Apr 8, 2022Read of the week: limitations around the inclusivity movement for men

According to the internet, ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ men have long dominated the dating scene. But as conversations around the inclusivity movement for men evolve this stereotype may be on its way out. The latest TikTok trend to break biases in the world of dating? All hail ‘short king spring’.

J’Nae PhillipsJ’Nae Phillips is a Junior Editor at Canvas8. With a background in fashion, she’s experienced in understanding how trends influence culture and play a part in shaping our human behaviour. When not working or studying for her journalism postgrad, she can be found writing for her style focused newsletter and is an avid reader.

Actors Tom Holland and Zendaya are a fan favourite couple among Gen Zers for many reasons – one being their noticeable height difference. He's 5’8” and she's 5’11” – no big deal right? Or so we thought. The TikTok hashtag #ShortKing has more than 329 million views and its growing popularity is said to be inspired by the couple. But can ‘short king spring’ evolve the conversation around body inclusivity for men?

Upholding narrow ideals of male attractiveness and unattainable beauty standards – such as height – leads to feelings of low self-esteem and negative perceptions of body image. Around  28% of adult men in the UK feel anxious due to body image issues and 22% have negatively compared themselves to others when talking about body image.

To diversify the landscape, Savage x Fenty launched a capsule collection for men featuring male models of different shapes and sizes on their website. Taking this a step further, an app called Short King Dating launched to create a safe space for shorter men and those who want to date them – “F*ck tall guys, date a short king. Don't let height get in the way of true love.” Is the tide changing? And can short kings further the conversation around body diversity for men?

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