This will get the post-feminists’ (I’m being kind here: they are female chauvinist pigs) knickers in a twist again.
Vertiginous heels are back in fashion. Heels have been steadily getting higher over the past, what?, 15 years or more. Some very expensive, haute couture styles are now ridiculously high, and women can’t walk in them: they teeter along and constantly risk falling over. Why is that, then? Why are comfortable, practical shoes not fashionable any longer?
Well, just like hairless women remind men (and everyone else, except those who don’t want to see) of pre-pubescent girls, i.e. beings they can patronize and not take seriously, women precariously perched on very high heels are vulnerable, ‘incapable’ beings: they can’t run; they stumble; they have to be steadied and protected. They become helpless little females again. And that, for some reason, seems to be the impression some women want to give.
I too used to wear heels, back in the 70s, not extremely high ones, not stilettos, just heels high enough to give me a bit of a lift. Then the kind of shoes I liked disappeared from the shops. Doc Martens came on the scene and one could only find rather chunky brogues. I wore trainers for a long time, and more recently just flat shoes. Now I can’t wear heels any longer. I’ve lost the knack. Shame. On the other hand, I don’t think I would want my bum to stick out the way it does when you wear very high heels. And I can do without looking as if I spend my life standing on street corners. I don’t wear ‘f*ck-me shoes’ (Germaine Greer, who coined the word in the 90s, would be proud of me).
But things are looking up. There may be a backlash against ridiculously high heels in the near future. Clare Coulson is already denouncing them in the Telegraph online (I pinched their photo, by the way). It may herald a return to more practical footwear and hence to another kind of woman. Perhaps. With a bit of luck. I won’t hold my breath, though.
Slapping Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik et al.