Look down at the shoes of women around Eastern Michigan University’s campus on a typical day of school and you’ll see that, for the most part, women in this area make sensible choices: sneakers, flats and the unfortunately ubiquitous Uggs. But when class is out and it’s time for a night on the town, too many women swap comfort and solid ground to wobble in high heels.
A few glances at a women’s magazine will tell you that high heels are the peak of femininity. Not mere footwear, but works of art that will make you taller. High heels make your legs appear a few inches longer as if by magic. And because you’re standing at an angle, your calf muscles are flexed so tight you could bounce spare change off them, which isn’t a bad party trick, until you catch a cramp. Never mind the crowded toes, blisters, twisted ankles and possible serious foot and back problems in the future – those stilettos looked good with your dress, so it must be worth it. Right?
Maybe not. Maybe the real reason women wear uncomfortable heels is that from a young age, females are told through different forms of advertisement we must try to be as sexy as possible, and that something like a sky high pair of $1,000 Louboutins might help us with that goal.
I know that such a message can be highly effective, because I used to buy into it. As a child, I assumed that walking effortlessly in heels was something I’d just know how to do when I grew up. I also thought I would be a tall, blonde astronaut who drove a red convertible. None of these things happened. I stopped growing at 5 feet 6 inches, but still longed to have praying mantis legs like Giselle. Though the reality is out of my reach, the illusion was one I could slip, if not run, into.
So I stomped around the streets of my then-home, New York City, in heels that didn’t seem too painful when I tried them on in the store, or that I hoped to break in over time. But after one too many nights spent not enjoying time with friends because I was dreaming of being teleported home to soak my aching feet, I had an epiphany. I realized that wearing high heels did not add anything to my life. That entire days and nights of my life had been ruined by shoes.
The bit of confidence I got when gazing at a well-heeled me in a full-length mirror was fleeting, and in the end, I wore heels so the world at large would see me and think I was a proper, fashionable woman. The important people in my life didn’t seem to care or even notice that I prefer moccasins to platforms. I was making myself uncomfortable, tired and at times nearly crippled for no reason.
Of course, I fully support anyone wearing anything they want (the one exception being those creepy shoes with individual compartments for each toe), and there are plenty of women who seem to truly enjoy wearing high heels. I know women who genuinely believe high heels are empowering and fun.
Good for them, I say. But for the rest of us, the truth of wearing high heels is usually a painful one. The next time you consider torturing two body parts that have done nothing but take you places, ask yourself, “Who you’re really doing it for, and why?”
I'm 5'10 and 130 lbs yet all nearly all of their clothes ...
They mean "revenue enhancement zones" cause that's ...