I wear heels a lot.
I suppose that makes me look “fancy” – whatever that means.
People like to point this out to me – a lot.
Sometimes it’s just a genuine compliment but more often than not it is some combination of shock and confusion as to why I am so “fancy.”
We – as an American culture – get away with barely putting any effort in how we present ourselves. (Maybe sans NYC and probably LA..and no that does not make us vain – although some people here are.) People wear pajamas outside the house, leggings as pants, and yoga pants to work. So yes – compared to that – I suppose I am “fancy,” but if that’s the scale we’re looking at – I will gladly sit on the “fancy” side of it.
If someone catches me in a dress and heels – forget it – consider their minds’ blown. Which is ridiculous. But let’s go back to the heels portion of the equation. Obviously – since you are reading this blog – you know I love shoes. I love buying shoes, looking at shoes, and wearing shoes. Some of those shoes are heels – well, most of them are. I decided to do a little background research as to why women wear heels. However – I should really call that topic “why people think women wear heels” because I was not impressed with what I found.
A number of articles come up on this subject when you type it into Google – some written by men, some by women – and then there’s also a smattering of random people who posed this question to message boards.
The overwhelming consensus from these sources – is that women wear heels because they think they make them look more appealing to the opposite sex (of course – no mention of women possibly wanting to look appealing to the same sex.) And while heels may make you look more attractive – and there were actually studies done to prove so – I think that has very little to do with why the majority of women decide to put them on their feet on a daily basis.
There were some slight glimmers of hope. Lea Goldman – the features editor for Marie Claire says that she’s “utterly convinced that high heels can empower women.. they help women look and feel confident and self-assured.” This is a sentiment I can get on board with. However – she then goes into how women should wear heels to work so they are physically eye to eye with men (because how could a man take you seriously if you are shorter than him? Am I right?). She then goes even further in the wrong direction by saying you shouldn’t wear heels that are too high because that just looks “tawdry” and “makes your colleagues feel uncomfortable.” I gotta stop you right there, girl.
Enough of what silly online articles say – I want to actually know why women wear heels. So – I asked my ladies – and I got a myriad of responses – only one of which was “to look sexy.” Most of what I heard ran along the lines of – to go with my outfit (or vice versa – considering my best friend and I often choose outfits based around our shoes). I was also told – to create an overall good proportion within an outfit, to be taller, to stand out, to go out, and because they look pretty (they as in the shoes themselves, not the wearer.)
When it comes down to it – women want to feel good about themselves and their bodies. They want to feel in control (possibly larger than life) and heels help them do that. I know for sure that when I wake up sleepy or grumpy in the morning – if I throw on a pair of amazing shoes I instantaneously feel better. So if that makes me “fancy” – so be it – I feel good, the end.
As for my shoes today? They happen to be 5″ high (and only cost me $25). That means I’m a fancy 6’2 lady right now – and that’s just how I like it.