"Shorter is better." Female readers extol the virtues of the undersized guy.

By Salon Staff
Published November 11, 2004 1:00PM (UTC)
main article image

[Read "Short and Sweet," by Curtis Sittenfeld]

My current boyfriend is 5'4" (to my 5'4") and I couldn't be happier with him. Nor could I care less about his height. I've dated men in the spectrum of vertical blessings (from 5'2" to 6'4") and really had no preference one way or another, as long as the men didn't have any hang-ups about their height (that was the most unattractive thing -- the hang-ups). But these days, when it comes down to it, he and I just fit together well: hugging, walking, kissing, in bed, whatever, you name it. Women who are not attracted to men if they are over or under a certain height, or who rule out dating these men for whatever reason, well, they're just missing out on that many more opportunities to meet someone great.

-- Nicole

Thank you, thank you, thank you for Curtis Sittenfeld's wonderful article on the appeal of shorter men. Since falling in love with a 5'6" man six months ago, I have found myself increasingly resentful of the idea our culture still imprints upon us that I need a Big Tall Man to protect and ever-feminize my Small Woman self, and that anyone who doesn't match the criteria is somehow deficient. I'm only 5'3"! Anything taller than 5'8" is just wasted on me!

What could possibly be subpar in my man because of his height? He's funny, wicked smart, even more socially and politically conscious than myself (no mean feat), personable, romantic and spontaneous, cute as all hell, and a demon in the sack. And he treats me like a queen.

The difference between my love and the unsuitable men I used to fling myself in front of in the name of some bizarre self-scripted story is night and day. But maybe it's exactly our ridiculous Prince Charming culture that makes shorter guys so appealing: They've always had to work a little bit harder than the big guys who coast through by virtue of their iconicity. Without fail, all the shorter men I've known were talented, successful, interesting, kind and funny, and all had gorgeous, strong, feisty wives. I'm glad my guy had the good sense to make the first move and shut my wishy-washy mouth with a red-hot first kiss; at that moment I suddenly realized everything I was missing. I'm so glad I gave the uncommon guy a chance. I've never been happier.

-- M. Riordan

An "underserved market" indeed. Thanks for the short-guy props!

-- Joe Caucci

My husband is 5'4". I'm 5'2". My ex was 5'9", and I can tell you that shorter is better.

My husband has absolutely converted me to the value of shorter men. He is a potent little package of masculinity -- perfectly proportional in every way, but just smaller than the average male. On top of it all, he has a gorgeous face, but because he grew up shorter than other men, he didn't get a big head about it. He had to learn how to really please a woman, emotionally, intellectually and, yes, sexually. He's a powerful man, short or not, and I'm glad I scored him.

Now, if we could only get clothing manufacturers to recognize his size!

-- Heather Lee Schroeder

I'm a 5'7" girl in her 20s, dating an amazing guy who is only an inch or so taller than me. He's brilliant, hilarious, accomplished and hot, and it upsets me that some of my friends write him off initially because he's under 6 feet. Your article was hilarious. I'll be sending it off to short-guy-lovers everywhere.

-- Alisa Richter

I'm an (apparently) short man, using online dating. It's almost impossible. Curtis Sittenfeld quoted from three women's dating ads who wanted guys in the 6-foot range. But all three of those women were at least 5'6" -- that's nothing!

I've been looking at ads from women who are 5'3" and shorter, and they still insist their man be 5'10" and up. One ad is from a woman who's 4'11", looking for a guy 6 feet tall. What the heck is that?

Am I a short man? I'm 5'8", average height as far as I know, and I'm sunk. It's pretty damn depressing.

-- A.B.

My first husband was 6'3", a former semipro baseball player, photogenic, funny and not eager to work for a living. My second husband, 6'2", was ruggedly handsome, witty, chronically unfaithful, and a pathological liar (wrong again!). I had decided to give up on men when my very persistent 5'8" now-husband convinced me that he was a real guy. A sensitive, brilliant, responsible guy. Yippee!

-- Brenda Kyzer

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------