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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What has height got to do with love?


He is a great looker and the most eligible bachelor. He has made it big as a presenter on a prominent radio station around town. With an adorable voice, a sense of humour and unquestionable intellect, he comes around as the most alluring male in Uganda. Problem is –he has a tree stump height. Holding his hands would be like a mother directing her child because he's very, very short. The question is would you date him?

"Duh," most girls answer. But why?

Sharon, a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate says: "I cannot date the sexiest male on earth if he's much shorter than me. I don't think we would connect. Let's face it, would I respect him?"

Like Sharon, many girls say they wouldn't feel a thing for short men though a few believe it depends on the difference in height.

Professionals put men's regular height between "5" 8 and "5" 11 and measure regular short men at "5" 4 to "5" 7. Shaquille O'Neal, the towering Los Angeles Lakers basketball super hero stands at "7" 1. Imagine a woman with a pygmy height dating a man his height!

Though height may not rank as high compared to other attributes like confidence, kindness, intelligence, and success, it holds its goose place when it comes to the kind of person to date.

"Tall men are intimidating. People listen when they stand to speak. It is why a tall and strong person –the one that will dominate and make me a meek wife –is my kind of guy," says Ann, a Mass Communication student at Makerere University.

Ann puts a traditional timbre to it adding that in the true African sense, a woman deserves a muscled man who will stand tall and proud and be able to protect her family through thick and thin.

But looking at it, one wonders if women are being straight. Way back in those golden secondary school days, tall guys always found it hard trying to find prospective dates. At school dances and reunion parties, the tall always became the rejected cornerstones. One popular tall Okasang had a way of bending his body like a reed if by chance he found a girl to dance with. He was intelligent with an enviable sense of humour but his height had become his undoing. Ironically, it's the very short guys that were sharp. They always had a point to prove because many girls are short; they 'felt' the 'goods' for real and enjoyed the zero-distance squeeze dance best.

Away from the past, young women say short men are afraid to date tall, serious dames. Juliana, a post-graduate Law student at the Law Development Centre [LDC] argues that God created man and woman and rigidly defined their gender roles.

"Men were meant to be tall and strong, women short and tender," she says, cheekily adding, "it appeals when my man lifts me in his tall hands just like a baby. A short man can seldom do that if by chance I'm a foot taller." She muses before going rhetoric, "Can he?"

Maybe Juliana has a point. Being very much unmatched in as far as height can put a strain on any relationship and stab the fires of romance. Women want to be lifted, fondled and 'crushed' in embraces.

Alice, a waitress in a restaurant in Wandegeya graphically puts it: "Just imagine a man who has to stand on a stool to be able to kiss my full lips. That would be putting romance in an awkward position."

She cites men who are short and skinny and who, when standing, are at eye-level with the girl's bust: "Such men should leave dating to those who qualify and become priests," she advises.

On the contrary, "Short men never grow old unlike the tall guys who bend with age," says one who preferred anonymity. Apparently, she dates a short man who she says has a sexy persona. She further asserts that short men respect their spouses and treat them with tender love and care.

"Yes, short men have short…um…you know what I mean but they know how to use them, it's what matters most," she laughs and adds, "it makes me whole when my shortie stands on his toes and tilts his chin to kiss me, it's so sweet."

There you heard it from the horses' mouth. It's perhaps logical to say that whether tall or short, what matters in relationships or dating is 'divine' connection and love.

--The Daily Monitor, Friday, October 29, 2004