A content creator is calling attention to the double standard that exists for women whose dress sizes are above the national average.
On May 6, Zoë Tyler (@thezolyspirit) took to TikTok to express her thoughts about men who argue that it’s OK to not want to date women who are bigger than them.
“I saw a video recently where a guy said this, but I’ve heard this kind of argument made before of, like, ‘How come when a girl says that she would rather date a tall guy it’s fine, but when a guy says he doesn’t want to date a fat chick it’s a problem?’ And this…I made a PowerPoint,” Tyler says.
“This is a slideshow of men who are shorter than the national average of America, which I believe is 5’9.5,” she says. “And still, the general consensus amongst women who sleep with men or are attracted to men is that they find these men attractive and absolutely would.”
Tyler’s slideshow consists of several famous, albeit shorter men, who she believes aren’t discriminated against or looked at differently by the general public because of their height.
“Starting off strong. Cillian Murphy, 5’7, every day of the week and twice on Sunday,” she jokes about the Peaky Blinders actor. “Dave Franco’s considered a heartthrob…I wasn’t allowed to watch the Harry Potter movies when I was younger because they are the devil’s familiar, but I do know how many of you saw Equus,” Tyler says, referencing the Broadway play Daniel Radcliffe previously starred in. Franco and Radcliffe, per Tyler’s slideshow, are allegedly 5’7 and 5’5 respectively.
Tyler features other actors like James McAvoy, Josh Hutchinson, Billy Crystal, Michael J. Fox and Tom “Thomas Cruisington” Cruise, before referencing an actor who plays a superhero and a particularly famous band of brothers.
“Tom Holland, who is 5’8, and not a one of the Jonas Brothers scrapes the bottom of 5’10. Not a one. Speaking on those last two, they are both famously in relationships with women who are taller than they are,” she says of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, along with Tom Holland and Zendaya. “And yet the general consensus about these couples is that they’re ‘it’ couples. People aspire to be these couples.”
“In the past, like, week or two, they’ve gone to an Usher concert and a basketball game, and I have seen every second of both of those things from every single angle,” Tyler says of Holland and Zendaya. “And none of the comments are like, ‘Why is she with him? He’s short, ew.’ Every single comment is like, ‘Me and who? Me and who?’”
Tyler asserts, however, that this same leniency would not be given to “a male Hollywood heartthrob who was with a woman who was larger than the national dress size.” She references beloved James Bond franchise actor Pierce Brosnan and his wife of nearly 22 years, Keely Shaye Smith.
“I strongly love every curve of her body. She is the most beautiful woman in my eyes. And also because she had our five children,” Brosnan reportedly wrote on social media in defense of his wife, who was fat-shamed by trolls. “In the past, I truly loved her for her person, not only for her beauty, and now I’m loving her even more that she my children’s mother. And I am very proud of her, and I always seek to be worthy of her love.”
‘Because we don’t demonize and dehumanize and criticize short men in the same way we do women who are not a size 4.’
“Even in trying to find this photo, I came across articles and, like, Quora posts that are like, ‘His wife is so fat, why doesn’t he leave her?’ You cannot make this same slideshow with women whose dress sizes are above the national average,” Tyler asserts. “And I’m not saying just make this slideshow of random famous women whose dress sizes are above the national average. Make this slideshow of women who men consider, I mean, like, Tom Holland, Tom Cruise level fame.”
“Because we don’t demonize and dehumanize and criticize short men in the same way we do women who are not a size 4,” she adds. “That is not to say that short men don’t have mean things said about them on the internet or that it’s not hurtful that people criticize short men. It’s just to say, ultimately, it’s a preference not a dealbreaker.”
Tyler’s video, which has over 179,100 likes and 36,600 comments since being posted, has generated a conversation surrounding this double standard for women’s weight versus men’s height.
“Also: weight fluctuates throughout life, especially after birth or meno pause. Height doesn’t. So r they leaving their partners after weight changes?!” @wuetend wrote.
“Right lol people say anything to deflect from the fact that fatphobia exists and their ‘preference’ is really an exclusion and is discriminatory,” @gotthejas commented.
What’s also significant to note is the fact that Tyler’s slideshow of socially accepted shorter male celebrities consisted entirely of white men. According to Sabrina Strings, author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia and a sociology professor at the University of California Irvine, the early 19th century’s push for “thinness” was reinforced by both racial and Christian propriety.
“This began the whole idea that Black people, as a race, were prone to what was considered a low form of corpulence that should be avoided,” Strings said.
Eran Shor, a sociologist at McGill University, found that women experience increased scrutiny and degradation the more successful they become — which is not the case for men.
“As women become more successful and famous, their media coverage becomes increasingly more negative, while for men the coverage sentiment remains stable, regardless of their level of fame,” he explained via phys.org. “As women’s fame increases, rather than celebrating their achievements with favorable coverage, media scrutinize them more closely, ready to find blemishes and faults in their performance.”
By way of her TikTok video, Tyler brings to light the disparity of treatment that exists between women who are bigger than the national average versus men who are shorter than the national average. In both circumstances men and women “fall short” of fitting into the requirements of conventional attractiveness, but Tyler argues that women and women’s bodies are under more scrutiny than their male counterparts.
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