12 'Short' Men Told Me Why You're Totally Missing Out
I have a preference for tall men — really tall ones, at that. I ain’t got no lies to tell you. And I am definitely one of those kinds of people who don’t think that anyone (male or female) has to defend or justify what their preferences are (nor be bullied out of them). At the same time, though, some of my best friendships consist of shorter guys, some of the best sex of my life came from shorter guys, and some of my favorite and most inspiring folks in this world are shorter guys…so, in my opinion, they definitely deserve their props.
Not to mention the fact that the average height for men in this country is 5’9” (genetics play a huge role in that), and — get this — only 15 percent of American men are 6’ and over. And you know what that means, right? If you decide to not even give a shorter guy a chance, you are cutting out 85 percent of the male population.
I know that some of y’all couldn’t care less about anything that I just said — you have a type, you want what you want, and you’re sticking to it. Yet what if staying close-minded is costing you without you even realizing it? Because while having a preference (knowing what you naturally gravitate to) is more than fine, an unfounded prejudice (an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason) is something that’s completely different. And the reality is the latter could be blocking you from your blessing.
To further solidify my point, I asked some men who fit into the height majority (some of y’all will catch that later) to share their thoughts on being under 6’ and how that can actually be a win in the realm of relationships. Some of their thoughts just might show you how you could be “coming up short” by not dating them.
(As always, middle names are used.)
1. Roman. 31. Married. 5’7”.
“I’ve never had a problem being short — or at least, what our culture says is short. Only athletes in my school were super tall, and I find women with heels on to be sexy because I’m a legs man. I guess I’m lucky because I don’t even remember hearing ‘short man jokes’ back in the day. As far as what makes short guys a good catch, overall, is I think that we have such a level of confidence and self-awareness that makes our brand of masculinity appealing…at least, that’s what my wife says. She’s 5’4” and has always preferred guys who are on the shorter side of things.”
2. Caide. 29. In a Serious Relationship. 5’5”.
“I ain’t got no lies for you. When I was growing up, I was pissed about being the size that I am now. It wasn’t so much because of women — I just didn’t like it. Once I got to college and met this 5’10” girl who I dated for about two semesters, my entire perspective changed. We both like fashion a lot and have hella natural style. Before long, we had a reputation for being trendsetters on campus, and people liked that she didn’t care that I was shorter and that I got over the fact that she was pretty much towering over me when she had on her heels. When two people like each other, no matter what, there’s something really appealing about that. My lady now is taller than me too. Ask me if either one of us cares.”
3. Jakari. 45. Married. 5’7”.
“I’ve never understood why a woman who is five feet thinks that she needs a man who is towering over her. If she even got with a guy who is 5’5”, he’s gonna be taller than her. Relax."
"Anyway, my wife is 5’6” and she’s gonna keep some heels on her feet. The two boyfriends before her were over 6 [feet], and treated her like sh-t. She said that a man who is tall in character beats a man with height any day. You see who she’s with…right?”
4. Nicco. Single. 5’3”.
“Some men have a so-called ‘Napoleon Complex,’ I won’t lie. But for the most part, if you ask any woman about the traits of shorter men, they are almost always gonna say that we’re funny, charismatic, and great communicators. Those are things that we had to work at so that our height wasn’t the main focal point. If you want one hell of a good time, a short man is almost gonna guarantee you that. I swear, y’all be missin’ out.”
5. Elias. Married. 5’6”.
“I’ve personally never really cared what people think. For what? Folks change like the weather. I personally think that’s what a lot of women found attractive about me. Why should I stress over something that I cannot change or want someone who doesn’t want me over something as shallow as my height? I once read that people who care about what others think tend to be paranoid, unstable and that they constantly blow things out of proportion. No woman is gonna feel safe around that kind of man. Embracing who you are and then maximizing its potential is gonna make you stand out — no matter how tall you are.”
