I have been woefully late in writing anything lately, which is probably due to a combination of factors — some of them including writer’s block, and all of them relating to the fact that this is the end of the semester, and my academic life took a turn for the excitingly-rapid-fire-worst.
I’m ready to accept the fact that this weekend is going to be a doozy. But before I embrace those organic molecules and inject them into the very fiber of my being, let’s talk a little bit about fashion. More specifically, painful fashion. Because we all know that it’s out there, running rampant in every clothing and shoe department in every shopping center. So, what I’m wondering is…
Why do we wear high heels?
Why have women constantly been relegated to painful fashion? I’m going beyond the traditional scope of corsets and foot-binding (though I know we are all just dying to look at pictures of invisible waistlines and mutilated feet). I’m talking about a very personal, daily struggle for many women — our choice of shoes. Why do I get the sense that women have to do a lot of painful things to even keep up with the most current fashion trends?
Christian Louboutin, the fashion designer who helped return the stiletto to popularity, once said:
“I hate the idea of natural. For example, I prefer gardens to wild nature…High heels are a complete invention – an extravagance. They’re far from natural, but it’s the impracticality that I adore. I prefer the useless to the useful, the sophisticated to the natural.”
Useless? Hates the idea of natural? Hm. I don’t know, that doesn’t really jive with me.
There are a lot of things that I would like to say about this topic, especially since this type of fashion is even “useless” to one of it’s own creators. Foot-binding was a very obvious detriment to women, since it left them absolutely incapacitated and unable to contribute much due to a lack of mobility. To me, the same argument can be made for high heels; they are a shoe that lacks a fundamental function of any shoe, and that is the ability to travel, and that does not seem to benefit women and the expectations they are meant to have for their bodies. Is attractiveness linked to the seeming handicap? Are women deemed more attractive the less they are able to do in their clothes?
But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Perhaps my concerns with the health of women’s bodies and feet in particular are unfounded. I will admit that I am not a connoisseur of heels, so I definitely come from a distinctly biased corner. So this week, I actually would like to hear from you, my readers.
What is your experience with high heels, and how does it impact how you feel about yourself? Have you ever thought of them as a hindrance, or a benefit, and why?
This time I would like to hear your perspective, so send me a comment on this site, and we’ll try this whole cyber-conversation thing out!