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Height vs Heart: Kenyan women share candid thoughts on dating short men

Is height a deal-breaker when it comes to love?

Many of us have heard the phrase “tall, dark, and handsome” when describing the ideal partner, but what about those who don’t fit this traditional mold? 

I have been in conversation circles where women talked about how they’d never consider dating a short man. How they just can’t get themselves to be attracted to a short man or a man that’s shorter than them even if they tried.

And being a woman who has grown up watching telenovelas and romance movies where the ideal dream guy had to be taller than the woman, I understand why this is a deal breaker for many women. However, I have also had conversations with short men who shared how hurtful it is to be rejected by a woman because of height yet they greatly qualify in all other aspects. It’s really hurtful to short men who don’t get to choose what height to be born at. Also, society has normalized it, such that if a girl says she doesn’t like a guy because he’s short it’s considered understandable. When did we get here?

To me, it’s so similar to when guys say they don’t like girls with darker skin tones because just like height, no one chooses the skin tone to be born in. Except making this statement is taboo

When it comes to dating in 2023, personal preferences on the topic of height has become a topic of great consideration and has surprisingly taken center stage. What exactly happens when short men find themselves at a disadvantage in the dating scene? Are they destined for heartache, or can love truly conquer all? We sat down with some Kenyan women who opened up about their experiences and shared their honest opinions on dating shorter men.

In a society that places a premium on height, short men often find themselves navigating a dating landscape with its own unique set of challenges. Sylvia Waithera, one of the women we spoke to, lamented, “I’ve had a short guy before. He represented the short people association well. Just like his height, he had a short fuse. Got intimidated when I wore heels and discouraged me from wearing them on our dates.” She further added, “His dick was just like his height. Don’t get me started on bending to kiss. Hugging my chest because he couldn’t get that high. The list is endless.”

Christine Njoki likened the disadvantages faced by short men to those experienced by skinny women. She remarked, “Short guy disadvantage in men is almost equivalent to skinny woman disadvantage in women. In reality, these groups score just as much, and sometimes even more than the average tall guy or big booty.” It’s evident that societal ideals of attractiveness can have a profound impact on our romantic preferences.

Ivy Claire shared her perspective, shedding light on the complexities of dating shorter men. “That’s not it… Short men are really hard to deal with… they reflect their insecurities onto you. I think they feel less than the average-height man, so everything is seen as you trying to look down on them… you literally have to walk on eggshells around them, and it’s very tiring.” This raises an essential question: do height-related insecurities affect the dynamics of a relationship and, if so, how?

Yvonne Awiti emphasized the challenges that short men face, stating, “If you are short, the game is rigged against you. You have to work three times as hard as someone taller, get jacked, have more money, and your life is on a proper heading to stand a chance. Otherwise, women shorter than the shortest guy will still sneer at him.” It appears that societal expectations place immense pressure on short men to compensate for their perceived physical shortcomings.

June Mwikali, on a more lighthearted note, shared her own humorous take on dating a short man. She quipped, “I also once dated a short man, and let me tell you, Maina, never again. He was short everywhere, from his thinking capacity to his thingy. Yaani, never again. The only thing that was long was his hairline.” While humor can provide a temporary reprieve from the topic, it underscores the prevalent stereotypes and stigmas associated with dating shorter men.

The dating scene can be challenging for individuals who don’t fit society’s traditional standards of attractiveness, and height is just one aspect of this complex equation. As our conversations with these Kenyan women have revealed, dating shorter men comes with its own set of joys and challenges. While some women may find it difficult to overlook height, others believe that true love transcends physical attributes.

It’s essential to remember that everyone deserves love and respect, regardless of their height. Ultimately, the decision to date someone should be based on compatibility, shared values, and emotional connection rather than superficial criteria. Society may have its preferences, but it’s up to individuals to challenge these norms and embrace love in all its diverse forms, proving that when it comes to matters of the heart, height should never be the sole measure of a person’s worth.

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