Monday, November 15, 2010

9 Inch Heels: The Hobbling of Women or Just a Fashion Trend?

I stay away from fashion trends because I am more about physical comfort than anything else.  I do know the fact that everyone is wearing leggings means that the 80's are back ( yeah, yeah I know an updated version) but short of the very obvious, I have no idea what is going down the runway.  I was scanning quickly through Jezebel, as I do every couple of days, when I saw a story that caught may attention. Apparently the soon to be responsible for torn ligaments, bunions and sprained ankles, Sky Heel is coming to a shoe store near you.


Available in sparkly red or gold for under 100 dollars, the Sky High measures in with a nine inch heel.  Manufacturers claim that the shoe was inspired "by the catwalk for the sidewalk." I have seen some ridiculous shoes in my time but this just takes the cake.  How is anyone supposed to walk in these shoes?  While women do indeed have the choice whether or not to wear this monstrosity it feels very much to me like a modern day intentional hobbling of women.  All that one could possibly do wearing these, is teeter along and certainly never move fast enough to be able to escape any threat -- but hasn't that been the point of women's footwear for centuries?

I also think that the potential damage to female bodies should not be over looked.  We are sold the line that one has to suffer to look good, but wearing these will not lead to a case of short term pain, but in fact, permanently hobble the woman that chooses to wear them on a regular basis. I can think of no article of male clothing that has this kind of consequence. The woman that puts these on her feet is a dupe of patriarchy.   Everyday we are encouraged to perform a very specific form of womanhood and though it may appear to be natural to us, in many cases it serves to maintain male supremacy. Feeling good about yourself should never come from what you are wearing (are you listening What Not To Wear?), but from things like personal accomplishments, integrity and self love.