Why Do Height Differences Still Bug Us When It Comes to Intimate Relationships?

Instagram via @enews

Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim are blowing up social media with their newly Instagram-official relationship.

We know these two from the beloved Netflix show Selling Sunset, which follows realtors in LA selling excessively glamourous and expensive houses to luxury buyers and celebrities.

The reality show came out in 2019 and was an instant success. With hot female realtors selling gorgeous houses to gorgeous people, having elaborate parties and gossiping behind each other’s back… it’s the perfect recipe for addictive reality TV.

The company at the centre of this show is called the Oppenheim Group, started by short-but-hot entrepreneur twins Jason and Brett Oppenheim. They’re exactly how you’d imagine real estate moguls in LA to be, they’re tanned, ripped and always wear some form of tight-fitting shirt/jacket, with white pants and loafers.

In season three of Selling Sunset, one of the major storylines was Chrishell Stause’s sudden divorce from her This Is Us actor husband, Justin Hartley.

As documented in the show, it seemed to catch Chrishell completely off-guard and we watched her experience a painful heartbreak, moving out of their house, going back home for a bit, unable to eat or to endure fellow castmate Christine Quinn’s wedding.

As viewers, we really felt for Chrishell and were rooting for her to find love again. And as of this week, it appears she has, but with an unlikely suitor: Jason Oppenheim himself.

Now, this came as unexpected news for a few reasons. For one, Jason is the ex of another cast member and realtor at the Oppenheim Group, Mary Fitzgerald, and the two have always sparked rumours of getting back together, despite Mary’s recent marriage to Frenchman Romain Bonnet.

Although there was never much weight to these rumours, neither Jason nor Brett have ever given off flirty vibes on the show with any of other the girls. Sure, they party together, but they always seem super serious and professional.

Chrishell and Jason’s pairing has also sparked some conversation around their height difference, especially given that Justin, Chrishell’s ex-husband, was super tall.

Now, I personally think that this is super interesting. When it comes to dating, height can be such a controversial topic, because it’s a common deal-breaker, but often assumed to be superficial.

People can’t help their height, which makes it a sensitive topic. When I was in the midst of my online dating days, I’d always be scared to ask people their height because I didn’t want to offend them, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to waste their time.

In saying that, I’ve never had a huge thing with height. Most of my boyfriends have been just slightly taller than me — just enough that when I wear heels, we’re the same height or (depending on the heels), I’m just slightly taller.

I guess I’ve never cared if someone was much taller than me, but like most women, I do definitely care if they’re much shorter than me. We all care about it somewhat, but we won’t admit it. For me, I think the reason is that in intimate situations, I like to feel equal or smaller than someone else’s body. Having sex or even kissing someone that is much smaller and shorter than me, has always made me feel awkward.

Now that I think about it, it could be because as women we’re taught to be small. Historically, we’re petite, pretty and dainty figures that are to stand next to a big strong man and not voice our opinions unless we’re spoken to.

Now, obviously, the world has evolved heaps since that ideal, however, I still think it’s true that there are expectations of the ‘ideal woman’, especially when it comes to her body shape and size, that are deemed more attractive when smaller.

Perhaps we feel uncomfortable with smaller men because they make us feel bigger, which actually makes us feel bad about ourselves and our bodies and doesn’t empower us sexually.

As much as I can attest for this experience personally, men must suffer from this expectation also, but in the opposite way. They’re taught that to be ‘manly’, means to be big, muscly and overpowering, which obviously creates complications if they grow up to be short.

To tell a man that he’s too short for you, would be the same thing as him telling you that you’re too big for him, both of which are offensive because we’ve been taught to be the opposite of those things within our gendered expectations.

Phew. I’ve never thought about this so deeply, and man, it’s complicated.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I think it’s normal for us to feel uncomfortable about heights. Some of us feel it more than others, and that’s okay, as long as we’re respectful of how other people feel.

If you’re a person that prefers to date people much taller than you, perhaps aim to match with people who have their heights listed on their dating profile. If you don’t care, that’s fine too.

As we move into a world where relationships are starting to look different, I think that height and size, generally, will become more fluid and normalised.

I think we all hope for a future that doesn’t idealise the ‘perfect couple’ by their size in relation to each other, but we’ve got a bit of unlearning to do.

In regards to Jason Oppenheim and Chrishell Stause, we’re really happy to see them in love and making each other happy.

We’re also busting to watch the upcoming season of Selling Sunset because it surely just got a hell of a lot juicier.

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