What trait in women would be considered as universally unattractive as short stature in men?

For the longest time, men have tried to use the analog “Short is to Men” as “Overweight is to Women”. So Short:Men::Overweight:Women.

The usual rebuttal that men like to use when they meet a women who judges them based on height is to try to flip the situation back at the women and use the weight of the women as the response. However, I have found that the response is inaccurate, if not downright wrong. It is not weight for women. It is something else.

The real factor that men should be using as a response has been a factor of the human experience which is no longer allowed in American society (or most other developed Western nations today). If you use the real, most accurate response back at a women, people would be calling the guy a bigot.

When it comes to the issue of dating and relationship, men can complain that being short is bad towards their romantic life but what these men have been using as the female analog is incorrect. We’ve got it wrong. The analog for women is not weight (ala overweight means unattractive), but skin color. For most of the cultures and societies throughout history, the men have traditionally favored the lighter skin girls over the darker skin ones. Read Peter Frost’s book “Fair Women, Dark Men” and you would see that anthropologists have shown that nearly all (or maybe most) cultures prized light skin color, at least for the women (Refer to the claim by University of Washington sociologist Pierre L. van den Berghe). Remember that even in our language for old stories that are imprinted onto our culture’s psyche from passed down from history, we use terms like “fair princess” and “tall, dark, handsome”. These terms are used over and over again. But why?

Anthropologically speaking, the light skin color of men does not seem to have any positive correlation to how attractive they are. For men, our skin color does not determine how attractive we are, even though some men in some cultures (Indian for example) both the men and women want their skin to be lighter. Whereas Indian women use the cream Fair and Lovely, Indian men use the cream Fair and Handsome. The opposite is true too for men at least. In some cultures, it is more attractive if the men have darker skin (ie. Krishna from Indian mythology). Yes, the

For more examples, let’s go to South America and look at the natives before the Europeans ever set foot onto that continent. Look up the Chachapoyas people, who were overtaken by the Incans right before Pizzaro and the other Spaniards arrived. Before the Europeans ever came along, the native Incans still prized the women of Chachapoyas (cloud people) as being fair skinned and extraordinarily beautiful. Examples like these go against the old claim made by so many people in the modern era who think that European domination, imperialism and cultural influence for the last half 1000 years is why non-western/european nations and societies seem to want to have lighter skin, because they want to look more like their masters, the Europeans. This old theory has been disproved.

Before the Chinese ever met the Europeans who used force to destroy the old way of life, the Chinese culture prized light skin. The rulers of the land, like the Sultans and Shahs of Ancient Persia (Sassanid Empire) had harems, so they were able to choose the most beautiful young females in the land to have as concubines. These rulers would choose sisters who had slightly lighter skin than the dark skinned ones. These concubines would stay in the castles and never need to be in the fields growing and planting. They in turn became more and more white. The ones who did not get chosen to be in the castle had no choice but be a commoner, working the fields, and getting their skin turned darker from the sun over the years.

Side note: The old idea that East Asian societies (Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese) developed this preference for lighter skin girls because in the old days, traditionally, the light skin was associated with upper class people not in the fields, and the darker skin was associated with lower class people who did work in the fields, is actually wrong. People have got it backwards. The society did not develop the preference for light skin as a result of the social association of light skin with high class. The truth is revealed to be the reverse. The social association of light skin with high class is from the result of the preference for light skin.

Just like the South Asians and East Asian cultures, The Arabs and Iranians are also not trying to emulate the physical features of the Europeans because of their influence. It seems that for the longest time, they have always prized women to have fair skin, blonde hair, and green/blue eyes. The area that the Arab empire tried to slaves from the most was always from the Northern lands. Look up the Arab slave trade which has been going on since the time before the beginning of Islam, and you would find examples of how female slaves from Europe who had fair skin, green eyes, and blonde hair would always fetch the highest price in the markets.

