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A man who is 5 feet 6 inches tall needs to earn an additional $175,000 per year to be as desirable as a man who is about 6 feet tall
A 6'2' man can earn $30,000 less than a 6' man and will be viewed as equally desirable https://t.co/0wwJt7PJRopic.twitter.com/rXXGsfjXFG
— Rob Henderson (@robkhenderson) January 5, 2021
This study was written in 2006 by the University of Chicago, so it’s… old. In internet years, that’s 400 years ago. But it reared its controversial head again today because Rob Henderson tweeted it, I guess. So I feel obligated to present it and offer some thoughts.
First, as a 6’3” male, I feel the need to tell you my height before I continue. Mostly to just let you know I’m tall. You can’t see me, so I wanted you to know.
With that out of the way, I’ve always had a soft spot for shorter men. Really has to suck. You hear stories about these guys putting themselves through brutal limb-lengthening surgeries, and you realize just how much it must affect their sense of self. Like it or not, we put a premium on height in this country. Especially now with dating apps where people list their heights and we reduce them to the stats of their own dating baseball cards.
The good news is that shorter guys can overcome those odds by… (checks chart) simply making an extra $175,000/year! Hooray! Talk about a quick fix. That’s much easier than having a doctor break your femurs, throw a couple fishing rods in your shins, and spending a year learning to walk again. What’s more, you’ve got that added push to prove yourself when you’re 5’6”. Napoleon was exactly that tall and he practically conquered the world to make up for it. Tall men like myself rest on our laurels, happy to retrieve the carry-on bags from overhead compartments for elderly women. That’s all the affirmation we need. Never once have I thought “I need to invade Russia.” God knows how much land I’d have right now had I stopped growing in 7th grade.
The study also mentions that men don’t want to date women who are taller than they are. But I sent this to a friend and he immediately responded to say that if Mackenzie Bezos were 6’10”, he’d be able to overlook it. Or underlook it maybe? Tough to see over a 6’10” person. God help the family sitting behind Mackenzie Bezos-Bunyan at the Boyz II Men concert.
This is the part that really stuck out:
Maybe the most striking numbers are with regard to income-ethnicity trade-offs, as shown in Table 5.6. For equal success with a white woman, an African-American man needs to earn $154,000 more than a white man. Hispanic men need an additional $77,000, and Asian men need an additional $247,000 in annual income. In contrast to men, women mostly cannot compensate for their ethnicity with a higher income.
Asian men need an additional $247,000 in income to have an equal shot with white women. WOW. That’s a LOT of money. I’d say shame on white women but then they added that women cannot compensate for their ethnicity with a higher income. I don’t even know how to read that. Does that mean that men won’t let money factor into their decision to date women of a different race, which is admirable? Or does it mean that men are so close-minded that no amount of money would change their mind about dating interracially?
Lots to unpack. If you’re keen, that study is 62 pages long. Have a day.
PS- I don’t know what sort of backlash this publication received in 2006. But I’m fairly confident that if the University of Chicago were to publish this study today, the entire university would be bulldozed to the ground.
“Swipe left if you’re under 6 foot”
“Tall guys only!”
“I would date you, but you’re just too short.”
Almost all shorter men (around 5’9″ and below) have heard similar phrases, or seen them posted online. Statistics and scientific studies back up this information too: women do prefer taller guys.
Before I continue, I want to mention that I, a shorter man, have written a book specifically for short guys that WILL get you dates (if you follow the directions): Order The Short Man’s Dating Handbook Now To Find Love.
Short Men Dating Obstacles
If you’re a short guy reading this article, then I don’t have to tell you that the odds are stacked against you. Every short man can tell a story of the obstacles he’s faced in the dating game, from being filtered out of searches online, being told he’s perfect, but not tall enough, to outright hostility from women who think short=inferior.
The studies confirm that dating as a short guy is hard mode. Simply put, there are very few couples where the woman is taller. And, most women want to date a taller guy. What this means is that guys who are shorter than average have a much more limited pool of women to date at the start than their taller brethren. It sucks knowing that a genetic factor over which you have no control can disqualify you from the start!
The odds are stacked against you as a short man. But, getting dates isn’t impossible for short guys, and many short guys date beautiful women and get into long lasting and fulfilling relationships.
Still, short guys have to work harder and be extra attractive compared to their taller friends. This is because being tall is an indicator of attraction in and of itself. Think of Bingo. The “free” space gives you an advantage. Tall guys have a built in advantage just for existing. Shitty for you? Of course. But, that’s OK.
Short Guy Dating Tips
I have had success in dating and relationships (yes, even Tinder) and I’m going to share my tips. Not only do I draw from my own experience, but also the science of dating and attraction. In addition, I’ve successfully taught these skills to my coaching clients, many of whom are short. And, yes, these tips worked for them. They’ll work for you too if you give them a chance.
Short guys often lack confidence or have trouble conveying it. It makes sense because short men are often bullied by other guys and even by women. Yet, women love confidence. And, they find insecurity very unattractive.
