I was thinking about this the other day and when it cropped up again in the latest book I’m reading, I couldn’t not mention it.

I’ve noticed that in many paranormal romance books, males always seem to be “six and a half feet” tall. It seems to be a common trope within this genre. I’ve noticed this with three series now and while it doesn’t bother me, I simply wonder: why?

I’m not in work until 6 so I’ve been spending good time contemplating, trying to think of a reason as to why these five words specifically are used so often. I guess if we were to talk in terms of realism, it’s not too specific a description in regards to a person’s height. Many people, real and fictional alike, don’t have the ability to gauge a person’s height simply by looking at them. They hazard a guess and estimate someone to be “six and a half feet tall” give or take an inch or two.

Perhaps as well it’s about striking a balance. Maybe a male of average height doesn’t quite exude the power of a male above average height and when you’re a supernatural being, power plays an important role in everything from battles to politics. On the other hand, though, being way, way above average height could be seen as intimidating? I read a book last year where the male lead was seven foot something and seemingly carved from pure muscle. Maybe “six and a half feet” is a safe bet for writers, a height that is pleasing to both readers and characters.

It probably seems like a trivial thing to pick up on. I don’t know. What do you think?

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