Many emails are coming in from my reader callout tied to Megan’s feature on the future of high heels, “Arch Enemies.” The first one comes from a self-described “career woman in Minnesota who NEVER wears high heels” and who challenges some common narratives surrounding ladies in stilettos:
The idea of wearing them to “feel taller” is beyond me. If that’s the case, short men should be suffering in stilettos instead of relatively comfortable platform shoes—if they care at all about their height, that is. I liken stilettos to Chinese foot-binding—just another way to make women helpless, while at the same time telling them it makes them powerful. They’re not good for your feet, and certainly not good for your back: Ask any podiatrist or chiropractor (but don’t ask Stacy London [the fashion consultant and reality TV host]). And never mind running away from a mugger—or chasing a mugger—wearing heels. It only works in the movies.
Google “high heel quotes,” and this is the type of hype you will see:
- Superwomen do it in high heels.
- Strong women wear their pain like stilettos. No matter how much it hurts, all you see is the beauty in it.
- How can you live the high life if you don’t wear high heels?
- They might be painful, but they are a girl’s best friend
[The Marilyn Monroe quote seen above] particularly bothers me. Grrrrrr.
Here’s an anonymous reader, who also chimes in “from the high-heel-hater side of the argument”:
I love clothes, and I love shoes all too much, but I’ve disliked very high heels at least since I was in high school and that’s a long time ago. Why? I dislike them because the human foot was never meant to be raised up like that. I’m looking for clothes that make me feel free, happy, and able to go wherever I want, in comfort and style.