Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Silly High Heels

While I was walking to work from the bus stop this morning, it struck me that the heels of women's shoes have become even higher during the last year. It's as though, having put aside their common sense a few years ago, women are now going to a wild extreme. Perhaps by next year, they'll be tottering around downtown on stilts.

Why, when I was a lad . . . women wore high heels. Always. Everywhere. Spike heels. At least the modern incarnation have tips that spread out, so the damage done to sidewalks and floors is somewhat less than it was back then. The damage done to feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower backs, Achilles tendons, and calf muscles is the same, of course.

It's bizarre and inexplicable to me. Some years ago, women cast off the shackles of this absurd fashion, which our society presumably inherited from some French king who felt the need to appear taller than his subjects. You saw women walking around downtown wearing running shoes. You also saw newspaper columns lamenting this and begging them to return to heels so that they would look "professional" - a word that, like "respect", means just about whatever the speaker wants it to mean. Reading such columns, I was convinced that women wouldn't fall for it. Having escaped from the absurdity of high heels, they'd never willingly return to them.

Wrong! Repetition seems to have done the trick, and now all the foolish lemmings are back to heels. Not only do they look absurd trying to walk in those things, and especially so when there's ice on the ground, they also sound absurd. People walking in running shoes sound the way civilized people should sound: silent.

Recently, I made the mistake of watching an episode of the "reimagined" Bionic Woman. (I wanted to see if it had improved from the pilot episode. It hadn't.) The title character goes out on a mission, which she knows will involve much bionic running around and fighting. She prepares by choosing an appropriate outfit, which includes a ridiculously short jacket, designed to show her midriff but not to keep her warm, slacks, and boots with high heels. In which she runs around clumsily, making clippity-cloppity noises, like an out-of-shape pony.

Good grief. Can this fashion trend get any dumber?

But it will. Stilts, I tell ya.


Lahdeedah said...

I remember the first bionic woman episode. It annoyed me because in the scene she's jumping and running in kitten heels.

I don't actually wear heels, hardly ever. If I do, I wear the really low ones. Maybe an inch and a half? And that is only because I'm only five feet tall.

But I do own a pair of three inch heels and you know what?

I can't wear them because I can't walk in them. It hurts my toe. And I know tons of other women suffer for height and feet fashion, but I, alas, I, will remain shrimpy and comfortable.

David said...

They look so dangerous. I think I read that the number of serious ankle injuries in women has increased because of them, but I could be misremembering.

I know that is or was a problem in Japan. A few years ago, I read of a trend among young Japanese women toward wearing shoes with enormous heels and soles - super-platform shoes. They were literally falling off their shoes and suffering broken bones.

Kristen said...

It seems very few trends make sense.

I'm noticing this year, as I look for a warm winter coat, that the trendier it is, the less likely it is to keep you warm.

David said...

If the trendy people are cold all the time, their bodies will respond by depositing layers of subcutaneous fat, and ... I don't like where this is going.