Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Plight of the Short Man

Having spent every breath of my existence as a man of below average height, I'm well positioned to give a macro view of being micro. It is a tough life, and the worst part is that it is the one cosmetic defect no one has sympathy for.

You think fat people have it worse. Think again. Fat people have a buffet of folks taking up their cause. Books, magazines, support groups, after school specials, and all the daytime talk shows are constantly drawing attention to the way society treats the larden; especially those “big girls.” In school we had it drilled in our heads: "Don't make fun of big girls, or they'll end up with eating disorders!" I don't recall many counselors warning: "Make fun of short men, and we'll have a society full of Mustangs with 20-foot spoilers!”

Fat women do have it very rough. Slim chicks are worshipped in every way imaginable. Free drinks, undeserved job promotions, and lucrative scam marriages are just a few of the perks of being a size zero. And without a doubt, the fat chick zinger is a constant in our national chatter.

However, because any woman of any shape can always walk into any bar in the world at any hour and find a suitor, large women still have plenty of options (at least relative to short men). A sizable portion of males even prefer big women, so if the large lass lands a guy craving "more to love," she can eat her cake and be shaped like it too.

[Note there is no equivalent term of affection for short men. We aren't said to have "less to hate."]

What about fat men? While it might not be a picnic to be a fat gent, they are at least assumed to be jolly. This is why fat guys get to play Santa Claus; the bringer of joy to children everywhere. Meanwhile short men are left to play the tragic, wandering elves.

When it comes to judging appearance, one of society's quirks is the nonchalance with which women are free to admit they find short men unappealing. Consider how many commercials, magazine articles, and sitcom episodes you have seen unapologetically articulate the notion of women dismissing short men. If I'd grown a millimeter for every slam of this kind, I’d be chronicling the perils of being 40-feet tall.

[Note how the media is harangued for "making women hate their bodies" and compare it to the silence about the media's bluntly negative take on short men.]

It isn’t just isolated to the media. Repeatedly I have had women I'd known for all of ten minutes casually volunteer that they would never go for a short man…without my soliciting their opinion on the subject. A few even used me as an example, as in, "I would never date a short guy. You know, someone like you."

These weren't women I was trying to pick up. They were strangers I just happened to be around. Apparently, they assumed their total lack of interest in short men was essential to introductory conversation.

NOW...just imagine if I were sitting at a table with a big girl I had just met, and I said I found fat women less than luscious while using the big girl as a king-sized prop…the room would freeze and everyone within a 50-mile radius would despise me for the rest of my life. A few schemers would even use my comment as a opportunity to hook up. "Can you believe that guy? What year is it? Guys like him make me embarrassed to be a man. Did I mention I drive a hybrid? Sure it has a backseat..."

But when a short guy is the target, not only does no one notice, but if the short man protests even slightly, he gets bashed for not being a "good sport.” "Where's your sense of humor?" the hypocrites chant. Predictably, they always end up claiming the short man's supposed inability to laugh at himself is symptomatic of his lack of height.

The reasons chicks don't dig short men aren't cryptic. It is more nature than nurture, and has to do with concern about the next generation. The pomp and circumstance of courtship is just a scenic route towards potential reproduction, and no woman wants short kids. This means that at 5'5", I have to undo 200,000 years of evolutionary training to ignite her loins. For those wondering why I look so tired after dates, there’s your answer.

So what is a 5'5" bloke to do? Do I target women hovering around the 5'0" mark? Not unless I want to be a monk the rest of my life. Really short women are even more conscious of height, because they know if they don't breed with some Paul Bunyan clone they're bound to crank out a litter of hobbits.

That is why I defer to Payne's Law. Payne's Law posits that there is an exact correlation between how many inches below 5'8" you are and how many inches above 5'0" your potential woman may be. Example: A 5'7" man can prowl for women as short as 5'1".

Being 5'5", this limits me to the 5'5"-5'3" range, and let me tell ya, there ain't exactly a bounty out there. My best hope is with women exactly my height, and if I am wearing a sharkskin suit with a dry martini sewn into the pocket, I can maybe pull a girl as short as 5' 3". But once a woman dips into the 5'2" range, I am magically transformed into the Accidental Celibate. Charming and virile though I am, one look at my stature and her womb starts running filmstrips of her offspring getting tossed in lockers.

This is yet another area where the fat man has it over the short man. A petite chick will take a fat tall guy over an athletic short guy 365 days a year. Sure the sultan of sweat isn't her ideal choice, but she will settle for him. Besides, if she's homely enough, she is going to have limited choices anyway. And because women's rules about weight aren't as stringent as their rules about height, a woman will go for someone fatter than she, but almost never someone shorter. She will stay single first. She will have plump kids before short ones. So the short man can spend 6 days a week at the gym and still lose out to the 6' 2" chap who spends Monday through Friday giving the ice cream man post-traumatic stress disorder.

This means the short man cannot even rely on his female counterpart for companionship. The short girls he has no choice but to chase want to get as far from him as their stubby legs will take them. Again, the edge goes to the overweight. When the going gets tough, plus sized people can always fall back on each other. A desperate obese man can usually at least link up with a similarly obese woman (and vice versa). An obese tall man may even be fortunate enough to pull a petite chick. Likewise, the big girl may be able to pull a normal guy, provided her target has the appropriate fat fetish.

Are you feeling the plight of the SBM (small beautiful man) yet? Fat women have decent options. Short women have lots of options. Fat men have, well, options. Only the short man is excluded from this love rectangle.

