Why Do Men Lie About Their Height? #AlternativeFacts

Let’s set the stage. I walk into a bar with a friend and a man approaches me. Not totally surprising, the first question he asks me is “How tall are you?” I answer and say, “I am 6’4”.”

His response: “NO!” (Notice the exclamation mark? I’ve received this same response more than once and it is normally either in a raised voice or someone actually yelling at me) “That is not possible, because I am 6’4”!” he proceeds. “So you have to be at least 6’6”!”

Is this starting to sound familiar, girls? 🙂

Now, many of us, because we are taller than average height, are accustomed to the attention that goes along with it. We walk into a room, any room, and people notice us. We have a presence that cannot be denied. People will look up and pay attention; they might nudge the person next to them so they may join them in admiring our height. This is just one kind of the attention we garner.

The flipside of being tall for me was attention from the medical world I received as a child. While growing up, I endured meticulous measuring by my doctor on a regular basis, and to this day I ask to be measured every year when I have my annual physical. The past three years 6’4” has been reconfirmed. Although I do still feel that 6’5” would sound better, sadly that dream is shattered by my physician every year.

I claim my height; every inch of it is mine and I celebrate it.

So while I’m over here owning up to and loving my stature, back to the men that dispute our height only to inflate their own. Is it the notion that they will be viewed as less masculine? Or is it the inability to acknowledge when a female is indeed taller than them? What is it that drives these #AlternativeFacts?

I asked my boyfriend, who is 6’3”, what his view on the matter was. When we first started dating, I noticed his driver’s license stated 6’5”. Now, we both know he is not 6’5” :). I asked how that happened, and he explained that while he was at the DMV, no real attention is paid to removing shoes (he was wearing boots with a significant heel) nor do they pay attention to a big head of hair (he has dreads). They want to just get the measuring over with. This is how he ended up with two bonus inches on his driver’s license. It is not something that bothers him, nor is it something for which he would make any real effort to correct. The DMV doesn’t care and neither does he. Fair enough. I understand that.

For myself, it is a little different. As my height is a frequent topic of conversation and attention, it is important to me to get my facts straight—a priority, even. It’s something I would go out of my way for to understand, and if they got it wrong at the DMV, I would likely work on getting it corrected.

Back to our male counterparts. Is their sense of masculinity directly linked to height? Do they feel less masculine when confronted with a women that is taller? There is always a clear reaction to this confrontation in my experience. What goes through their minds and how does it make them feel?

Is it really lying? Or is it that they just care less and hold onto what they were once told? So they are not speaking facts, but rather whatever people in their environment estimate them to be?

I don’t have the answer, so with this piece I will put the question out there.

Why do you think men lie about their height?

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Photo Credit: Denise Benitez Photography


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