'My man should be tall!'

Height matters

'My man should be tall!'

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Mavis Saldanha, a matchmaker in the City says that she frequently interviews ‘modern’ women who insist on equality in every way when it comes to finding their significant other — except height. “The fact is, they are educated, have good jobs and earn a decent income. Naturally, they want to meet men who are also educated, have good jobs, and earn decent incomes. But they have one more criterion — the man must also be tall! And not just slightly taller than they are, but really tall!” she exclaims.

Apparently when single men and women set out to meet someone, either through a dating website or asking a friend to hook them up, a prospective date's height is usually one of the first criteria to check out.

“I usually wear shoes with 3 to 4 inch heels,” says Malika, who stands at 5’2” in her socks. “So naturally the guy will have to be at least 5’8” since I will gain a height advantage of 4 inches when I’m dressed up!”

Another matchmaker says that reasons for insisting on a certain minimum height requirement from prospective brides vary from “I am short and I don’t want to have short children,” to “I just feel safer when I am with a man who is much taller than me”.

One even admitted that she was only attracted to tall men ever since she could remember and can’t help it!

So where exactly does this height bias leave short men? After doing the math one finds that a woman who is 5 feet, 2 inches, adds 3 to 4 inches by wearing heels, another few inches so she can feel ‘safe’ and that just about eliminates any man below 5’8” inches in height!

Having said that there are women who are tapping into the short guy market and doing a Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes pairing up act.

“While people tend to snigger at a couple they consider mismatched in height as the woman towers over the man or at least beats him by a couple of inches, chances are they may just have the makings of a successful relationship. If a guy is not intimidated by his girl’s height he probably isn’t intimidated if she is more successful than him in her career either,” says Suma David, a relationship counsellor.

“A man who doesn’t need to prove his manliness with size is obviously self-assured and won’t need to pull anyone down to bring himself up. The bottom line is, whether your guy is taller, your exact height, or even shorter than you, who cares? Don't worry about people staring at you and your mismatched partner. Just be your gorgeous confident self! Since it’s obviously working for Katie and Tom Cruise, who’s say it can't work for you?” asks Suma.

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