6. Oryn. Single. 5’3”.
“You asked, so I’ll tell you why so many women trip. It’s because they think that ‘short’ automatically means ‘small.’ Please tell them that penis size has to do with genetics, not height, and there are a lot of tall men who won’t bless you like some of the shorter fellas well. That sh-t needs to be taught in science class because the way that ignorance gets spread is wild, boy.”
(Shellie here: He’s right. Some of the tallest guys that I’ve been with had some of the smallest packages. Please let the hand and shoe-size myth go.)
7. Enzo. 25. In a Serious Relationship. 5’8”.
“Back when I was trying to get my now-girlfriend to go out with me, I asked her who her favorite celebrity was. She said, Usher. In my mind, I thought, ‘Perfect!’ because I already knew what his height was. I said, ‘I thought you said that you’re not into short men,’ and when she said, ‘I’m not,’ I said, ‘Google the brotha.’ You should do it too because that man is 5’8” — just like me. I took her to his show in Vegas, and we’ve been going strong ever since. It’s kind of wild how that totally changed her perspective — just realizing that he’s not as big as she made him up in her mind to be. Pretty sure that there’s a deep life lesson in that.”
8. Langdon. Married. 5’5”.
“Back when I was dating my wife, she said that she was concerned about what people would think when they saw us out. She wondered if they would assume that she was settling because she’s close to 5’10”. All we get are compliments because we’re often told that our style and energy are attractive. She also said that I’m what made her finally consent to the fact that we all really are the same height lying down. I’ll let y’all read between the lines with that one.”
9. Carter. 40. Engaged. 5’7”.
“I’m not playin’ these games. While women are out here turning their nose up at ‘regular’ short guys, their favorite celebrities are short too. I work in entertainment, and even the ones who claim they are 6’ are usually lyin’. Pay attention to how women measure up to men the next time you watch a movie or television show. Watch how many guys are eye to eye with the ladies. Y’all don’t care about height as much as you think you do…so long as men have other things to bring to the table.”
(Shellie here: I got to give this “height hack” to him because I once read that the average height for leading men is around 5’9” while the average leading lady clocks in at about 5’5”. Do with that what you will, chile.)
10. Braylon. 32. Single. 5’8”.
“Hypocritical jargon and double standards withstanding — women having preferences don’t bother me. I just tend to ask women who claim that you have to be a certain height to ‘ride their ride’ to explain where they are coming from because a lot of them only repeat what someone else has said as far as the whole height thing goes. As far as what they’re missing, I think it should be approached from a different angle — if you’re so caught up in a man having to be a certain size to even get a date with you, aren’t you setting yourself up to miss out on some really great people?
"Wanting a tall person for no reason than ‘just because’ is limiting. As for me and my dating life, I’m doing just fine. You’d be amazed how many more dates you can get when you’re open to different types of people.”
11. Jaxen. 34. Single. 5’4”.
“I’ll put it to you this way: There are certain sex positions that can be enjoyed so much more because two people are standing eye to eye. Hell, even a hug and kiss can feel more intimate when your bodies are lined up with each other. I don’t have to sell anyone on it — too many women have told me directly. Short guys are up to the challenge of making women fans of their size. Trust me.”
12. Roosevelt. Married. 5’8”.
“Remember when you told me about that woman who said that she didn’t need a tall man because she had a father to look up to? My wife told me something similar. She said that she thinks that a lot of women think that a tall man is a sign of protection, especially if they didn’t have a father while growing up. But because her dad is 5’7”, a military man and a marksman — she has never seen masculinity through height. I think the main thing that women miss out on when they refuse to even consider a shorter man is that a good man has nothing to do with if you can physically look up at him…it’s if you can respect how tall his character is. If that isn’t something that you care about, you’re not as ready for a relationship as you think you are.”
(Shellie here: WELP.)
There you have it: 12 men who aren’t 6’, who are out here living their best life — because they know that height isn’t everything. Never has been. Never will be.
May we all take the hint.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports