Ask Dr. Nerdlove by Harris O'Malley

Am I Too Petite To Be Hot?

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: So, I’m a tiny girl. And by tiny I mean, pretty flat, front and back. Weird saying this, I don’t even know you (but I value your words and love your blog– great job!). Anyway, so, I’m pretty bold when I like a guy. I will usually tell him, upfront and in-person. Unfortunately, I’ve only had the chance about three times to be this bold.

Other times, I’m held back by a… thing. Being a nerd, I hang out with nerd guys. And they all seem to be really into curvy girls. And that’s great! Girls of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, and I mean that. Despite self-esteem issues, I really try to stay fine with my own body type (I am twig-thin and am often accused of being “too thin”– I’m not, doctor says I’m healthy as a healthy horse, I promise), and am only shaken when confronted with the poisonous question of “Is what I have enough to please?” I guess I feel like there are fantasies I will never be able to fulfill for my guy (when he happens).

So recently, despite my previous forwardness, my confidence has dropped considerably because of eavesdropping on (I wasn’t really, I was actually RIGHT there) conversations in recent past workplaces (restaurant talk, what should I have expected?). Guys talking about how they at least need a “handful” … ok, well, guys tend to have bigger hands than ladies. Just sayin’. When I was younger, I used to Google search what guys thought of small girls, and the majority (though not all!) of my findings yielded glorious statements like, “I’m not a pedophile” or “Real men want real women with curves”, I was a wee bit crushed. I don’t feel like less of a woman because of it, just… less desirable. I was young and foolish, and while I know not to go looking for that stuff now, I was impressionable. 

I’m also surrounded by curve-love (which is great, curves should be loved!)  at conventions and other gatherings of geekdom (I tend to avoid comic book stores — some good experiences, but also some uncomfortable ones, as you’ve mentioned on your blog). While I appreciate curves, I always feel … ahaha, “under-dressed”? I’m terrified to cosplay most anyone (except Death from Gaiman’s “Sandman” – I love her). 

I think to assume that NO guy likes small women is pretty low of me, but what are the odds that, in finding a guy who does (and him being a geek who is NOT into loli), he doesn’t end up disappointed? Or want something more? Am I worrying too much? 

Thanks for reading,

Tempest in an A-Cup

DEAR TEMPEST IN AN A-CUP: You’re worrying yourself over nothing, ACoC.

Just as I’m always saying that women aren’t one monolithic hive-mind, neither are men. Guys are incredibly diverse in the body-types they go for. For every guy who goes nuts for Christina Hendricks’ hour-glass figure, there will be another who wouldn’t sleep with her with a rented penis and Kat Dennings cheering things on. 

By the same token, dudes who like petite women aren’t just into the loli/jailbait look. Kirsten Bell – to pick a celebrity – is quite petite, but folks find her incredibly attractive. So too are Ariana Grande and Krysten Ritter. There are plenty of men who go nuts for petite women, just as there are plenty of guys who go for big beautiful women. The big problem – other than people body-shaming naturally thin women – is that younger guys often have a hard time owning up to their own preferences. There’s a lot of pressure for guys to conform to the “Gimme BOOBS” stereotype and someone who diverges from that image may not feel as though he can own his preferences.

Sadly, the only thing that helps in this case is for him to mature enough and become self-assured enough to not give a shit about what other people think and just embrace that he likes, whether it’s big ladies or wee ones.

Be careful relying on the Internet as a barometer for opinions; not only is it an echo-chamber, but it gives a distorted view of how people really feel. The loud folks can seem far more numerous than they actually are. On the one hand, you have guys saying that “you need a handful”. On the other, the French have a saying: “a smaller-breasted girl holds you closer to her heart”.

Sexiness is about attitude as much as it is anything else. One of my friends is insanely petite – to the point of having to shop in the juniors’ section as often as not. She’s had her share of boyfriends and admirers over the years and is now incredibly happily married. Part of what made her popular wasn’t her measurements but her personality. She has an appealing mix of punk-rock-don’t-give-a-f

k and Zoe-Deschanel-perkiness that won people over. With the right attitude, a 32 A-cup can be even more alluring than someone with Jayne Mansfield’s measurements. It’s all in how you present yourself as a holistic person.

And just a side note about cosplay: cosplaying as Death is going to get you plenty of admirers. You might also try Ninjette from Adam Warren’s series Empowered. There’s also a wide variety of anime characters that you might find appealing. But more than just matching their fictional measurements, cosplay is about how you feel about the character. Pick a character you love and rock it, bra size be damned.

Good luck.

Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (; or to his email,