“High heels are sexy,” explains my friend D. “They elongate my legs. They make my ankles appear thinner. They give me confidence!”
I look at her incredulously. It’s not that I’m not familiar with the idea that high heels are sexy. Of course I am. We all are. It’s not even that I’ve never worn a pair of high heels, or that I don’t own several pairs of them. In fact, I have this pair of gorgeous 4-inch heels that I often insist on wearing when I go out at night. But the older I get, the more I rebel against the very idea that women’s shoes designers and manufacturers think it’s OK to design and sell shoes that cause serious damage to women’s bodies.
Shoes are supposed to make walking an easier, safer experience than walking barefoot, correct? That’s the entire idea behind wearing shoes. And yet, millions of women are buying into the ridiculous idea that shoes that make walking very difficult, shoes that can – and often do – cause a range of ailments and injuries – are sexy and desirable.
I guess the reasoning behind wearing high heels is, “if it makes me look good, I don’t care how limiting, unsafe and unhealthy it is.”
Regularly wearing high heels can cause a long list of not-so-sexy side effects, including blisters, corns, calluses, bunions (Victoria Beckham reportedly now needs surgery to remove those), lower back pain, knee damage, chronic sharp pains in the ball of the foot, ankle sprains, a painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, hammertoes, and the list goes on.
None of these sound very sexy to me.
Of course, just because something is bad for women doesn’t mean women will stop wearing it. There’s a huge pressure on professional women in formal work environments to wear heels to work (ever heard of the concept “power heels?”) which is even worse than wearing heels when you go out at night, since wearing them to work day after day, for several hours each day, really adds up in terms of the damage caused to the wearer.
A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that 42% of women admitted they’d wear a shoe they liked even if it caused them discomfort. 73% admitted to already having a shoe-related foot issue. It looks like very few women are brave enough, and smart enough, to choose a pain-free existence.
I find it incredibly sad that instead of voting with our wallets and refusing to buy 8-inch (EIGHT inch!) high heels, we are opting for crazy treatments such as collagen feet fillers to pad our feet and make wearing crazy high heels less painful.
High Heels Sexy? I don’t get it. To me, you just look stupid when you can’t walk.
Loved this comment: “In the morning on the way to work I’m accompanied by a whole herd of clop-clopping young women on stilty heels. The older I get, the more style just seems to be another word for herd instinct.” Dot of Deeper Issues.
The High heels in the photo are featured at Zappos.com. They are by Dolce & Gabbana and will set you back $1248 should you decide to buy them.