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Being a woman who, in any significant way, deviates from the norm of what is considered "beautiful" or "feminine" is harder.And one of the more common deviations from the ideal of femininity is being very tall, particularly when you're not model-thin.We've all seen very tall girls hunched over, pulling awkwardly at their clothes, or generally looking hyper-aware of the fact that they're taller than most of the guys around them – and hyper-aware that most of the guys probably aren't comfortable with it.To learn more about what beauty means to tall girls, I spoke with my friend Cara* – who, at just around 6'1", fluctuates between a 10 and 12 US dress size – about the realities of living in her body.I've had periods of my life where I basically starved myself to get down to a size 4-6, which on my height is really thin, and it was like I was a celebrity.People stared at me in the street in a good way, and I was treated differently.And the guys who are shorter than me often just avoid me entirely, because they don't want the socially shameful aspect of it.Honestly, I have dated guys a few inches shorter than me and didn't mind, but they definitely seemed to judge me based on it and be less comfortable than I was.
But it just gets so frustrating when you receive all these messages on dating sites about how you're an Amazon, or people joke with you that your boyfriend "likes to climb trees." My body type is seen as something strange and weird and fetishized, because we almost never see women like me represented, even though we're all around.I think I like it better than I would like being really short, though.""I think beautiful is partially how you carry yourself, but I am just like everyone else: I see girls that I wish I looked like and I think, "Oh wow, she's beautiful," and I'm jealous of her.Like, I see a girl sometimes who is 5'5" or so – a normal height – and she's just with some guy who is shorter than me but still much taller than her and I think that they look...? Because to me, she is beautiful because she fits into something, and she looks happy and natural.I wish we could have women of all shapes and sizes and colors represented so that we could start to see that as normal, and not have to feel like there's something wrong with us if we don't fit this one small paradigm.
Like, one of the first women I saw who kind of looked like my body on TV was freaking Brienne of Tarth. Only in a fantasy show with a woman whose whole character is based on being tall and strong like a man can I see a woman who honestly kind of looks like my shape and size.
I don't really think about whether I'm beautiful or not.