I have always loved high heels. No, I don’t mean wearing them myself, I mean their design and them being worn by another, and my preference here is a woman. I have always been intrigued by their design, who makes them and why, and why women wear them? Do they actually like wearing them or do they wear them because they think they are expected to, etc?
I know some feminists believe the high heel is yet another scornful surge in the control and domineering world of men and women are ‘forced’ to wear them purely for men’s enjoyment, and because they are expected to, and because they are supposed to be sexy.
I would be very interested to know how many women actually agree with any of this, apart from the last part. I’m sure most women agree they feel sexy, attractive and alluring when wearing high heels. Although I guess these emotions are all directly linked to the competency and confidence they have in walking in the heels themselves.
Personally I think they empower women. The high heel is like the woman who wears them. They can exude power, or be sexy, controlling, and also vulnerable. And like all aspect of a woman’s life, they are a massive compromise. Someone once said ‘pain is beauty’.
I’m reminded of a swan with a woman wearing a high heel. Elegant up top; frantic paddling underneath. It takes a while to walk well on them, I’m guessing. Not that I have ever tried.
Men, in general only wear things that are comfortable. Woman, get used to dealing, wearing, and using things that are not. I hope men aren’t on this list too are they?
Have you ever had a woman walk behind you when she is wearing high heels? (No, not like that)
They sound loud and can be quite intimidating. You can tell a lot from the time gap between the footsteps. Used to wearing them? Just started? Comfortable? Struggling? Self assured? In a hurry? There is something just more pronounced about movement when wearing a high heel. Just something more poignant.
The design is amazing when you think about it. The sound comes from the smallest point against the ground, not the largest. Like the expression ‘The whisper is louder than the shout’ the design of the shoe reminds me of how a woman actually is, most of the time. Quiet, considered, measured, calm, controlled, smooth, always weighing any giving situation up. Like the shoe they can be very elegant, they can show you their sexy smooth side, and do this with subtleness and seduction. Or they can be inherently strong, and very dangerous. Imagine a high heel being thrown at you at velocity, you certainly wouldn’t want the heel end heading for you would you?
Yet under other circumstances (which I will leave to your imagination), a high heel can be very appealing.
I saw a late night program where these volunteers were going out helping being in distress late at night, which basically meant they were helping drunkards get home. One of the things they were doing was giving flip flops to drunken women that they could wear instead of their high heels in order to help them walk home. I found this hilarious and fascinating. The flip fop receiver’s were literally exasperated with their thanks to these women offering them. Just goes to show how difficult they are to walk in, how uncomfortable they are, and how drunk the women were. It also shows how the smallest gesture can matter.
Wearing a high heel will almost always be to the physical detriment of the wearer, be it back pain, damaged feet, leg pain etc etc, the list goes on and on. And almost any benefit to wearing a high heel is almost always aesthetic. The illusion of longer legs, accentuation of tone, and posture etc, plus they make a woman look taller.
Yet women will be wearing them out tonight in their millions. Why?
Please do get in touch and let me know your thoughts.
Mark Scotchford © 11/10/2014