TT’s Kim wonders why we wear whacking heels we can’t walk in
The scene: An evening on the high street. An attractive couple finish their evening meal and leave the restaurant. The girl clutches onto the guy for dear life. Onlookers wonder why. Oh yes, it’s because she can’t bloody walk in the sky-high stilettos she’s sporting on her feet. Man appears bemused at her inability to walk.
Onlookers watch the couple head to the bus, the girl limping as if she has a physical impediment preventing her walk. In a way she does: her shoes.
Ladies, I gotta ask – why do we do this? Why do I see so many women every day struggling to walk in their own shoes? What are shoes for, if not to walk in? What message does this send about our sanity and priorities? Sensible, intelligent business women are flailing around like circus performers on stilts in a quest to look smart, professional, sexy – and tall!
A wander round Google and I find some answers. High heels make women feel more powerful because they’re taller, I read. They put us on a more equal footing (sorry) with men, thanks to the extra inches and give us more confidence. I’m 5ft 2″. I do understand. From a more primal point of view they also make our legs look longer and lovelier, the angle they force us to stand at makes our bums stick out provocatively – something men apparently like – and our chests puff out like proud budgies – also reported to be liked by men. They make us look sexy. And feel sexy. At least at the start of the night….
Not being able to walk in my shoes always puts me in mind of ancient China, and the brutal destruction of women’s feet so they stay tiny, painful and impossible to run away on. Is this what we are unwittingly doing to ourselves? Who hasn’t reached breaking point on a night out and wandered down a glass and pebble strewn pavement at 4am, heels in hand, feet bruised? I’ve done it more times than I can count. And it’s a bit flipping ridiculous really, isn’t it?
Shoes are worn to protect our feet. To let us walk free, without fear. Yet so many shoes for women work better as ornaments than footwear.
But I do not – I could not – ask you to give up your heels for me. For you see, I love them too. But ladies, I beg you to pick your footwear wisely. Match it to what you have to do and invest in slim pair of ballet shoes that will fit in your tiniest of bags for all eventualities. If you’ll mostly be sitting, fine, you have my blessing. Dig out the skyscrapers, pose for some snaps and relax in the knowledge that your weight will be supported by your bottom for the evening, not your soles. But otherwise, choose a sensible pair of heels you know you can walk in without looking like you have a medical problem. Or plump for a pair of flats. What’s so wrong with being short? And your bum will look smaller. Honest.