Should one only be with people of the right height?

Awerpia asks:

My girlfriend is 150cm tall (4 feet.) She’s short. And I am 165cm (around 5 feet). You see I love her so dearly that I don’t care about what other people see as flaws. My grandmother is a short woman around the same height as my mum and aunt, and coincidentally my girlfriend too. She blamed her children being short on her accepting short men. As such she vowed never to allow any of her daughters marry a short man. And her dream worked at least for my mum. My “stubborn” aunty married a short man (and yes her daughter is extremely short). You see, since my cousins and I were born, the only thing these three seemed to care about was us growing taller than each other. They just despise being short.  My mum in particular believes people look down on short people and that when you marry a short person you will end up with dwarfs as children. Even to the point, my grandmother behaved rudely to an innocent short girl who visited my male cousin. Thank God I don’t live with my grandmother and aunty. You see my mother never warned me initially about short girls. I would have killed the love I had for the girl if I knew it was a “taboo.” You see, as we speak now, I’m so much in love with the girl. And I really fear what these women would do if I introduce her in person. Right now my mum has only seen pictures of her because she lives in another part of the country. It’s not like I really care about my girlfriend’s height. She gives me the best hugs in the world. I tease her about her height, and I can easily carry her in my arms. She’s just cute. But right now I wish I could make her taller. And she’s already 25. I wish God could just add some 10 cms to her height overnight. I have searched everywhere from yoga to subliminal to exercises to meditation to pills, and I don’t even know if they will work or if she would have the time for it. And coming home and staying with mum makes me feel like it’s bad to be short. I look at her and she’s become fat and small and shorter because of her weight. It makes me question myself if that’s how my girlfriend would be one day, and if our children would be too short. If they would also fall into the “curse of being short.” This whole thing is just eating me up and I sincerely don’t know what to do.  I wish I could make her taller. I wish I could blind them from seeing her height. I wish I knew that my children would have a good height. But on the other hand I love my girlfriend so much. I’m in tears right now. I don’t know what to do. She’s my first girl and I want her to be the last!

Hi Awerpia –

The values humans put on physical attributes just fascinate me.  Where I live, I don’t see anyone look down on short women, but it’s very difficult for tall girls, especially growing up.  Boys don’t want to date or dance with them, because they think they’ll make them look less masculine.  (Of course then, some of those women use their height to go into modeling, which suddenly makes them “trophies” in men’s eyes!).

Meanwhile, of course, I see people judge others drastically based on the color of their skin, their skinniness, curviness, or weight, and even hair color! 

Now don’t get me wrong.  Everyone has the right to be attracted to what they’re attracted to.  I know a woman who’s happy to date any guy as long as his feet aren’t smaller than hers; that creeps her out!  And my human friend Handsome, who has dated many women most men find gorgeous, is actually more attracted to a woman’s voice than her looks.  And because of that, a “knockout” whose voice doesn’t attract him is far less appealing than a less-pretty girl who melts him with every word!

But I’m talking about values.  My woman friend doesn’t look down on men with small feet, and Handsome doesn’t disrespect women with unappealing voices.  But your family seems to actually devalue short women – even though many of them ARE short women!

So here’s the funny fact about this.  Humans have been growing taller, as a species, for the last thousand years.  Have you ever seen actual suits of armor from the Medieval era?  The brave knights who wore them, the ultimate macho-men of all time, were the size of today’s twelve-year-olds!  Improved nutrition, better medicine, and knowledge of best exercise have all helped people grow everywhere.  My guess is that your family’s five-foot men and four-foot women are the descendants of three-and-a-half-foot ancestors, maybe even shorter!

And so, there’s a really good chance that if you and your four-foot beloved have children, the girls will end up taller than her, and the boys taller than you.  Just by a centimeter or two, but enough to quiet your family’s concerns.

But that’s not what I care most about.  After all, shortness isn’t all that big a problem.  Vladimir Putin is just a bit taller than you.  The great musicians Paul Simon and Prince are/were your height.  And if you ever watched the popular show Game of Thrones, you know that Tyrion Lannister is the coolest character EVER, and is close to your girlfriend’s height!

But you know who’s way shorter than them?  And everyone I know thinks the world of?  ME!  On all fours I’m not quite three feet tall.  But I fill every room I enter – everyone wants to pet me except those who find me frightening!  “That’s a big scary dog!”

I’m sure your grandmother, mother, and aunt have suffered from being short, and the fact that they want the children in their family to skip that suffering is a virtue.  But they also need to realize that, by being wonderful women, they taught you to LIKE women like them, and seek out that sort of girl.

Normally I’d push all sorts of great stories on you about love overcoming prejudice, from West Side Story and Marty to The Shape of Water.  But in this case, it’s not that your family insists on you finding someone like them, but that they want someone different from them.

So I’d like you to look them each in the eye and tell them that you think she – your grandmother, your aunt, and your mother – is perfect.  Just the way I see Handsome and he sees me.  There’s nothing you’d change about them.  And that that means that you know a bunch of perfect four-foot-tall women.  And you’d like to introduce them to another.

And then you can add that, if they can’t accept her, that you’ll have to keep her away from them.  And that that would be for the stupidest reason EVER, that they can’t accept someone like them!

And my guess, Awerpia?  My guess is that they’ll all roll their eyes, sigh at the fact that your kids will have the same problems they did, and then accept her – and fall as much in love with her as you have.

And hopefully, they’ll learn a bit about accepting others, and about valuing themselves.  Which will be just great for everyone.

With HUGE GIGANTIC hopes for you!


PS: Oh I almost forgot.  While there are supplements and things you can give your kids to help them grow taller, nothing’s going to make an adult taller without causing severe spinal damage.  Love her as she is.  After all, you already do!

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