Romance Novels & Tall Tales

So, there are many troupes that pop up in romance novels that I'm not a big fan of (though sometimes I find them amusing), but one that is standing out to me more of late is in an aspect of the physical descriptions of the male lead.

Often (but admittedly not always) we have a female lead who is of average height who doesn't see herself as a great beauty who finds some manly stud who finds her irresistibly sexy and after lots of lusting they eventually end up together.  Mr. McStudly, more often than not, is tall.  And not just tall as in "taller than the average woman," but tall enough that they tower over normal men.  I recently read a historical fantasy romance where the male lead was "six and a half feet tall, maybe more."

Now, all things being proportional, how tall you are doesn't make a face more beautiful or what not, but height often is equated with manliness.  I've been a bit of a tomboy most of my life, and as I have always been on the short to average side of height for women, which means I've accumulated a number of friends (and some ex-boyfriends) who are taller than me.  Quite a bit taller than me.  So I have some insight on some of the less sexy things about a foot or greater height difference between you and your partner (or object of possibly unrequited lust since we're talking romance novels).

I'm going to jump in assuming the "he towers over you" is established and let people figure out if this is a good or bad thing.

First off, if you're 5'4" someone close to 6' or over can do obnoxious things like use your shoulder (or top of your head...) as an arm rest.  Yes, I speak from extensive personal experience on this one.

We tend to look at things within a general "eye-level" range.  Some of my tall friends essentially have "blind spots" that I can hide in because they look over my head.  With gents who are 6'4" or taller, looking straight ahead short folks will be well acquainted with his nipples (they're staring you in the face), pretty much anything you wear that isn't a turtle neck offers a view right down your shirt thanks to geometry, and their elbows are at breast height.  Why do I make note of this last one?  Because most people don't hold their arms in tight to their body when casually turning around.  Ow.

Several of my ex's have a foot or more in height on me.  I came up to their shoulder, at most.  You don't get to put your chin over their shoulder when embracing, or nuzzle your face in their neck.  It's pretty much a decision between embedding your nose in their sternum, or choosing which armpit to have in your face.  However, since romance novels love to have men "crush" women to their chests, that is at least a relatively accurate description of what the delicate ladies are experiencing.

In the absence of anything like a convenient stair or step stool, kissing while standing required me to stand on my tip toes and for him to hunch over awkwardly to make the rest of the distance.  So, any lady in a romance novel isn't going to be able to quickly sneak a kiss on her towering studmuffin if he's that tall because she won't be able to reach.

There are some advantages to a tall partner, they can reach all the stuff you have to climb on a ladder for.  When you sit on their lap you are probably now the same height.  But the world isn't really constructed around folks of significant height.  Doorways and ceiling fans may or may not accommodate a 6'6" + frame.  Cars almost never do comfortably.  And I haven't even gotten into some of the geometry issues of interaction between significant height differences (even holding hands gets awkward).

I guess the trend just gets a bit much for me, but maybe I've spent more time around unusually talk folks?

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