“I’m 5’8 ¾ inches …FML”


We all know that short guys have it rougher than most. The intimidating prospect of navigating both the dating and occupational realm can be a harrowing ordeal that challenges their psyche, and invokes a barrage of obstacles throughout their lives that breeze by their tall male and short female counterparts.

Because of this, men of below-average height are increasingly resorting to “limb-lengthening,” an incredibly painful surgical procedure with a notoriously long and grueling recovery period that often backfires because of infections.

For over $100,000 (not covered by insurance, despite or because of high risk of failure), men under 5’9” have the opportunity of undergoing this process at the International Center for Limb Lengthening in order to achieve a maximum of two-three more inches in height. Sounds ridiculous, right? As messed up and sad as it is, this procedure is actually relatively common and is gaining popularity amongst cosmetic enhancements.

This being wrong on so many levels, the question is: why? Let’s examine the intricacies of your average short guy’s everyday life. There are  obvious limitations within the dating scene—most heterosexual women highly prefer their partner to be at least two-three inches taller than themselves, and typically shorter guys still highly prefer a partner shorter than themselves, the probability of such decreasing with their height.

Studies and statistics also show that shorter men suffer more psychological trauma, with a higher probability of social exclusion (particularly in childhood) and discrimination that can result in an inferiority complex that restricts them even more, as well as vastly less occupational success than their taller counterparts in virtually every field that doesn’t require a short stature (for example, the taller candidate in U.S. presidential elections won 22 out of 25 times in the 20th century).

This is all very depressing, but shorties in the house, don’t fret—there’s no reason for you to go to such extreme lengths as surgery for those two-three inches that may contain all the opportunity you deserve. According to female-based surveys, having high confidence often overrides height discrepancies in choosing a sexual or romantic partner. Confidence is also a very important factor in choosing a candidate for a job—perhaps the reason that taller candidates typically get hired is because they actually are more confident in themselves and it shines in their interviews.

Because the average women’s height is 5’4” and shorter women are slightly more bountiful on this earth than shorter men, finding a partner who is satisfied with your height is less of a challenge than it seems. I myself am 4’11” ¾ and have never had to consider height when accessing attractiveness—although, actually, it’s kind of nice to not have to stand on my tip-toes and strain my neck; I feel like that’s a sentiment that most women share. There’s hope for short guys yet!

Vertically-challenged individuals of the male gender (if you don’t mind me saying), if you don’t let your height hinder your confidence in yourself, you may find your prospects to be far less limited than you would have imagined. So please, don’t even consider this “limb-lengthening” surgery with all of its own risks and drawbacks—simply hone your Napoleon complex and dominate these spaces. Napoleon controlled multiple nations…you can get a date, and a job, and hell, whatever else you like as long as you’ve got the chutzpah.