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There are many different types of bodies that attract stigma in society, and as well as being plus size, I also happen to be relatively tall for a woman. I’m 5ft 11, not the tallest, but certainly well above average height for a woman. One of the biggest stigmas I’ve faced over the years has come from people who felt that any male partner I have had should be taller than me. I’ve never intentionally dated shorter men, but I’ve never let something as daft as being taller than a man stop me from pursuing a relationship with them if I liked them. In fact, my husband is shorter than me, and every serious boyfriend I’ve ever had has been shorter than me too. I’m going to talk about my experiences with this in a heteronormative context, because I’m a cis-woman who has only dated men, and cannot speak for any other experiences.
One of the common themes that crops up when people realise that I’m taller than my husband, is that this makes me unfeminine. Women are expected to be petite and dainty, discreet, and I am absolutely none of those things. I’m big in every sense, and I’m loud, but I’m also feminine. My tutus and dresses and pink hair will tell you that. Height does not dictate someone’s ability to be feminine. Being tall is not intrinsically masculine, much like being short is not intrinsically feminine. People are individuals and their height doesn’t determine where they fall on that scale.
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I know I’m not the only tall woman who has dated men who have an issue with them being taller than them. Whether they’ll admit they have a problem or not is a different matter, it usually creeps out in little digs about ‘do you really have to wear those heels tonight?’, or sly comments about not always having to stand up so straight, about being condescending when you look down on him, which is not your fault! Your being tall is not the problem. The problem is that they are pushing their own insecurities onto you in an attempt to deflect. They are being emasculated by holding themselves to a gender construct entirely created by society. Rock those heels and hold your head up high, and if he can’t deal with you being tall and confident, use those long legs and kick him to the curb.
Photo by ClickClick Bang Photography
There is absolutely no physical reason that men should be taller than their female partner. There may have been some biological advantage way back when we lived in caves and hunted for our food, but we don’t any more. The only times my husband and I really notice our height difference is when I have to reach things down off the high shelves in our kitchen for him, or that I make the better big spoon than he does. Being the big spoon is kind of awesome by the way, try it sometime.
Whether you are 2 inches tall than your boyfriend, or 2 feet taller than your husband, it doesn’t matter, much like it wouldn’t matter if you were that much shorter than them either. The rule that women should be shorter than their male partners is a societal construct, much like blue being for boys, or skirts only being for girls. We here at She Might Be don’t allow society to tell us how we should live our lives, and being tall is just another thing that makes you unique.
It’s OK to be taller than your boyfriend. It’s OK to be over 6ft tall and wear 6 inch heels. It’s OK to be different from the norm. Your height is part of what makes you you, don’t let it interfere with your chance to find love. Love might be lurking round a shorter corner than you originally expected.