In the "Bizarro Jerry" episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, comedian Jerry Seinfeld begins dating a beautiful blonde model named Jillian. Jerry's best friend George takes advantage of the situation in order to gain access to an exclusive club for supermodels. Much to George's dismay, Jerry eventually breaks off his relationship with Jillian, telling her he would rather remain "just friends." His reason for the sudden loss of interest: she had man hands.
The episode was inspired by a writer's real life experiences with a woman who had exceptionally large hands and was extremely self-conscious about them. She referred to them as her "farm hands", but this was changed to man hands in the finished script. A male stand-in provided the masculine-looking hands during close-up shots, while the actress portraying Jillian kept her own hands out of as many scenes as possible.
The problem with a woman having man hands, at least according to Jerry, was the disturbing mix of femininity and masculinity. Jillian's flirtatious behavior and other feminine gestures were constantly marred by the appearance of her clearly masculine hands. As much as Jerry wanted to view Jillian as an attractive date, the sight of her oversized man hands routinely bothered him. Jillian herself appeared unaware of the size and masculine qualities of her hands, but Jerry and the television audience clearly saw a man's thick hands.
Hand sizes for both sexes are largely a matter of genetics, although people who perform heavy manual labor often do develop exceptionally large or calloused hands. The ideal hand size for a woman is routinely smaller than for a man, but a tall or heavy-framed woman could indeed have larger, more masculine hands. A smaller-than-average man could also have more feminine hand proportions. Some people's hands and feet grow disproportionately, which means a thin person could have exceptionally large hands. Finger sizes and shapes also vary widely from hand to hand, from long thin fingers to short, stubby ones.
While Jerry's experience with man hands may have been exaggerated for comic effect, some women may indeed feel self-conscious about having large, masculine hands, while men may have self-esteem issues over having more delicate-looking hands instead of the traditional oversized and calloused hands of a working man. The lesson Jerry learned the hard way was not to judge a person by a single physical characteristic.