“Women Don’t Like Short Men” is a Bad Excuse

At 5’1”, I’m short even amongst short men. In middle school, male classmates bullied me about my height, picked me last for sports, and on a few occasions even tried to pick fights. To cope, I developed a thick skin for insults while honing my own ability to pinpoint other kids’ insecurities. I also learned to take a punch so I could throw one back.

By high school, everyone had matured. With the exception of good-natured ribbing from my friends, short jokes were a relic of the past. But with maturity came a new problem: girls.

Everybody knows women don’t like short men. They want a guy who’s at least 6 inches taller than them. They want a guy who won’t make them feel big in heels. They want a guy who’s tall, dark, and handsome.

Except that’s all a load of shit. “Women don’t like short men” is a sorry excuse used by insecure men who would rather blame women and genetics for their problems than figure out how to make themselves desirable.

Like me, for example. I felt incredibly self-conscious about my height for a long time. My resentment wasn’t focused specifically on women — but it was turned outwards. My learned defense mechanism of targeting other people’s weak points, which had served me so well in elementary school, became a major liability by high school. Anytime I met a new person, my first thought would be something mean––what were their flaws, their fears, their ticks––how could I turn the tables on someone who did absolutely nothing wrong? It affected my ability to make friends and pursue relationships. I felt like I was becoming a nasty, bitter person. Even worse than hating my body, I hated my personality.

Eventually, I realized that all the hatred built up inside me was only hurting one person — myself. If I ever wanted to be happy, I needed to change. And while I couldn’t change my height, I could change my personality.

I’ll be the first to admit, unlearning negative thought patterns is very hard. It takes constant vigilance and self-monitoring. I began reverse-engineering my thoughts. Anytime I met a new person and thought something mean, I’d force myself to find three things I admired about them instead. With enough time and effort, I eventually started thinking nice things about people without even trying. Losing that constant toxicity lead to more confidence on my end, too. I made more friends. I started dating.

I came to the realization that the problem in my life was never really my height. Beyond middle school, nobody really cared. The problem was me — who I had become. I was my own worst obstacle, and once I realized that, my entire life changed for the better.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sympathetic to the plight of short men. There are some genuinely painful moments that I imagine are shared experiences amongst men of my stature. Short men are one of the only groups I can think of where making fun of them for an unchangeable physical characteristic is still seen as socially acceptable. “I won’t date guys under x feet” is a common sight on dating profiles, whereas “I won’t date anyone over x pounds” would send up immediate red flags. I would never defend those behaviors — height, like any other physical characteristic, should not be fair game for social ridicule.

That being said, everyone has different physical preferences. So while I don’t think it should be socially acceptable to say “I won’t date x” in your dating profile, it is 100% okay to only date people you’re physically attracted to. Nobody owes you a date. Nobody is obligated to find you attractive. As much as it sucks, some women aren’t attracted to men who are shorter than they are.

But here’s the good news. Plenty of women like short men. Some women don’t care about height at all. Other women even prefer shorter men. The hard truth is that the majority of men, regardless of height or physical appearance, are fully capable of finding romance if their personalities are up to snuff.

It’s easy to face rejection and decide that the problem exists outside of yourself. Realize that this is a defense mechanism and an excuse to avoid the hard work and personal growth that will ultimately lead to success.

I honestly believe that the main reason so many short men have trouble finding romance is because they become mired in negativity. This attitude ends up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They believe women don’t like short men, and as a result become bitter and angry. They internalize failure and stop working to make themselves the kind of men women actually want. The men women actually want come in all shapes and sizes, but they do share two common traits — confidence and genuine niceness.

Writer & screenwriter, usually rocking a man bun.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store