Heels: female empowerment or misogynistic tool of control?
Hello possums, Aideen here…
I read a very interesting article in Sunday’s Guardian. Hadley Freeman interviewed Christian Louboutin, and well let’s just say, she didn’t seem to be his biggest fan.
Great article, check it out here.
If you’re on yer lunch break and don’t have time, fear not! Here is your cheat sheet courtesty of moi!
Monsieur Louboutin, as one might suspect, eez a leetle beet hoity toity Fhrench.
- He never wanted to be famous, he just wanted to make shoes.
- He doesn’t own a TV but people tell him Sex and the City is “good.”
- He has in the past, told Oprah Winfrey to fuck off.
- He did in fact utter the following words: “There is a heel that is too high to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t have to walk in high heels.”
- He is mighty disdainful of feminists.
- He told Mattel to make Barbie’s legs thinner cos he said she has fat ankles.
What a cock!
Anyway the whole article got me thinking about Germaine Greer and other feminists’ arguments that wearing high heels is something men have forced upon us and in some weird way is kinda like the foot binding that is known to go on in the Far East.
I spent years in fuck-off high heels in school. In college, I wore the student footwear uniform of sneakerdom (Adidas Gazelles and oohhhh how I miss them still). And cut to 2010 I am back in massive heels and frankly I’m loving it.
I know it’s not good for my health (I actually do feel a little twinge in my back on the days I wear these shoes) – but there’s just no denying that I feel hot-to-trot when I hoick myself up a few inches. When I’m in the office, I feel more worky and… well I’ll be honest… “powerful.” It’s that whole suited and booted feeling, I’m sure you know the one.
I know where this comes from. I’m short and baby faced. The heels make me feel like I look the part of a professional broadcast journalist – not the giggly, shit-television-watching young ‘un that I am a lot of the time.
And feck it, heels are sexy. They just are. Whether that’s a male-imposed construct or not. That’s where we are today.
It’s kinda the same argument that gets trotted out over body hair. Sure, it was the porn industry that brought bikini waxes to the masses. And men didn’t want excess hair on women’s bodies so we duly obliged and began plucking, waxing,veet-ing and shaving with gay abandon.
But, I don’t like hairy legs, pits, bushy eyebrows or ahem, an unattended ladygarden. That may be anti-female but listen, there it is. And I know I’m not alone!
Well apart from Mo’Nique:
So on the heels…
Christian Louboutin designs impossibly high footwear that he doesn’t expect us to wear – but we do and we suffer for it. (Although I have to stand up for myself here, no pun intended. If shoes are stupidly sore, or I cannot walk in them, I won’t wear them. I take frickin’ public transport for god’s sake.)
So if I know that technically heels are a ‘male’ aesthetic ideal imposed on women, but I am self-aware and wear them anyway, does that vindicate my standing on tippy toes?
Or am I just pure daft?
Actually don’t answer that.