Chloe Gray, Dating Coach
Dating apps are pretty brutal. The competition is fierce. If you’re a heterosexual man, it can be especially difficult. Unsurprisingly, height is the most common lie straight men tell on their profile.
Should You Lie About Your Height on Dating Apps?
Here’s the thing… we could get lost in a discussion about the unfairness of heightism or how it’s slowly improving (just look at how #shortking has exploded), but let’s keep this short, sweet, and actionable.
If you lie about your height on a dating app, you will likely have an increase in matches and a decrease in second dates. Instead, let’s stop chasing people who are more interested in the size of your femur than the size of your most important organ… your heart. Take a second to finish laughing at my hilarious pun and let’s teach you how to look your height in photos.
Why Being Honest About Your Height Isn’t Enough
(Perspective changes perceived height. Whaaa, they got magically taller!)
If you input your height on the app, why do you need to back it up with photos? Well, this will be a shocker… but sometimes people lie on the internet.
Unfortunately, dishonesty about height on apps has become so common that women look at your pics with a healthy dose of suspicion. If you don’t look the height you claim to be on the app, your match rate will plummet- even amongst women who don’t need you to bump into the ceiling fan to be attracted to you.
In order to increase your match rate, you must look the height you claim to be and I’m about to teach you how! The two most important aspects to consider are the environment and the camera angle.
(He looks shorter than her because of the mountains above him. She looks taller than him because the mountain is below her. In reality, he is taller than her)
The environment around you has a pretty big impact on your perceived height. Sometimes large things (say, a mountain) make everything around it look smaller (i.e. you), so here are a few guidelines to follow…
- Use a prop that most people understand the size of in order to accurately demonstrate your height
- Stand on flat or high ground
- Ensure that anyone in the background is of average height
- Check the background for anything distracting (trash, clutter, or the neighborhood dogs expressing their desire to procreate)
- Ask an unbiased third party who doesn’t see you regularly to guess your height in the photo.
- Stand next to huge objects and/or people
- Stand next to something larger than most people would expect it to be
- Stand on low ground with high ground behind you
- Stand in a room with a high ceiling
- Stand at the bottom of a staircase or escalator
- Challenge large mammals, statues, or steep landforms to a height contest
The only thing more important than the environment when it comes to height is the camera work. The angle, height, and tilt of the camera have a huge impact on how your body will be perceived. A poorly taken photo can add extra weight, hide muscle, or make you look chinless. Right now though, we’re just going to talk about how it affects your height.
Get low: Ask the photographer to get down on one knee for your full-body shots. Ideally, your belly button should be in the vertical center of the photo (if you were to fold the photo from top to bottom, your belly should be in the horizontal crease).
Cropping: Crop anything below your feet or above your head. Your body should take up most of the vertical space in your full-body shot. I know the Eiffel Tower in the background makes you feel uber-cultured, but it’s also going to make you look much shorter than you are. We’re going for clarity above lifestyle.
Tilt: The camera should be held at a 90° angle or slightly tilted up. If the photo has even a slight downward tilt, you will appear shorter. Most of your height lives in your legs and torso and it’s extremely important to show their full size. However, we also don’t want to dramatically tilt up. It’ll add inches to your height, but it will also be pretty obvious that you’re being disingenuous.
Utilize movement: Not only will movement help your photos to look more natural and candid, but it’ll also help to show your full height. This is especially true when on sidewalks, stairs, hills, etc. If you’re looking to add half an inch, dancing or jumping works great too.
Fitted clothes: Your clothes should fit your body well. They don’t need to be tight, but baggy clothes will make your legs and torso look short and stocky. This is also true for cargo shorts with bulky pockets.
Yes, I know, we already covered this, but I’m saying it again because I know it’s a tempting option. Even on an unfair playing field, people don’t like to feel lied to– it can quickly sour a great connection.
Have you ever seen a woman’s profile where all of her photos are from the tits up, and you’d bet the family farm that she’s trying to hide her weight? That’s how she feels when you don’t look the height you’re claiming to be. It isn’t just about whether or not you’re attracted to them; it feels like manipulation.
I know lying is tempting and heightism is incredibly unfair, but let’s use radical acceptance to deal with this issue head-on instead of further sabotaging yourself. We cannot change how society treats masculine height, but we can change the quality of your profile.
Dating apps are tough because they rely on skill sets most straight dudes don’t possess. The good news is that these skills are quite teachable, and with a little bit of educated effort, you will be just fine.
If you look shorter in your photos than you do next to a stadiometer, take some time to learn how to take full-body shots that display your full glory, top to bottom. If you get stuck or feel overwhelmed, just reach out to your handy-dandy dating consultant, and I’ll get you sorted.
P.S. A stadiometer is that thing attached to the wall in your doctor’s office to measure your height. I had to look it up too.