Feature

Author of the week: Arianne Cohen

At 6-foot-3, Arianne Cohen is a member of the &ldquo;tall culture&rdquo; she writes about in <em>The Tall Book</em>, which looks at the advantages and disadvantages of living in the world at an above-average height.</p&gt

Arianne Cohen can’t stand it when short women date men over 6-foot-3, said Lianne George in Maclean’s. “It drives me nuts. Honestly,” she says. For Cohen, who stands 6-foot-3 herself, it’s a fairness issue. Until recently, the 28-year-old journalist was so self-conscious about her height that she kept her sights set exclusively on the 4 percent of the male population she could look up to. She still fights the instinct to think of any petite woman playing in that relatively restricted field as a “poacher.” But after beginning research for her new book on “tall culture,” Cohen realized that her own dating rules were leading into a typical tall-woman trap. Tall women’s fertility rates are half that of shorter women, she learned, and the reason is that they have trouble ­finding mates.

Cohen’s The Tall Book delivers mostly good news for people of above-average height, said Daniel Akst in The Boston Globe. Tall people on average earn more, live longer, and have higher IQs than the rest of the population. Tall men, Cohen writes, “are the most romantically successful group on earth.” Among the penalties tall people suffer in exchange for their advantages are higher cancer rates and, of course, the dating problem. Cohen admits that she has to work just to notice shorter men when she first walks into a room, but the effort has been worth it. “I’m happier,” she says. “My dating pool has expanded by 3,000 percent.”

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