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CITY GIRL: That VX will not make you any taller

I would never date or marry a short man. I know it sounds cocky and arrogant but we are all entitled to our own tastes and preferences. And a short man is not one of them for me.

Men below the height of five foot nine eight do not, have never been and will never be anywhere near my radar.

Which is why I avoid like the plague men who ‘look up to me’ when I am donning my five-inch heels.

Short men just don’t impress and excite me. I know they did not choose to be short, and, given a choice, most would wish to be taller, but they just don’t make me happy.

They don’t get my heart palpitating, neither do they make my palms sweat. They do not make me want to wear a nice pretty dress for them (or take it off for that matter!).

This is why I would like to take this early opportunity to apologise to all the short men I know because the next few minutes are about to get very uncomfortable. For your sake, I will keep it short.

I know I am not alone. Women generally don’t love short men. I mean we like a short guy as a friend to help us fix a puncture or when we really need to talk to a friend. But not as husbands and boyfriends unless we are really desperate to date or get married, or we are also very short.

The tall guy is the one we die for; you know, a man above five foot nine inches. The kind of guy you stand on your toes while hugging, or one who can comfortably wrap his arms around you from behind with his chin slightly above your head.

But we don’t just dislike short men because of their vertical handicap. Or because they look awkward hopping into a Prado. We don’t like short men because of what we call the Short Man Syndrome or (SMS).

Now, the Short Man Syndrome is common among most (if not all) short men around the globe, which causes them to exhibit certain characteristics that will be discussed at length in this article.


Short men with Short Man Syndrome have self-esteem and confidence issues, which make them want to over-compensate for their lack of height through acts of aggression.

Short men have heightened feeling of inadequacy, complex emotional issues and high levels of mistrust, fear and insecurity. What a short man lacks in height he will surely make up for in chest-thumping and bragging.

Which is why a short man will always talk about his big car — which he probably christened as ‘the beast’.

He will talk about his business deals and how he just bought a new house — in cash. He will go on and on about his business trips to Dubai and China and how he spent millions in shopping. Shopping for size zero Chinese suits.

He thinks his big car will somehow make up for the height he lacks and talking about it to anyone who cares to listen will make them forget the obvious — that he is a short man.

Short men are very insecure, especially about the men their wives and girlfriends interact with. Tall men, be especially careful of women married or dating short men. These women are bad news, especially if their short men have the Short Man Syndrome.

I once went out on a date with a short man. I did that purely on humanitarian grounds. I felt sorry for him and I wanted to restore his faith in humanity. He had been asking me out on a date for eons and I kept turning him down until one night, at midnight he called me, very drunk and asked me, “Njoki, why don’t you want to date me? Is it because I am short?”

I could have sworn I heard a sniff on the other side of the line.

Have you ever had an overwhelming urge to cry? That was me. I felt so sorry for him I almost cried.

“Oh, James (not his real name. I repeat, not his real name!)… I would never do that. It’s just that I have been so busy with work. Tell you what, why don’t we do drinks this Friday?”


He sniffed again. Then took a deep breath and hang up.

I had never dreaded a Friday like I did that one. I wore a flat pair of shoes and went for the date. That was one of the worst dates I have ever been to.

For some reason, ‘James’ felt that he needed to do something to prove to me that he may not be tall for my liking but he had other things going for him. Like his Land Cruiser VX for example. It cost him millions, to buy, he told me. Oh and it is such a fast car and the performance is out of this world. When would I want him to take me for a road trip? If I ‘behaved’ he’d let me drive his beloved Land Cruiser VX.

Oh, and did I know that he is a lawyer? He represents some top businessmen in this city and they pay him top dollar. Recently he did some biashara and, guess what, his ‘cut’ was Sh43 Million.

“So you see you are not dating a loser like some of those boys you write about in your column,” he said as he roared in laughter.

That was not the worst part of the date. This short man ‘James’ was very insecure. You know what they say about when you are with somebody you never want to be seen with and chances are that you will always bump into somebody you know? That happened to me. During the date, I happened to bump into a friend. A male friend who seemed earnestly surprised that he had sighted me with a short man. My short date was not very happy that I hugged the guy.

“Tell him next time he will be hugging a punch from me,” he told me. Never mind that he was about five-foot five inches and my male friend was over six feet tall.

I am sure there are a few women who do not mind dating or marrying a short man. My friend Stella doesn’t mind, “as long as he is a good man,” to quote her verbatim. This means there is a lot of hope for short men.

So, dear short men, there is no need for you to over-compensate for your lack of height.

There is even no need to keep talking about your big car to remind us that you are still around. I am sure you will find a woman who loves you; in spite of your vertical challenges and your big car. Just not me.