When it comes to finding Mr. Right, how highly do you place his height? Is it unimportant, or do men under six feet just not interest you?
Now a woman on TikTok is telling people that when it comes to dating preferences, putting one's height on a pedestal needs to go. Otherwise, people could miss out on finding love.
From curvy or skinny, blonde or brunette, and tattoos or facial hair, everyone has their personal physical preferences for when it comes to who their "dream" guy or gal is.
People have their favorite foods and types of music, so it stands to reason that the attributes in a potential romantic partner would be pretty important too. Although, some people are pickier than others.
Does Size Really Matter?
When it comes to these preferences, perhaps none are as prominent as height. Whether you're a guy who refuses to date a woman who's taller than him or you're a woman who will only date guys six feet or taller, this particular physical preference is becoming a mainstay.
But, one woman on TikTok is trying to change that narrative.
Ayanda Nyembezi-Heita, also known as @ayandastood on social media, is a Harvard student, and she recently went viral with nearly 1 million views for her opinions pertaining to dating preferences.
In particular, whether or not one's height is really all that important when it comes to dating and finding love. "If you date men, this is going to hurt to hear," Ayanda says. "But I have some controversial advice."
Let It Go
The viral TikTok is only nine seconds long, but Ayanda further expands upon her point in multiple follow-up videos in what she calls her height series.
So when it comes to physical preferences, Ayanda says we need to change our preconceived notions surrounding dating and take a lesson from Elsa from Frozen. "We need to let our height preferences go," she says.
In a follow-up video, Ayanda acknowledges a user comment that asks why shouldn't people just be allowed to date their dream person.
"It's okay to have a preference...but if you meet a short man who is treating you like queen, who you're attracted to, who you have similar goals to, and it checks every other box, and the thing that's holding him back is height, I just hope you'll make the right decision."
It's Math Time
Ayanda responds to a comment that says women are already held to incredibly high standards, so they're entitled to have height preferences. She wants the best for everyone, but then asks viewers, "Is the math mathing on this height thing?"
Using a scientific study and math, she says that 14.5% of all American men are six feet or taller. But out of the population, only 31% are single—15% of which are looking for love.
She then says that out of the 14.5% of men six feet or taller, it's safe to assume that only a fraction—15%—are interested in dating. Using a bit of math, Ayanda says that only a tiny 2% of men are both six feet tall and interested in dating.
She then adds that factors like preferences regarding race or sexuality further reduce the number of available bachelors.
So with that 2% number in mind, Ayanda uses another dataset and points out that nearly 80% of women want to date someone who's taller than them, and whether it's six feet tall or just a few inches taller, it raises an interesting question.
"We have to ask ourselves, 'Is the math mathing?' It is not. So what are we gonna do? Would you rather die alone than be with a short guy?"
Ayanda uses personal experience to get people to understand her point of view. She admits that when it comes to height preferences, even she is guilty of this behavior.
She says that she has close friends who are dating "amazing" men, and they just happen to be shorter than what they imagined for themselves. But regardless of the height difference, Ayanda says these men and women are "phenomenally partnered."
The Point Is
The point of Ayanda's TikTok series is that it's okay to have dating preferences, but once a person rejects a romantic partner due to superficial traits like height is when it's problematic. She adds that it's possible to find tall men who also check all of our other boxes, but that people shouldn't limit themselves and need realistic expectations.
"We overestimate our ability to predict what will actually make us happy," she says.
Ayanda's TikTok series quickly went viral and soon thousands of users were commenting. Some women disagreed with Ayanda and said that whether a man is six feet tall or only a few inches taller, they were entitled to having height preferences and getting exactly what they want.
Likewise, some men chimed in and said that if women can have high standards, such as height preferences, then they can too.
Much like how some men are criticized for dating women of a preferred weight, other people viewed the TikToks with a more critical lens and said that having any kind of height preference is "body shaming" due to a person's inability to change their physical appearance.
"Having a strict height preference is like the equivalent of men having a strict bra size preference. It's just super shallow," one user commented.
Other people pointed out that when it comes to height preferences, it simply boils down to the expectations that society puts on us.
For example, women are generally expected to be with taller and bigger men because it makes them feel "safe," which in turn gives the impression that the guy is manly.
Personality Towers Over Height
Many users sided with Ayanda and agreed that a good personality conquers height any day. Both men and women admitted that they used to have height preferences but that once they let it go, they found their true loves and have never been happier.
"I think we should focus on raising our standards for their values and behaviors, and not pretending height is a standard," one user wrote.