The Social Complex

A Tumblr Blog
A Blog dedicated to the exploration of height bias and discrimination.


Recent comments

  • April 20, 2014 3:10 pm
  • February 23, 2014 11:16 am

    TSC: I like to keep this blog about heightism generally instead of the much over-discussed topic of female height requirements or height in dating.  But my God….I’ve never heard a woman say anything like this before.  This is a beautiful critique of height, masculinity, feminism, and dating in our society.  Bravo..  

  • January 12, 2014 8:39 pm

    7 Reasons Short Guys Are Great ...

    TSC:  Mildly insulting, but well intentioned. 

  • January 11, 2014 5:47 am

    The Curse of Short Men: Why Women Reject Them in Dating


    I wonder if passing on short men as potential romantic partners—really, if sexual attraction overall—borders on a moral issue. I always cringe when a person says something that rules out an entire category of people, especially when someone rejects another in a flippant, auto-pilot fashion. “Yeah, sorry,” you can imagine someone saying, “I’ve just never been attracted to short men.” While so many women report this preference, I rarely hear any of them self-monitoring as they do so. In fact, you’d think one would ask herself, Is that fair of me? Is that being mean? Could I be ruling out an entire group of men who could make great partners? 

    As a psychologist, I don’t believe it is mean to deny a romantic chance to entire categories of people, but I do think people should listen to their own reasons why and ask if that narrow window of preference marks the kind of person they want to be. For example, if you see yourself as an open-minded person, you should have an open mind when it comes to dating to the point that you would truly be open to dating a wide range of men: tall, short, funny, and so on.

    Now, my personal belief which stems from my education as a psychologist, my clinical practice, and my own life experience is that people hide behind the belief that sexual attraction works in a prewired way. “I’m just not attracted to Asians,” a female social worker I work with said to me yesterday as I discussed my new article. ”It’s nothing personal,” she said flatly. (It didn’t seem to occur to her that her upbringing in the whitest, least Asian town in Connecticut had anything to do with it.)

  • June 26, 2013 10:52 pm
  • June 19, 2013 9:57 pm

    I Wish Women Would Stop Acting Like Straight Bitches About Short Dudes

    If we want men as a gender to question the beauty standard, shouldn’t we be willing to do the same?

    Recently, I was out to dinner with a group of girlfriends, and one them, a super-smart feminist writer who has contributed to this very website, was filling us in on her dating life. Specifically, she was lamenting the fact that she had made a date with a guy from an online dating site before realizing that he was only 5’6. Now she felt obligated to attend despite the fact that she “didn’t even want to go anymore.”

    The friend in question is roughly 5’2.

    Now, I don’t mind a short guy one bit. A short man who has the confidence to go after me, a 5’10 woman, is sexy as hell. But I’ve noticed that the subject of male height has the capacity to turn even the most open-minded and feminist of my friends into straight-up bitches.

    The general consensus around the table that night was no short guy is ever gonna get it, no way, no how, ugh, never never never never, with the kind of vehemence that would make me feel sick to my stomach if directed at a woman’s size or shape by a group of men. Even for the short women of the group, it wasn’t enough that a guy be taller than them — he had to be objectively TALL, even if that meant towering over them.

    Of course, this was an uncensored conversation among friends, not intended for public consumption. But while the tone may be variable, the sentiment is real. A recent poll found that 70 percent of British women prefer men over six feet, and an quick xoJane staffer poll on the topic came up with about 80 percent agreement.

    TSC: Read the rest of this fantastic article at the link!

  • June 2, 2013 1:05 pm


    TSC:  Huu?  I don’t watch “The Bachelorette”, but I doubt they would kick off all the short guys at the same time in the first episode.  I mean, usually during these dating shows, they’ll keep at least one short dude around - at least for comic relief.  It probably wasn’t that bad.

    TSC: My God!.


  • May 12, 2013 5:19 pm

    "Cause they’re short but they act like they’re big, tall, and bad"

    TSC: More shitty dating advice for short guys.   ಠ_ಠ  

  • April 30, 2013 1:10 pm

    Pick Up Artist gives “advice” to anonymous short guy

    TSC: This video actually had me laughing out loud in some parts.  Basically, the video features a Pick Up Artist (PUA) giving advice to a short guy who has written in to say that he has trouble attracting women because he’s 5’4”.  The PUA says that this thinking is “bullshit” because it’s a “limiting belief” that has no basis in fact.

    His evidence for this?

    (1) He and his mom liked to make fun of short men who seemed angry all the time.  They called it little man syndrome.  

    (2) He once knew this short man who talked shit at a club and he was beaten to death.  

    (3) There are tall guys who come back from War with no noses or legs, or they have scars running across their bodies - and yet, they date dozens of women a week.  How dare you complain, you ungrateful asshole.  Those men are overseas dying for YOU!


  • April 11, 2013 10:04 am

    We are Blind to Our Social Privileges

    TSC: I just found a video on YouTube which shows a taller guy speaking about his thoughts and feelings about heightism.  It’s clear that he is thinking out loud about the issue for the first time and hasn’t generally given it much thought.  However, I’m impressed that he at least tries to learn about it with an open mind. 

    I’m not sure what his thoughts say about the issue of heightism though.  First of all, he focuses primarily on heightism as it applies to dating and romantic attraction - coming to the conclusion that height doesn’t matter in his community because a short guy once dated a woman who rejected him.  This reasoning is problematic on multiple levels, but I think it reveals something about how we view social privileges which may apply to us.  That is, we deny them. 

    If you listen to his arguments closely, he doesn’t completely reject heightism as a possibility.  He merely rejects the idea that he is benefited by being tall.  He does this through anecdotal evidence, identifying himself with a social “out group”, and even blame shifting - near the end, he claims that short men “hate” tall men. 

    So, this simplest analysis of this video yields a rather naive taller guy who foolishly rejects his own obvious social privilege as a defense mechanism to protect his self-image.  However, one can also come to a different but valid conclusion about heightism after watching this layperson’s account of the prejudice. That is, he makes the claim that Hispanic women do not really care about the height of Hispanic male suitors.  While I suspect that this is an exaggeration, there is probably truth to the idea that heightism is more pervasive within some cultures than others. 

    After all, heightism is a social construct.