Heels over head


Q:  What do breast implants and 5" heels have in common? A:  When women claim they're doing it for themselves, they're lying.

Continuing the pink and girly argument that's been raging on this website for some time now, and in honour of Lady Gaga's meat feet, I feel obliged to throw in a word about the current fashion for insanely high heels. 

I speak as someone who fell for it, literally and figuratively, hobbling around clubs in downtown NYC in the 1980s in very high heels and sunglasses (at night). I gave myself back problems that still bother me. For about a decade, my calf muscles were so rigid that the shiatsu masseuse who tried to sort me out couldn't even touch them.

It's been about ten years since I read Wild Swans, but this description stuck with me:

chinese foot binding1.8

“[Her mother] first wound a piece of white cloth about twenty feet long around her feet, bending all the toes except the big toe inward and under the sole. Then she placed a large stone on top to crush the arch. My grandmother screamed in agony and begged her to stop. My grandmother passed out repeatedly from the pain…Not only was the sight of women hobbling on tiny feet considered erotic; men would also get excited playing with bound feet… The binding could only be temporarily loosened at night in bed … Men rarely saw naked bound feet, which were usually covered in rotting flesh and stank when the bindings were removed.”

In contrast, the leg lengthening that goes on in fashion photo retouching could almost be considered innocent. If it weren't so absurd. But can you imagine any man crippling himself in order to impress a woman with his unnatural length of leg?

(And would you like one who did?)