High heels: Pro or con?
Are high heels torture devices or expressions of art? Does wearing them constitute a personal choice or a desire to impress others?
"My wife switches from 4-inch heels and pencil skirt into jeans, chaps and riding boots to ride her Harley to and from work. A 'liberated' woman can do anything she wants, including wearing heels, dresses, bras and other clothing that makes her feel good about herself regardless of what so-called feminist experts feel."
"I think one of the biggest flaws in the argument is assuming every woman who wears heels does so for men or to attract men. I wear the shoes I wear because I like them and they make me feel happy. They are little works of art I can enjoy. Whether men like them — or women, for that matter — is irrelevant."
"I am 66 and lived in 3- to 4-inch heels and I loved them. I didn't wear them for anyone else. They made me feel tall (I'm short) and elegant. I still wear them occasionally and still love them."
"As a doctor specializing in joint and muscle problems, high heels are about the worst thing a woman can do to herself. It unnaturally distorts and stresses all the normal weight-bearing joint angles, not just the legs but the spine all the way to the neck. If a woman wishes to put herself through this kind of structural stress in order to tilt her pelvis in a provocative way to attract men, for sure that is a personal choice she is free to exercise, but I doubt that is consistent with too many interpretations of feminist ideology."
"Totally agree with Marla Jo. I've said the same thing for years, and it bothers me that most cultures seem to want women in clothes or shoes that are not healthy. I understand it's a choice, but I wish more women were astute enough not to do that to themselves."
"I have never worn heels. I tried a pair on once and noted that it felt like I was balancing on my toes. No thanks. I went back to flats."
Can someone tell me where's the gain for all that pain?
By Marla Jo Fisher/Freedom News Service
I recently read a New York Times story about how wearing high heels actually deforms your legs by shortening the calf muscle.
I know this is true because it happened to me. Back when I was a hot, swinging chick, I used to live in high heels 14 hours a day.
Then I began having agonizing leg pain when I went to my aerobics class, even more than the ordinary agony that the "No pain, no gain"-era classes used to produce.
I went to the doctor, who told me that wearing heels had shortened the back of my calves so I couldn't even jump for joy without screaming in pain.
I went home and threw my heels in the trash can and never wore them again.
It was a liberating experience, sort of like when I smoked my last cigarette and chucked the disgusting ashtrays forever.
Since then, life has been much better.
Now I no longer endure pain and spend pots of money just to impress people. I know my own worth. And, if you don't, well, I really don't care.
Decades after the women's movement liberated them from the house, it horrifies me that smart women still voluntarily put themselves into bondage to satisfy some evil fashion demon that tells them to cripple themselves for beauty.
People my age shake their heads in wonder at kids who wear their pants low. But, really, a woman in Jimmy Choo heels is even more helpless and vulnerable.
She has to remove her shoes to do, well, almost anything except totter around like a feudal Chinese aristocrat with bound feet. Years ago, I saw an exhibit on ancient Chinese foot binding at the amazing Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and it comes to mind whenever I see one of my friends hobbling around on her torture instruments, which not only injure her and make her helpless, but also empty her wallet.
I'd like to see Jimmy Choo in a pair of his own stilettos.
Oppression? That idea doesn't have a leg to stand on
By Julie Gallego/Freedom News Service
"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls." — Audrey Hepburn
To Hepburn's statement I would add, "I believe in high heels."
Like many women, I think Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of style, grace and fashion, and so I am channeling my idol to respond to my colleague and friend, Marla Jo Fisher, about the "dangers" of high heels.
What gets me hot under the collar about this is not that:
A. I am sporting the most adorable pair of red L.A.M.B. detached platform, 5-inch heels you have ever seen without tottering around "like a feudal Chinese aristocrat with bound feet."
B. As a high-heel devotee, I am aware of the dangers and do special exercises to counteract those effects. Whether these are successful or not I have no idea, but I do not think my legs are "deformed."
C. Fashion is regarded by many as an art and legitimate cultural influence every bit as much as other forms of expression and is a valuable form of personal expression.
What gets me is that how one dresses and what one wears on one's feet is a matter of personal choice. And while I support Marla Jo's freedom to toss away her heels all those many years ago and her right to voice her dislike of such shoes — and the right of the scientists to do such studies as the one that started all this — I feel like there is an element of proselytizing in the movement that would have women walk around flat-footed, unshaven, unmanicured and plain-faced that would not be tolerated if, say, I went on a rant about women who do not preen and primp as much as I do.
To say that a woman who wears heels is oppressed and compare it to the actual oppression of a culture that forced women to purposefully deform their feet through binding is absurd and, I think, does such women a disservice.
I fail to see how caring for my appearance and loving fashion — and high heels — delegitimizes my standing as a feminist any more than a woman making the choice to be a stay-at-home mom means she is not liberated.
I thought the whole point was freedom to be who we are, not to toe some narrow definition of what it means to be a woman.