Man's rant about heightism on dating apps goes viral, so does he have a point?

Does height matter on dating apps? The jury is out. (Posed by model) [Photo: Getty]
Does height matter on dating apps? The jury is out. (Posed by model) [Photo: Getty]

A five foot tall man claiming he is discriminated against on dating apps has provoked a conversation about heightism.

The man in question, a customer at a Bagel Boss – a bagel shop in Long Island, New York – was filmed as he launched into an angry rant about the women he encounters on dating apps.

The incident – which the man ends up being wrestled to the ground by a fellow customer – was captured by Twitter user Olivia Bradley and shared on the platform.

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"Why is it OK for women to say, 'Oh you’re five feet on dating sites, you should be dead,'" the man asks in the footage.

He adds: "Women in general have said it on dating sites. You think I'm making that shit up? Everywhere I go I get the same fucking smirk with the biting lip."

At time of writing, the video has received over 50,000 retweets and garnered over 20,000 comments.

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It has provoked mixed reactions, with some suggesting the man’s attitude – not his height – might be hindering his dating life, while others have taken a more sympathetic attitude to his outburst.

But does he make a valid point about the heightism dating app users face?

Height and dating apps

For some dating apps, like Hinge and Tinder, stating your height is a requirement for users.

On others, like Bumble, you can choose whether or not to state how tall you are.

But is it as important as some people think? We asked Alex Durrant, who is CEO of Jigtalk, a dating app designed to offer a “less superficial” experience compared to other apps.

He said: “Visual attraction isn’t as important as it may seem. Our research found that males and females have completely different opinions on the key traits they look for in a partner.”

“We questioned over 1,000 people who actively use dating apps, and found that while men rate looks as the most important factor in a match, women are actually looking for a sense of humour and good conversational skills as their first priority.”

“Looks and height do play a part - naturally, but they're not as important as having a good, fun personality. In fact, the height of a match was only important to 28 per cent of females!”

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These are the most important factors for female and male daters, according to Jigtalk’s research – and those self-conscious about their height will breathe a sigh of relief.

Most important traits in a partner – (what females look for)

  1. Sense of humour (70%)

  2. Conversational skills (58%)

  3. Looks (56%)

  4. Height (28%)

  5. Education level (21%)

  6. Job title (20%)

  7. Financial stability (16%)

  8. Music choice (13%)

  9. Mutual friends (9%)

  10. Body shape (8%)

Most important traits in a partner – (what males look for)

  1. Looks (66%)

  2. Sense of humour (55%)

  3. Conversational skills (45%)

  4. Body shape (27%)

  5. Education level (24%)

  6. Job title (21%)

  7. Height (18%)

  8. Financial stability (18%)

  9. Music choice (13%)

  10. Mutual friends (12%).

We also spoke to Didier Rappaport, the founder of happn, an app which allows users to meet people they have crossed paths with in real life.

He told us height matters “no more, not less” on dating apps as it might in real life – that is, if you choose to state your height.

“Appearance is quite a big deal when it comes to dating as it is the very first vision we get of somebody,” he says.

While happn does not require its users to specify their height, Rappaport recommends users will benefit from doing so.

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He explains: “Of course some people might be tempted to lie on their height and hope this criterion will finally be blurred out by their shiny personality and all their other physical features, but there’s a risk by lying that your date will be disappointed and this would end up a waste of time for both of you.”

“At happn we decided recently to suggest our users specify their height directly on their profile, if they wish to, as it clearly is important for people.”