This is a wonderfully funny piece by the gorgeous Kathy Lette on the perils of wearing high heels
“Men are so much luckier than women. Not only do they not have to give birth, but they only require three or four pairs of shoes for the whole of their adult lives.
During a recent spring-clean I was amazed to discover that I own 42 pairs of high heels. Hey, if you put your foot in your mouth as often as I do, it’s just got to be well shod! But high heels are so bad for you. Doctors report that they’re treating vast numbers of middle-aged women for Morton’s neuroma, a painful thickening of fibrous tissue around the nerves in the toe. The resulting pain feels like “walking on razor blades.”
A new trend for wearing four-and-a-half-inch “blade runner” stiletto heels that measure just two centimeters thick, is making Chinese foot-binding look humane. Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and famous co are all prancing around on these lethal matchsticks. These $1,200 skycraper shoes by Italian designer Casadei are taking the term ‘high fashion’ and ‘high society’ a little too literally.
Yes, such vertiginous shoes may makes your legs look longer, but they also destroy your posture, giving you excess curvature of the lower spine and joint degeneration. Doctors are also warning that wearing of heels of this height and width will permanently shorten calf muscles and Achilles tendons. Calf muscles are like a tightened elastic band – when you stretch them, they’re more likely to snap.
Now, if a torturer said he was going to make your walk on razor blades snap your tendons and cripple your spine you’d immediately confess to anything. Hell, Amnesty International would create an international public outcry, petitions would be signed and governments lobbied to save you from persecution. …And yet, we women pay for the self-inflicted privilege.
Fashion fans maintain that wearing heels makes women feel powerful. Yet have you ever noticed that really powerful women never wear them? Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Julia Gillard, Opra Winfrey, Judy Dench, Christine Legarde, the Queen…. Commanding, influential, formidable females are always sensibly shod. And no wonder. It’s hard to look powerful when you’re tottering precariously in perilous stilettos, mimicking the look of a toddler taking to the ice.
Some women say wearing high heels makes them feel sexy. But in my experience skyscraper shoes gives a very literal meaning to “falling for a guy.” I was once invited to dinner party to honour Al Pacino. Desperate to impress I wore my highest shoes. But the razor-thin heel kept catching in the thick shag pile carpet, meaning that I was reduced to walking like a dressage horse so as not to trip over. The Hollywood star was already casting dubious looks in my direction when I suddenly succumbed to gravity and toppled forward into a full face-down spread eagle on the floor before him, no doubt flashing a fallopian on route. Boy, was I feeling sexy then!… About as sexy as a half-thawed rissole.
As I’m only five foot four, I like to wear heels so that I’m not constantly looking up men’s noses (hey, it’s not such a beautiful view.) Nor do I like to be marooned at fart-level. But our obsession with high heels is also becoming a little extreme. A girl friend of mine is about to have silicone fillers injected into the balls of her feet to enable her to stand up at cocktail parties and on red carpets for longer amounts of time.
She rejected my radical idea of simply wearing flip flops.
Surely there is some way women can get to look men in the eye in a less painful and crippling fashion? What I want is for engineers to take time off from the Hadron Collider and perfecting a landing pad on Mars and invent me a shoe which is flat all day, then simply pumps up into a high heel for party time at night. I already have a name for it – the Social Climber. Now that really would give a girl a head for heights.”