Sure, you may have good reason to be insecure and angry if you’ve been teased or rejected based on your height. And, gaining confidence isn’t as easy as saying “be confident.” However, it is essential for getting dates.
First, don’t whine or complain about your height around women. Don’t vent about their height preferences or “call them out” for heightism. If you must vent, do it around guy friends or with your therapist. Whining and complaining are unattractive because they make you look weak and insecure.
Second, develop confidence or fake it. David wrote an article, Hey Short Guys: How To Become Taller which explains ways shorter guys can come across as more dominant and confident, and therefore more attractive. Also this article explains the main factor women are looking for in a guy: power. These articles go beyond the empty slogan “be confident.”
Dating Sites For Short Guys
Confidence mainly comes through self-improvement and achievement. If you want to be confident, then become a more excellent person. Here are a few examples of confidence boosting activities: get fit, take on leadership positions, dress better, take up a valuable hobby (like becoming a musician), or learn the martial arts.
Don’t Emphasize Your Height
Short stature isn’t an attractive trait, not in men at least. So, be confident and proud of who you are, but don’t emphasize your lack of height either. This isn’t about being ashamed of yourself. Every smart person emphasizes the traits that others prefer. It’s basic marketing. It’s why a well-endowed woman might wear a tighter shirt, but won’t draw attention to her ugly nose.
Wear shoes with a heel, avoid clothes that make you look shorter (like pleated pants). You might even want to consider buying lifts to put in your shoes when you go out. However, only add about an inch or less, especially if you plan on taking them off around a girl or even friends.
Definitely don’t make self-deprecating jokes about your height or take the bait if she brings up your height. Own it if the topic comes up (see below), but don’t dwell on it.
Look Your Best
Being short is a dating disadvantage, but everyone has dating obstacles, even tall guys. If you’re short, have other things going for you physically. You want your first impression when meeting a woman to be something other than “he’s too short.”
This means do everything else right physically. If you’re overweight, lose weight (and bulk up – see below). Dress fashionably, keep your hair by using anti-baldness medication, etc. When a girl sees you, let her first thought be “I know he’s shorter than I typically like, but boy he’s got a great body” or “He’s kind of short, but he’s so hot!” Yes, women think this way.
Particularly Get Some Muscle
David has another article about how important muscularity is for attraction. In fact, it may be the most important physical factor for attracting a woman. Many shorter guys fear coming across as “too bulky” for fear of looking shorter, but when I’m talking about being muscular, I’m referring to a lean muscular look, not being a bodybuilder.
So, if you’re short and generally tiny, you’re at an even bigger disadvantage. A recent study even affirms how important being muscular is for short guys.
Don’t Get Rattled
Short guys often hear shit about their height from women. In many cases, it’s just a test. They want to see how you react. If you get sad, nervous, or angry, you’ve failed. If you’re cool and don’t care, you pass.
Are these tests a huge pain? Yes, but all guys get them. Women use them to weed out the losers. Don’t be a loser.
A good response to short related comments would be “it’s not really about my height, but how awesome I am” or “Most women I date don’t even care.” If she laments that she usually dates tall guys, I always like this reply: “You’re a little (older, younger, taller, shorter) than I usually date, but I’m willing to see what happens.”
How To Date Short Guys
Above all, you need amused mastery in every situation. You have to be in charge, not care, and convey that you don’t need her attention. You don’t do this rudely, but calmly and with humor and charm. Here is more on amused mastery.
Be High Value
Guys like Kevin Hart, Patrick Stump of the band Fall Out Boy, and Bruno Mars are all short. Do you think they get rejected for dates? Probably not. No woman will turn down a high value man, even if he’s short.
Short men dating need to realize that they must raise their value (or project it better). Find a way to earn more money, become a manager or owner of a company, get insanely fit, learn to play an instrument well, etc. Raise your “value” and you will be more attractive to women at any height. Tallness is a value. Ramp up your value in ways that aren’t genetic.
Short Guys Dating Online: Beware!
Most dating sites list heights. And, women typically have, at least in theory, height standards. So, short dudes have two bad options. They are honest and women immediately reject them based on a number (before even seeing or engaging their profile). They lie and the “in person” date is a problem.
The best choice is to meet women in person first. That way, your height is out there and you don’t have to awkwardly discuss it later.
But, if you meet them online, find a way to charm and wow them immediately, so they can’t focus on your shortness. Have a witty profile. Send them messages that are funny and cocky. Be original and valuable so they know you’re not just a number they (supposedly) don’t like.
Also, add an inch or so to your height (but no more). Is it lying? Maybe, but I promise you most of the women fudge their age and weight. If you are high value enough (funny, charming, good-looking), women will forgive your height discrepancy when they meet you, if they even notice it at all. Quit being so noble and play the game, short guys! Oh, and wear boots to get your closer listed height.
Once again, if you are interested in learning a lot more, check out Size Doesn’t Matter: The Short Man’s Handbook of Dating And Relationship Success, and be sure to browse the hundreds of free articles here.