Readers' Submissions

Short Ro Tall, Does It Really Make A Difference?

  • Written by Bule
  • September 19th, 2005
  • 7 min read


Short Or Tall, Does It Really Make A Difference?


I read a reader's submission called "Do They Despise Little Men" and decided to react to that article. Call me the shrink if you like. I have been working as a psychiatrist first in Belgium and since the last 3 years I work as a shrink in a hospital in Jakarta.

The question whether women are more interested in tall men than short men is a very interesting one and I have put some research in this matter for quite a while. The reason for this is that some of my patients were and also here in Indonesia still are short men who had severe mental problems with their self esteem due to the fact that they were short.

When an Asian girl or a woman is looking for a man we first have to determine what her goals are. For the sake of this I'm only considering 3 possible goals.

1. The girl is looking for a serious candidate for marriage so a long term goal.
2. The girl is looking for short time fun with a guy and is not considering to make money out of the "fling", so a short term goal.
3. The girl is looking for a short term attachment and is considering to make money out of the "fling" so a short term goal to make money.

First some general thoughts: Basically all girls are the same around the world. Tastes, behaviour, reactions and actions can differ slightly from region to region due to cultural differences, wealth reasons, racial differences etc. but basically girls are quite the same. What I try to say here it doesn't really make a difference if you look for a girl in say Greenland, Belgium or Thailand, you will find them reacting basically quite similarly.

Basically all women in the world are subconsciously seeking a partner who is most likely to give her healthy offspring, and who is able to provide for her and protect her. This may not sound true for western women anymore who are self-sufficient and emancipated nowadays but it still holds true even for those girls. The first thing that attracts a girl in a guy is outer appearance cos she doesn't have a clue yet how the male's character is etc. So important are: height, good looks, healthy skin, body, and body odor (very important). This is however the initial attraction. If a girl sees a guy who has the good appearance but he turns out to be boring or socially inept or aggressive or whatever, he will soon lose appeal.

Now some general thoughts about height and how it is generally perceived: In Europe and the US the average height of people has dramatically increased over the last decades. The average height (for males) in Belgium has increased from 178 cm to 189 cm in the last 20 years!!!

So it definitely is or can be a problem for a short man (say 173 cm) in Belgium to find suitable partners, simply because many girls are taller than him. Normally girls in the West (instinctively) seek a man who is taller than them (averagely 15 cm). One of the reasons for this (and this dates back to the dawn of mankind) is that women want to be protected by the man and a tall man is seen as a better protector/provider than a short man. When a representative group of girls in Belgium were asked what type of man they found attractive they would often (56%) include tall in their description.

In Indonesia the situation is different. Indonesian people are generally small compared to western people. But the same thing is happening in Indonesia that happens in Europe, over the last decades the people in Asia have gotten taller and they still are getting taller. Recent generations have made a real grow spurt. When looking for a job Indonesians find themselves often turned down because they are too short. For instance nowadays minimum height is required if one wants to join the army, police, or become a civil servant. Also many companies have introduced minimum height requirements. Height in Indonesia is similar with status. The taller a person is the higher his status and the more chances he has to get a good job. Nowadays it is almost more important to be tall than to have a light skin, especially for males. This is the reason that many females in Indonesia nowadays look for a tall man, because they know that the children will likely get taller which gives not only the children status but also the (small) mother. Especially real, small Indonesian girls (say BTW 145 cm to 165 cm) really make an effort and are very attracted to tall guys (say BTW 180 cm to 190 cm) Tall Indonesian women (165 cm upwards) are also looking for tall partners because (see before) women typically choose a mate who is at least 15 cm taller than themselves. And when they take a short guy changes are their offspring will be short. So height has become a major issue in Indonesia. And for that matter also in countries like China and Thailand.

Now to my 3 points.

The first girl is looking for a serious partner to marry so she has a long term goal in mind. This girl is looking for a guy to have children with so (without realising) she will seek a mate who is looking healthy hence tall, good body, handsome, healthy skin etc. His smell is also important. It has been proven that handsome, healthy guys have a better and more attractive body odor than males who are not handsome. It is as if nature wants to help a woman to make a good choice by letting her smell the body odor. Girls do smell the odor but are not aware that they make the choice based on the odor. This happens subconsciously. So for this girl height is a very important denominator if she will like the guy or not. Of course it is only the first attraction. If the guy turns out to be not her type cos she can't talk to him or she doesn't like his character, he's not self confident etc, etc, she will probably not choose him to be her mate.

The second girl is looking for a short time "fling" with no money involved so she only has a short term goal in mind. This girl is not looking for a guy to have children with but she is looking for a guy who can fulfill her sexual needs. For her height, handsomeness, health are not the main attraction but having said that this girl will (instinctively) be drawn to the handsome guys, the guys she finds attractive. And sadly these guys are exactly the same type of guys the girls would choose if it was for a long term relationship. However for the girls looking for a short time fling a match in character is mainly not important. They look for somebody who can physically satisfy them.

The third girl is looking for short term attachment, with the aim of making money out of it.
For this girl height, a handsome face and healthy looks are of minor importance. For these girls the main importance is whether the guy looks wealthy enough, so they are mainly attracted to guys who look and behave rich or generous. But even these girls are still drawn to tall and handsome guys because even though their main goal is to look for money, they are still girls with girls' thoughts etc. So even with these girls tall, and handsome guys have more changes than the short guys.

All this doesn't mean that short guys in Indonesia and Thailand will not be able to get guys as the guy who made the submission "Do They Despise Little Men" experienced and thought. Short men just have to make a bigger effort, even with the bargirls, to attract them. So if you are short but witty, charming and generous I still firmly believe you can certainly attract a girl in a bar and even a girl for marriage because as I said. Looks are only the initial attraction. It is for the girl more important if the guy and she are a match in character. She will not initially be attracted to the short male but if he has enough self confidence and dares to talk to her he can still make her attracted when she likes him as a person.

Stickman's thoughts:

In my observations, short guys seem to do just fine in Thailand.