Thursday, 24 August 2006

Oh, here’s another one!

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.


  1. I think the shoes themselves (in general) are pretty, and wouldn't mind having a pair or two sitting on a shelf. But I *refuse* to even attempt to wear them. The only "tall" shoes I wear are platforms that are basically super-thick-soled flats, and those only rarely. I'll probably be true to Birkis for the rest of my life, and my feet (and ankles, knees, and back) will thank me.

  2. The shoes - as objets d'art - are absolutely gorgeous: I myself own a pair of colourful, high-heeled (although not as high as those on the pic) Lulu Guinness shoes that I bought because I couldn't possibly let them go to someone else (our TK Maxx is a wonder). I admire them from time to time and put them back in their box.

    Have you noticed that woman's veins sticking out: the Telegraph has replaced the pic with another one (just one shoe, devoid of foot); perhaps they too thought the feet themselves weren't aesthetically pleasing and looked in pain.

  3. It occurred to me earlier today that the creator of those shoes may have asked the Telegraph to remove that photo from its website since the article was so damning.

  4. Also on the subject of frighteningly high heels, last week crazy women in Germany raced 80 m in heels at least 7 cm high.

    I saw footage on the tv and found myself in awe. I've never mastered high heels myself.

  5. I've come to the conclusion that the key to inner peace is orthopedically sensible footwear - I refuse to be robbed of my inner peace! I'm unfashionable in my Birkies and my Doc Martens, and I don't care. I'm content, peaceful. Plus, when my feet and back hurt I never feel beautiful, anyhow. Which is either very rational of me, or else I'm just being a big baby about it all.

    It's lovely to be able to walk (given my shoe choices, some would say clomp) down the sidewalk in a stable steady manner, mostly :P

  6. OOOH, I LOVE those shows. I could never wear them in a million years, but I LOVE them. LOL. They are so over the top and beautiful. Unfortunately I am a clutz And a comfort nut. Not a great combo for sexy shoes ;-) When I don't wear sneakers or flats, it's barefoot.

    *Sigh*, in another Life Maybe?

  7. Shoes,damn it! ;-) I meant Shoes not Shows. Reconsiders position on taking medication for good, restful sleep....

  8. Thank you for the link Kate,. It’s doing weird thing to this page, but it's hilarious. Looks like German psychology students are prone to strange behaviour, which they should probably study. (I used to be a French psychology student and I never did anything like that, LOL!) I can’t even manage seven-centimetre heels these days either.

    I totally agree, K: if your feet hurt everything hurts; you can’t think; you can’t do anything. I like to be able to run if I need to. Walking is a pleasure. Toppling over isn’t.

    You’re full of common sense too, T. Don’t worry about typos: we love you the way you are. Now go and have a lie down. :-)

  9. Thank you again Bela for your kindness. Need to stop "Slapping Myself" ;-) If only I Could lie down-Very Hyper these days.. Note To Self: Be less judgemental about people who take sleeping pills. Melatonin is supposed to be good and non addictive....and might make me more legible ;-)

  10. I wear these shoes all the time. You just need to practice walking. I look HOT in them. They are WAY COOL. Marilyn Monroe wore shoes like this. She is my Idol.

  11. You're welcome, T! I take the odd sleeping pill when my mind is buzzing and the dawn chorus has already started. I've never tried melatonin: it's not on sale here.

    Why should I need to practise walking, A: I know how to walk. LOL! Looking hot is not my aim in life and I don't think teetering along the pavement is cool. But it's up to you, of course. The shoes themselves are gorgeous.

    What suited Marilyn might not look so good on any of us mortals. She was lovable because she was frail. She was the ultimate 'victim' and represented everything I never wanted to be.

  12. I wear heels all the time. No pain,no back issues. I do not stumble and, as far as using any item of clothing to "empower" goes...yeah, my heels "empower" me. They are part of my personal armor. When I worked in an office, my staff could tell my mood from the tap-tap-tap.(a fact I knew & used)
    Anyway, I also wanted to mention that the "f**k me shoes" line has been around a bit longer than you noted. I recall reading it in an interview with Shelley Winters in the early 1970's ... she mentioned that she and Marilyn Monroe used this term for ankle-strap high heels.
    Most of all,Bela, I wanted to mention just how much I enjoy your blog. Heck, sometimes we even agree!

  13. Hi, B! There's heels and there's heels, isn't there? LOL! When even the fashion editor of the Telegraph says that some of the current heels are too high, then they are too high, I think.

    I've never had a job where the way I dressed was of any importance or could be used to indicate anything at all so I don't know about the empowering effect of high-heels or any other piece of clothing. I'll have to take your word for it.

    Thanks for the info about the term 'f***-me shoes'. I remember Germaine Greer using it about Suzanne Moore. It's funny she should have been quoting Marilyn.

    Thanks too for reading my blog, even if you don't always agree with me. :-)


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