High Heels

Forgive me Nordstrom for borrowing your ad, but OW. What is the appeal?


When we’re traveling, it’s amazing how many women we see wearing high heels — even stewardesses. That can’t be fun on a red-eye. They are the ones shimmying in and out of their shoes, and standing on one foot to relieve the other, as if they need to relieve something else.

Louis XIV wore them first.

There are benefits to heels: they make you taller, and stilettos, like the daggers they are named for, double as weapons. High heels show off calf muscles and force  a hips-forward, butt-wiggling gait, signaling you-know-what. Men are appreciative. Heels also signal status. You can’t wear five-inchers if you work in the fields, or have to walk miles to get home. You could argue that tall shoes support the economy. Nobody can wear a pair of those Kate Spades more than once before moving on to something more conducive to locomotion. At $350 a pop, that’s an impressive pump.

But don’t tell me high heels are comfy, or practical, or a sign of power and independence. I’ve worn them, mostly when I was young, for special occasions. OK, and sometimes for work, way back when. At my first post-college job, one of my bosses asked how tall I was without, uh, those (indicates my shoes).

Photo on 10-14-15 at 9.40 PM.
My feet survived high heels, although my bunion bones are sensitive these days.

Maybe he was just curious.

Whatever was going on in those foot-binding Chinese mamas’ minds, recreates itself whenever anyone puts on a pair of sky-highs. What a commentary on human behavior, that we hobble ourselves. Heel, we say to dogs. Hmm.


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