Earlier this week, fellow blogger (and mastermind of Musings on Life and Love) Dennis Hong accused me of “getting shallow.” I told him that I’m not getting shallow, that I have always been shallow when it comes to my taller-than-me-in-heels requirement.
Although the majority of my female readers rallied to my defense (thanks ladies!) I’ve gotten a lot of flack for this over the years. Ironically enough, most of it has come from my younger brother who, up until his senior year of college, hardly ever ventured beyond the likes of the well-endowed blond. (So yeah, obviously he’s in a position to tell me I’m being shallow.)
As it turns out, my railings against eHarmony and their associated collection of vertically-challenged men caused quite the ruckus. And it got me thinking: when do personal preferences cross the line between having standards and being shallow?
The responses to Tuesday’s post were pretty well split across the gender divide.
Grey Goose, Dirty wrote “I’m 5’10″ tall (6’1″ in heels)… I certainly don’t need any help feeling like an Amazon woman as I tower over my date, so although I have ‘lowered’ my height requirement to 5’10″, I refuse to date anyone shorter.”
My cousin Jenn wrote “When you look at a room full of people, there are certain things that attract you more than others. For example, blondes, butts, green eyes. Height is just one of those things.”
My friend Debbie (a fellow dancer and Roehampton grad) wrote, “AMEN SISTER! As a fellow 5’9″ fabulous female I say ask for what you want! We are allowed to have preferences for other parts of our lives. Why not this? Why is height any different from religious preference, location, education, or any of the other crazy questions on the list?” Well said, Debbie!
Wordsofsoia confessed that her past boyfriends were 6’7″ and 6’3″ and that height is a major prerequisite for the so-called “High Heel obsessive.” (By the way, she’s from Perth so if I’m still single this time next year, I am so moving to Australia. I’ve never dated anyone above 6’5” here in the US…)
Sarahnsh added that prior to meeting her fiancé, she’s always dated shorter guys and “obviously those relationships didn’t work out.” Finally, in response to Dennis’s comment, my mom (a self-confessed “poacher”) pointed out “I don’t believe “uggo” or “fatty” is synonymous with short as an insult, but that is just my humble (and short) opinion.” You go, Landlord!
(I’m trying to ignore your comment Freud, Jill, because it has since occurred to me that Freud would have a field day with my “experiment” if he were still alive and I’d rather not consider myself worthy of psychoanalysis 🙂 )
As for the men (h&hs, Dennis and Ted), there were the usual counterarguments of the double standard that enables women to “have standards” whereas men can only be “shallow.” My favorite part was when Dennis added, “Just to play devil’s advocate, from an evolutionary perspective, breast size, waist-to-hip ratio, facial symmetry, and overall body size all have a TON of practical aspects.”
Ok, so yes, technically speaking he’s right (I did major in history as an undergrad) and my male readers have a point: there’s definitely a double standard—but for the first time in history, we women haven’t gotten the short end of the stick so maybe we should reap the rewards of this particular inequality while we can?
In the meantime, I’m left wondering: when does a standard become shallow?
Your thoughts greatly appreciated! (And thanks again to everyone who weighed in on Tuesday’s debate.) Last but not least, don’t forget that tomorrow marks the start of “My Single Male Friend Friday” so be sure to check back in the morning for a male perspective…