The Arab culture, the Indian culture, Iranian Culture, African America culture, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Hispanic, Brazilian, Chilean – In every single one of these cultures, people of lighter skin are on average considered more attractive than people with darker skin. India has Fair and Lovely. Korea has BB Cream. It is a global phenomena. If anything, if the American/Western/Australian culture had any type of real influence in changing the way the local Indians/Chinese/Iranians/Mexican/Filipino culture really thought about what would be considered attractive, these non-western nations would have gone with the standard, which is that darker tan-colored skin would be more attractive. However, that hasn’t happened. The people in the USA thinks darker skin is more beautiful. The people in India think lighter skin is more beautiful.

It seems to be only the USA (and maybe the UK, Canada, and the Australia) who have gone against the grain on this cultural preference for lighter skin. The change in thinking started back in the 1920s when Coco Chanel got sun burned while being in the sun in the French Riviera. After she came back, her fans loved her new skin color and that was how the Tan Craze started. Before the 1920s, American and British women wanted to be paler and whiter, like all the other cultures in the world. If you have watched any movies or tv about the british (or american) aristocracy from the 18th century, you would remember that they would put white powder on their face to whiten their faces, men and women. This is exactly the same thing that women in every other major culture in the modern age does.

Scientifically It turns out that the females on average have less melanin on the surface of their skin so they are usually lighter than their male counterparts.

At this point, I think we need to just admit to ourselves that for most cultures, being fair skinned colored as a women and being tall for a guy are what is considered attractive. From this point on, it is probably better to use the skin color factor for women when we are going to use the height factor for men as a way of comparing.

Of course, we know that in the modern american society, it is not politically correct to show discrimination towards people based on their skin color, even if it is a few shades too light or dark. Then again, we can look at the ethnic groups in our own society. Ask a good percentage of African American men and they would say that they prefer girls who have lighter skin than darker skin. Certain African American music performers have even gotten in trouble for stating their preference for women of lighter skin blatantly on radio, tv, or in interviews. (Neyo). The angry darker skinned african american girl might take extreme offense to this claim, and her self worth will come into question. How dare a fellow brother say that she is not beautiful, based on something that she can not control no less. Of course, we can show that this slip of the tongue by one young black guy is not a one time thing.

Doesn’t it seem interesting that the two “black” actresses that American pop culture consider to be “beautiful”, Halle Berry, and Beyonce Knowles, both have extremely light skin color{Tyler-Confounding variables: Both are bustier than normal and it’s very rare to find a completely black individual.  There’s a smaller pool to get attractive people from.  You’re more likely to find an attractive lighter black person than a pure dark black person due to numbers}? Ask most indian/chinese/russian immigrants who hasn’t adjusted to the racial sensitivity of America and don’t know how to be politically correct and they would claim that these “black” girls are mixed blood, explaining why they have such light skin color, and why they are more attractive than what they imagined in their own head of “american black girls” before they came to the US.

After centuries of battling the stigma associated with dark skin color, the American culture has managed to make progress on the issue of skin color. As for physical stature, there has not been as much. You are no longer allowed to make jokes of another person based on their race or skin color, but you can skin tease, harass, and joke another person based on their physical stature.

The question would be, can we change over time the cultural belief in a society’s belief system that tall men are more attractive then short men? I think we can implement rules to repress that subconscious biases from being so overt, but in the end, our real biases will come out.

To go against these biological ingrained biases is to fight against what is based on the rules of nature.

One thought on “What trait in women would be considered as universally unattractive as short stature in men?

  1. ACC

    I don’t think skin color is a genetically determined preference for men, it is just one of the preferences that have changed over time. Usually men find attractive what they are told that it’s attractive. Now that there is still a tan craze, fair skinned girls are considered the opposite of attractive. I am a fair skinned girl with good complection and trust me – I have never received a compliment on being white. To find a an accurate counterpart on the female side, it would have to be the sexual features. No curves would make a woman less attractive just as short height would make a man less attractive. This is in fact, something that is genetically imprinted. There might be an uncouncious preference for taller men due to the need of women to feel protected, but in today’s society, I wouldn’t say it matters that much. As a woman, I have never heard of any other woman who would reject a man based on his height. Usually a man is found attractive because of his demeanour, his neatness and his overall look.


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