But somehow, fat people are the ones mourned by society as victims of cosmetic circumstance. Allow me to point out the 800 lb. human in the room by reminding everyone that being fat and being short aren't even comparable physiologically, because fat people can at least do something about their weight. They can diet. They can exercise. They can even have their stomach stapled. They might not become thin, but they can at least slim down. But there is no remedy for being underheight. You can't comb over a foot of skeleton from another part of your body. Your freakdom is a life sentence. The only doctor that can help a short man is Kevorkian.

Use your microscope to find me on Twitter:!/greatMikePayne


Anonymous said...

i am familiar with and have experienced all of this; women's sometimes rude, sometimes nonchalant put downs, the perception that i'm not allowed to be offended. reading it all laid out like that makes me want to put a gun to my head. i am good looking (not just by my own assessment), but still am constantly overlooked for my fault of being 5'6. if i was of above average or even average height i am certain i would have little trouble finding companionship.

maruli said...

I am a 5'4" woman, who refuses to ever wear high heels. I could not even walk in them. I would be very comfortable with a partner of my own size. It is so much more comfortable to look into someone's eyes without a ladder.

I am writing my own blog about my search for a mindmate in my own age group - I am 62.

Joe said...

I agree with your observations. Heightism - the prejudice against short people - is ubiquitous. And it is far worse for short statured men than short women. It is - in my opionion - the most acceptable and unrecognized prejudice in the World. The observations you made are spot on. I've experienced much of what you describe myself, and that's how I know that what you wrote is accurate. Heightism continues because of a phenomenon that I refer to as, "The Silence of the Short". The short statured do not protest this at all - especially the guys. Each short person must deal with this individually, completely isolated and alone. Others know this - subliminally. Most of them can't articulate it in words. I believe it goes as deep as the reptilian part of our brains. I, however, in my broadcasts, DO articulate heightism. I invite you to visit my website and listen to my broadcasts on heightism. In any event, the solution to heightism is to take a united stance against it. There is no other way. Short people need to recognize that they're victims based on their height and a united defense is the only answer to this problem - not - as so many others would have you believe - dressing well, or lifting weights, or getting an education, etc. All of that will assist each individual on an INDIVIDUAL BASIS, and it can only take one so far. Would we tell a Black man in 1950 when he complains about discrimination to "lift weights"? To "get an education"? To "dress better", etc.? Would we say that to any group who experienced discrimination? - Of course not. Heightism is a collective issue that can only be solved collectively. It cannot be solved individually. Thanks very much.


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USAFrank said...

This blog made me think of my early 20’s, as I was rejected by the foxes who chased after the Alfa males and showed no more interest in me than glancing at a blade of grass next to the highway traveling at 75 MPH. And this made me think about my own personal experiences with tall women, a slightly different story from this blog, but same result due to being a Beta male.
One 6’ tall girl, in a gym, talked to me with such a look of disinterested she couldn’t have looked or acted more uninterested if she had wanted to. I approached another, who I estimated being 5 foot 9 or 10 inches. She got angry with me for even asking her out and stuck her finger in my face informing me she didn’t date shorter men. On line, I met a girl 5’11”, and we worked out together once in my apartment complex gym, after that she did not return my two phone calls, there could be others, too, I just don’t remember them all. Now, you may say the rejections were because of my looks, that could be true, but as I approached girls closer to my height, my success rate went way up.
This blog also made me think about the rejections by tall girls, and it angered me, but not at the time the rejection. Only years later, when I actually tallied them up, did I get angry. I was rejected not because I was fat, bald, ugly, deformed or had a rotten personality. No. The reason I was rejected by all of these women was my height. Not a one even bothered to put forth the effort to get to know me much less date me.
I did date three women who were significantly taller than me, two at 5’11” and one at 5’10”. (I am 5’8”) And all three happened to be 32 years of age, which is more than a coincidence and a tie in with this blog. No doubt all three wanted a tall Alfa male, and lost, so a safe stable Beta male was the next best thing in their 30’s, for I certainly didn’t grow any taller and I doubt I got better looking. These women were past their prime and worried. I was in my late 30’s, at this time of my life, after being married for 10 years. It was also at this time, I could easily date younger women, and I did. When I was 38, my first girlfriend was 27, the next was 27 and the next was 24 who became my second wife. I never dated with any intent of marrying a woman my age. Younger women had no issue with me dating them, and I certainly had no issue dating them. I remember going to singles events and seeing very pretty women, who were my age, who I know 15 years earlier would not have given me the time of day. And even now, they may have looked better than myself, but now it was me who had no interest in approaching them. I did not want to take time and money away from pursuing younger women. Why go old, when I could go young? I was amazed how the dating game changed in my favor. And I used it to my advantage, just as women had done years earlier.
I am now married and have 4 sons. I have 3 degrees, and I have co-authored 2 US patents. I could have provided a good life to any girl. I wanted a taller girl because of the physical turn on and to for fill one of my desires, yet not one single tall girl (in her 20’s) gave me a chance. I was turned down consistently and without a second thought. (Maybe due to the Alfa male fascination) So, if you find yourself in your late 20’s or early 30’s with no prospect of a husband or children in the immediate future, you have no one to blame but yourself. There were men like me, who wanted a leggy female, but they, like me, were never accorded the opportunity. (This also applies to average height women, too) And the reality is that the vast majority of tall women will not even consider a shorter man (and Beta males) until it is too late. You would think it would be obvious that if you included shorter males (and Beta males) in your suitor selection, your odds would increase of finding a mate. There are a lot more short and medium height males than there are taller ones. So my advice would be to accept the advances of all men and get to know them.