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Feel unattractive because I'm short

Community Member

OK, I realise this may seem hilarious/ridiculous to some, and I sometimes have a bit of a chuckle at it myself, but please bear with me.

I know it's nowhere near as serious as practically everything else posted here, but it does affect my emotions on a regular basis, so I thought I'd put it out there.

Basically, I've been noticing that I'm actually not a very tall person. I'm about 5'8", and when I'm out and about and look around myself on a typical day, most people seem well and truly taller than me (including women). (I live in Sydney near the CBD, if that makes any difference.)

I feel that my height makes me significantly less attractive than most other men, to women in general. I feel a kind of resentment, over having been born this height, identifying as a man and being attracted to women, none of which I regard as my choice. I also feel envious of tall men.

I'm familiar with the argument that height doesn't matter, in term of mens' attractiveness to women, but I truly find that hard to believe. I realise every women has slightly different desires, but I can't think of anything more universal, that I've heard said from such a broad, diverse range of sources (friends, family, media, works of literature), than that women prefer a tall man if they can get one. Yes, it may be a culturally driven, rather than biologically driven, preference, but what difference does it make anyway? Culture doesn't change much faster than biology, at least from the standpoint of one human's lifetime.

There are a few things I say to myself as consolation, which more or less help:

1. Being attractive to women shouldn't be the be-all-end-all of my existence. There's more to life than that.
2. Just accept the "unattractive" feeling and embrace it. What's the point of fighting something I can't control? Might as well just roll with it and *be* that unattractive guy, and be proud of it.
3. There are still plenty of men who are my height and shorter, and they manage, so there's no reason I can't.
4. Other men being more attractive than me doesn't take away from my life, and doesn't deprive me of things I enjoy a lot, including things that not everyone else (including attractive men) gets to enjoy.
5. I also practice mindfulness and find that very helpful in cultivating contentment and peace of mind.

I don't want to be resentful/envious. I'd rather feel love for my fellow creatures.

Anyway just putting it out there, and seeing if anyone has any advice to offer. Thanks!

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi jaysee

Thanks for reaching out to us. I'm glad that you reached out and shared what was going on with you despite the fact it didn't seem as 'serious'. I think everything that affects our emotions is worth validating; we all have struggles and it doesn't make them (or us) more or less important.

I'm not sure that there's a lot that I can say that you haven't told yourself; as a woman I don't have a preference when it comes to height. Personally I look for other features such as the persons eyes, smile and of course, their character - can they make me laugh, can we hold a conversation.

Also, I understand that you've convinced yourself that all women like a 'tall guy' and consider anything less 'unattractive', and therefore undatable. I encourage you to challenge this.

What is it that makes a shorter man 'unattractive' and why?

In 2011-12, ABS stats say that the average Australian man (18 years and over) was 175.6 cm tall. That makes you 1 cm taller than the average man statistically.

From a culture perspective, yes it's assumed that a majority of women (not all) are attracted to taller guys. From a research point of view though, there is data to say that although females expressed a general preference for dating males taller than themselves, they did not rate their tall dates more attractive. Also, there is no link between the height of the male subjects and their self-reported dating frequency.

The link is here if you'd like to check it out - http://psp.sagepub.com/content/15/4/617.abstract

Something to think about.

Community Member
5'8" isn't short

Hi jaysee,

I don't consider your height to be short either. I am 5"7' and my hubby is a fraction shorter than me. I have never considered him to be short and had never considered it a limitation with dating either.

I have dated men shorter and taller. In fact I felt the most uncomfortable dating someone who was 6"2'.

I am also one of the tallest of all my female friends with 1 exception. So they would all be shorter than you.

I think most men, indeed most people have a trait they are unhappy with. I think most people have ideals in how they think the perfect person looks. My hubby thinks that blond hair and muscles is what girls go for when I am most attracted to non muscular dark haired nerdy types.

I think strength of character goes along way in dating. Confidence helps or at least be sure of yourself. Knowing who you are and what you want in life.

A neat appearance helps. Being well groomed and wearing stylish clothes helps. That is all about taking pride in your appearance, clean clothes, hair cut etc shows that you respect yourself.

Again it all comes down to self esteem, self confidence. Your height will not bother anyone unless you make it an issue by talking about it to them. And then, it wouldn't be the height that's the issue but the lack of self confidence.

I hope that makes sense.

I think your mantras are ok but I think you should add some affirming ones about being confident. I think you have to love yourself before someone else can.

Kind thoughts,


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Well I'm 5'5" on an optimistic day. So perhaps I am short. In my family I am the tallest by a little bit, I blame Australia and all that sun and good quality food for that. The only benefit is when travelling I can see over the top of a crowd which never happens here, not even at a school assembly.

So not being the shortest man on earth I've noticed a few things. I am attracted to the same size or shorter. There is nothing that makes a man stand taller then confidence and character. The attractive things are complicated you know from how someone moves or talks, to the joy they have, to how they look wearing an old t-shirt. Oh, and there are plenty of rather ugly tall people who have unfortunate personalities which out weighs their height in the scheme of things.