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It's a part of myself I've fought, manipulated, resented, and struggled to embrace for over half of my life.
So when people inevitably criticize me for taking men's comments about my height too personally, I'm the first to agree. And I haven't worked this hard to love my body for some guy to nonchalantly tell me how to feel about it over a gin and tonic.
Meredith: I'm a trans woman who's 5'5", so average height for women in the States and shorter than most trans women I know.
As someone who mostly — though not exclusively — dates men, I feel like my height has helped me a lot with dating, because men unconsciously perceive me as "normal," and I don't activate their unconscious transphobia as badly.
That's low-key why I always feel the need to have my hair with a bit of body — to make up for lost ground.
That self-consciousness definitely stems over into my dating life too, and with online dating even more.
But over time, I noticed that it was hardly a problem in my dating life — in fact, almost all of the guys I dated in my teens and twenties were six feet or taller.
That's not to say that tall men are better, but that my own physical size didn't restrict me to any specific height range within the straight male population.
It's hard to ignore something as obvious as height, especially if it makes a person stand out.While some people find that their height doesn't impact dating at all, others may feel that it allows for judgment, fetishization, and stereotyping.In a society where there are ideals of femininity and masculinity, it can be difficult for individuals who don't fit neatly into those boxes.And as I got older, more and more men I dated would comment on it: "I love how I can pick you up," "You're so cute and little," and even, "I'm only dating Chaya-sized girls from now on." I got rid of him shortly after.One even said explicitly, "I feel so manly with you." It's sort of been a firsthand exercise in how a lot of guys associate traits they see as childlike with femininity — they equate my height with an overall smallness, and that then makes them feel "big," playing into a traditionally desirable gender binary and power structure between men and women.