Yes. With everything that we have to worry about today – budgets, crime, jobs, war, holiday anxiety etc., etc., etc. I am focused on stilettos and want to wear sexy shoes. Not the kind of middle-aged dress up pumps with square supportive heals in neutral colors, but the kind with the spikes that could do major damage as a weapon. And, they must be RED!!
What brought this to mind was an article I read on beinggirl.com titled, Wearing High Heels. While I am all about good health, and I am including caring for our musculoskeletal system in this, I just once want to prance about a party looking fashionable without being sensible. This isn’t about comfort; it is about style in the most superficial, yet sexy kind of way. From everything I have read and seen, women’s shoes keep getting higher and higher. This can mean, for some women, wearing shoes with heels that can be more than seven inches tall. Crazy and fun, maybe; with repercussions, of course.
THE KILLER HEEL
The article on beinggirl provides a history and some facts about stilettos. The word stiletto means thin-bladed knife. “It was worn by Catherine de Medicis, who in 1533 at the age of 15, brought them from Florence to the French court. Up until the 1700s, the five-inch heel was the most popular shoe among European women.”
As I was researching this beyond beinggirl, I found a feature in National Geographic (go figure) titled, The Joy of Shoes. I found a few interesting quotes worth repeating. One from Gillian Carrara, a professor in the department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She puts a shoe on and says: “The breasts go out; the derriere juts back; the leg elongates," then, as her anatomy puts her words into action. "Men find that very attractive." A podiatrist, William A. Rossi, wrote in: The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe, "The shoe is the erotic foot's pimp and procurer." "Wrong," counters Harold Koda, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. "The shoe isn't the pimp for the foot. It's the other way around. The foot is the pimp for the shoe. It's the shoe that is the erotic object." The article reminds us that it was the glass slipper, in the story of Cinderella, that got the prince all hot to find her. We don’t even know if Cinderella had a pedicure!
There is a warning for feminists (and I would add humanists) and that is the torturous aspect to the history of women’s shoes. Think Chinese foot binding and how women suffered greatly because of that practice before it was humanely forbid by the Chinese government in 1911; this, after over one thousand years of painful, twisted and deformed female feet. Some might argue that stilettos are just another form of that.
Ancient Greek theatergoers probably saw actors in high shoes they wore in an effort to raise themselves beyond just mortal beings. Queen Elizabeth I wore leather Spanish shoes with high heels and arches. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish and Italian women wore beautifully decorated shoes with high heels called chopines. Chopines could be up to 5 inches high. Of course, some ladies needed the help of servants to prance about the palace. I most likely would be on my own if I wore those.
It was noted in the beinggirl article that women receive 90% of the foot surgeries performed in the United States. “Some doctors compare the foot deformities that continual use of high heels can cause, to the damage seen in Chinese women who had their feet bound. Wearing high heels for a long time has also been linked to knee and back problems.”
One thing that I found surprising is that many people don’t wear the right size shoe. That, along with the heel size, could be a real killer for sure, especially if someone has diabetes or heart disease. This would be due to blistering or sores that could happen by wearing loose or tight fitting shoes.
RED SATIN HOIIDAY SHOES!
Back to my own personal stilettos: I am aware of the health implications and choose to wear them anyway. It is my crazy, one season only decision to wear the shoes of my dreams. And, a warning to you older (or younger) guys who may be eying my new high heel shoe wearing figure, that handsome guy parading me around (or holding me up) is my husband. Just leave me be to enjoy that crazy elation of wearing red satin strappy heels, as they aren’t going to last long on my feet.
Check out these Stuart Weitzman Ruby Slippers: