Double standards. Society is packed to the brim with 'em. As short men, we've often been on the receiving end of these ugly social sins. Here's one we can all relate to: getting the runaround from a woman taller than us, who then goes off the deep end herself when a man much taller than her treats her the same way. What goes around comes around I guess.
See Also: Why Men Should Lie About Their Height On Dating Profiles
Over the past few years, a new social demographic has loomed large: the BBW, or "Big Beautiful Woman". Classically the butt of bad jokes around the office, and perpetually relegated to the distant back corner in clubbing photos with her girlfriends, the BBW is now large and in charge. The signs of this phenomenon are everywhere, but you'd be hard-pressed to pinpoint exactly when it began. One minute Kate Moss is the supermodel par excellence, the next Melissa McCarthy is Hollywood's new "It Girl". There are entire stores now devoted to BBW fashion, and it has become social suicide to engage in fat-shaming.
There Is No Shortage Of "Bigger Women Are Better" Memes Online | Source: Plus Sized Modeling
It's a truly unique phenomenon - larger men have yet to break the fat stigma. Many bigger women, on the other hand, are no longer ashamed to flaunt their curves, and they make damn sure you know it. Heck, even the term BBW is about as assertive as it gets. A ton of new dating sites cater to men (or women) who want to date BBWs, sporting names like "The Big and the Beautiful" and "Large Friends".
Does The Bigger Is Better Mantra Apply To Women Only?
While we as short men should celebrate whenever a traditionally overlooked or ridiculed section of society asserts themselves and earns a little respect, not even the BBW phenomenon is without its share of contradictions. BBWs, after all, are human, and to be human is to err. Thus we have it that this BBW, newly-infused with the pride of her tribe, can be caught discriminating against a shorter man, and then belittle the guy after he turns the tables on her. Apparently, for her, it's ok to hate on us short guys, but God forbid we express a preference for slender women?
This Post-Tinder Conversation Went Viral After Appearing On Reddit.com
I'm sure that this kind of behavior is an anomaly among larger women. The many BBWs I know are sweet, empathetic, and in many cases, incredibly sexy. But that one, hopefully fringe case does speak to a definite cultural lag. Short men as a whole have yet to carve out the same kind of social “cool” that BBWs have, and height shaming is a very real thing - as any short man can tell you. This leads to very demoralized confessions from men who probably have great qualities, but are short. Buzzfeed, the online magazine recently did a piece in height shaming which featured some of these "confessions".
Height Shaming Quote | Source: Buzzfeed
Some other confessions featured in that Buzzfeed piece:
- "Because I'm a short guy, people think it's hilarious to call me Frodo or tell me to 'follow the yellow brick road'. F--- off."
- "I'm a short male. I try my best to accept it and love myself but I hate it."
- "I can't stand being a short guy. I work out. I try to be the best me, but I know most women will ignore me. The sad thing is I can't get mad at them. It is what it is."
Women are not the only ones society shames for their bodies. In fact, socially, women are often praised for shaming men for their lack of height.
What would the response be if the genders were reversed and weight was the joke?
We short men, as members of society, are compelled to follow its rules. Therefore, we're made to give BBWs the new-found respect they've secured for themselves. I have no problem with this, and as an admirer of beautiful women, I genuinely enjoy being with women of all sizes who feel confident about themselves - self-perception is half the battle after all.But when will we get our day in the sun?
See Also: Beware Of The Reformed Heightist Woman
Unfortunately, waiting forlornly for a dawn that may never come isn't likely to do us any favors. Trying to figure out in which direction and how fast social norms will change is about as easy as picking winning lottery numbers. There are trends, though, and they look promising. If Lenny Kravitz (5'6) and Manny Pacquiao (5'5) can both be spoken of highly without their height being mentioned disparagingly, we're on to something good. Short men can also point with pride to people like Kevin Hart (5'2) and Daniel Radcliffe (5'4), who are absolutely tearing it up in their respective fields.
Hopefully, the success of so many compact movers and shakers can provide a boost of confidence to short men everywhere. I've said it once and I'll say it again, but being proud of who you are is one of the surest ways to begin fighting a prejudice and to become both happy and successful overall in life. Just ask the BBWs! So next time you're out hitting the bars, or even in the office lunch room shooting the breeze, consider striking up a convo with that cutie, no matter how tall (or big) she is. Chances are, she won't mind how short (or petite) you are.
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