Nietzsche on tall and short women

” … small females seem to me to belong to another sex than tall women …”

This saying is quoted by Nietzsche but mocked by one of his best-known translators. But I think he might have been onto something.

Taller women do seem more like men than shorter women. More of a match for men. It is possible that they are more intelligent than shorter women since there is a positive correlation between height and intelligence. And being literally closer to men in their build presumably affects their conception of themselves.

A group of women of average height can seem like munchkins to a man. Whereas a taller woman is a different proposition. When a male writer wants the reader to take a female character seriously, he often makes her tall.

9 responses to this post.

  1. interesting. never have thought of these things before.


  2. Tall, attractive women are considered more valuable (with diminishing returns as height becomes excessive) as they would be more likely to give a man tall, attractive children. Short women might be fun for recreational purposes, but would be a procreative disadvantage. Height is inherently a masculine quality. Even very beautiful women (Elizabeth Debicki in Guardians 2 is almost 6’3″) lose femininity points for being “too tall”.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on August 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      I don’t hear of men selecting wives on the basis of their height. If anything, men tend to be more interested in shorter girls.

      All other things being equal, girls over five foot five inches and under about five foot nine inches are a good bet. Taller women look better naked. They have better legs. And they age better. In my observation.


    • At 5’9″, I find this conversation interesting. My husband (6’2″) almost always dated taller women. His personality however, is one that thrives on the opportunity to be challenged, stretched, and to grow. Perhaps that is why he likes taller women.

      I don’t know that he ever had a conscious preference. I will have to ask him.

      We have (of course) produced tall daughters.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on August 10, 2017 at 12:59 am

        Yes. I am 5 foot 11 inches and a big build. My wife is 5 foot 7 inches and also broad-shouldered. I sometimes tease her that she would have made a good showgirl.

        Taller women seem typically more attractive to me. My wife tends to dress a bit flamboyantly or colourfully and a bit of height helps. My mother-in-law was quite tall and she always looked nice.

  3. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on August 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Maybe it depends on what you are used to. The ideal difference for dancing is four inches between a man and a women. However, this notion has been tossed out the window by women on internet dating sites demanding men over six foot tall. This does create a problem for tall women that want the four inch difference. They have to compete with all women for tall men, and shorter men are spitting mad.


    • Well, tall, but not too tall, attractive women can be choosy as they are in high demand. What tickles me are the short, pudgy types with plain or less-than-plain faces making similar demands.

      I’m just at 6′ tall, but I’d be sure to list myself as at least 6’1″ on any website if I was so inclined.

      Saw a young, pretty young girl (17-18?) in a restaurant a couple of days ago. She must have been at least 6’1″, but with very nice face/hair/build. Looked athletic, not horsey, and was dressed in an attractive, summer outfit. Good breeding stock if ever I saw. My older boy is going to be 6’4″ according to the growth charts. I should have asked if she had any younger sisters.


  4. Tall women (I have friends) seem to create a desire in men to conquer. Short women trigger a desire to protect.


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