Why Is It Weird When Your Boyfriend Is Not As Tall As You Are?

Illustration for article titled Why Is It Weird When Your Boyfriend Is Not As Tall As You Are?

In today's Guardian, Zoe Williams writes about tall women and short men. "There are all sorts of inequalities within relationships," argues Williams, "but nothing so unfailingly tickles the world as the woman being taller." Williams herself is 5'10" and admits that "some men have, tragically, been off limits because I worried that I might scare them." When it comes to women earning more money, or being smarter or thinner, we don't really blink anymore. But why do we feel that a man has to be taller than a woman, even if just by an inch? Is there something hardwired inside of us from ancient, primal days, in which we'd expect a cave-gentleman to leap in front of a woolly mammoth on our behalf?


One way to make a taller woman/shorter man pairing socially acceptable is "if the woman is tall and the man is incredibly beefy, so that their weight differential is stacked conventionally in his favor," writes Williams. "Even though Nicole Kidman is substantially taller than Tom Cruise, she is so waif-like that society as a whole wasn't that bothered by their marriage." The celebrity couple who prompted Williams' essay is that of model Sophie Dahl and Brit jazz pianist Jaime Cullum (above). Sophie is seven inches taller and magazines in the UK have written that "she's going to get backache stooping down for a kiss." No one ever says that kind of crap about Tony Parker or Kobe Bryant or any tall dude with a smaller woman. We were trying to think of some more well-known examples of women who "tower" over their guys, but only came up with, uh, Snow White and her seven height-challenged boyfriends. Anyone else, guys?

What's Wrong With Tall Women Dating Short Men? [Guardian]

Sophie Dahl Dating Jamie Cullum [Marie Claire UK]



OK...I'm 5'6", and I tend to prefer guys who are between 5'9" and 6'. Really tall dudes don't do that much for me.

Either I don't really like feeling like "the little woman" or it feels like incest (my dad was 6'3").

My mom was 5'2" and they always looked ridiculous to me. they're divorced now.