Emancipation or oppression?
Do high heels represent a freedom for women to wear what they want? To feel more confident? To dress up? To intimidate and compete with men? A rite of passage from girl to woman? To make the statement that they can have it all like men?
To feel taller and sexier? Height (ism) still being an unrecognised prejudice?
Shoes are attractive objects in themselves. Works of art. Shoes do not become old.
Is this something to do with feet being part of the female body which does not fluctuate in size?
Ginger Roger’s said something about oppression. Her comment about Fred Astaire. Fred didn’t have to dance backwards with high heels on. She had to make the point that dancing in flats was different.
To dance in high heels must be more difficult and painful?
Chinese foot binding began as men found it attractive. It was a way for women to be beautiful and worthy of a husband. Is wearing high heels based on class or culture?Do the middle classes prefer women more demure and in flats? Do the working classes prefer more overt expression of female sexiness? Do African and Mediterranean cultures like more bling? High Heels are bling?
A study conducted by psychologists at Portsmouth University, UK concluded wearing high heels is about gait. The way women walk. Womens’ gait in high heels is more emphasised and attractive. The study adds. “One, conscious or unconscious, motivation for women to wear high heels might therefore be to increase their attractiveness.”
And there it is again. The Unconscious! The argument becomes more complex when hidden motivations are at work. The whole of the natural world is set up – hard wired to attract the best mate possible. To have the strongest off-spring. To survive. Has the 21st Century civilised us to the point to that we can eradicate the primitive survival instincts? Is the choice of wearing high heels a free choice made consciously by women?
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.