal with the lion up close, and are better able to dunk a basketball when the lion is running an effective zone defense.

“It Just Feels Better”: On the most basic level, this is about hugging someone. Since men tend to be larger, It just feels “more natural” for the man to be taller when locked in an embrace.

The Arm Candy Effect: I’d like to give the fairer sex the benefit of the doubt and say that for most, this is the least important aspect of the three listed. And yet I doubt many could argue that how we look in public isn’t at least a factor for many of us. There’s a really wonderful story about Sir Gawain’s wife on this subject, but it’s too much of a digression to go into here (here on the other hand…).

I’m sure there are more reasons, but it seems to me these are the big ones. And to be clear, I’m not actually arguing against any of them in terms of attractiveness. It’s a matter of deal breakers. Why is “taller than me” a deal breaker on the same level as “wants children,” while at the same time being totally accepted to the point of being expected. Whereas something like “no fatties” sounds rightfully offensive?

…but wait. This article isn’t about children, non-smokers or “fatties.” I promised you boobs, and boobs ye shall have.

 

As always, I defer to my friend Weird Al.

 

Imagine for just a moment that you’re flipping through a bunch of profiles on a dating site. And along the way you stumble across a guy who is pretty good looking, shares a lot of common interests with you, has a good job, and while describing his perfect woman tosses in one sentence saying, “Must have at least size C breasts.”

I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the overwhelming majority of women would be offended by this. Even those who actually meet the “Size C” requirement would think he’s a pig. The cries for his head would echo all over the Internet. And yet, is it really so different from the height question? Let’s look at our qualifiers again:

Evolutionary: This may come as a shock to some people, but breasts are also capable of producing sustenance ideally suited for babies. They’re also a visual cue from nature regarding fertility in general. Hey it’s science, people!!!

“It Just Feels Better”: Hugging… um… yeah.

The Arm Candy Effect: Do I really need to post an image for this?

 

Ok, if you insist.

 

And in my ponderings, I would add another one for both:

They both matter less when “lying down”: Whether you tilt your head up or down when kissing only matters, at most, when you’re standing up. And most of the men I’ve spoken to about this agree that whether they prefer larger or smaller breasts, the actual size matters less once they’re exposed to the light (or dark, as it were). Nude beaches really aren’t as interesting as people think.

Now take a quick look at the article I snipped that last pic from. Who on Earth would look at that picture and write a headline and three-and-a-half paragraphs about her height, show the image itself, and then way at the bottom add, “…it was impossible not to notice the 32-year-old actress’ very visible cleavage?” And why is it that the article on Tom and Katie I showed above is considered par for the course, whereas something like the following would be considered bad taste:

 

To think, he almost destroyed a couch for this woman.

 

I put it to you, gentle readers. Setting aside the more understandable deal breakers like, “She thinks The DaVinci Code is the most amazingest book EVER!!!” why are some more arbitrary deal breakers considered perfectly acceptable by society, and others are considered absurd or offensive?

And if any of those gentle readers know of large-breasted taller women, be sure and send me their information as well. You know… for science.

Advertisements