High heels are one of those fashion standbys that we love to hate, or maybe we hate to love them. Every woman who likes to walk around in heels has been subject to friendly ridicule at one time or another. Most likely she will laugh right along with everyone else. It is true that high heels are an impractical shoe if all you are thinking about is walking. Regardless, this shoe trend shows no sign of going away. Quite to the contrary, whether in the office or at the club, heels are more popular than ever. In this post, I’d like to reflect on this curious trend for a moment. Let us see if we can’t figure out why we love our uncomfortable, impractical, stunningly gorgeous heels so much.
Invented by the Aristocracy
A tall slender shoe for ladies seems to have been introduced by Catherine de Medici in Europe during the 16th century. After her wedding with King Henry II of France, the fashion swept through that country. Historians have commented that an early motivation for this design was as a simple way to generate an aura of power. Women in the royal court wanted to appear higher than everyone else. Not only that, but high heels allowed them to look the men of the court directly in the eye – no small consideration where great power is at stake.
Once the style had hit the European streets, it took on a life of its own. A later pioneer was Madam Kathy, the proprietor of a Parisian brothel in the mid-19th century. She quickly discovered that her male patrons responded very well to the trend. They liked it so much, in fact, that they started buying heels for their wives. From then on the heel was a fact of life for urban females.
Analysis of the Trend
Now that we have a little historical perspective, what can we deduce about the unending popularity of this fashion staple? Two things: heels create an ambiance of power as well as undeniable sex-appeal. As mentioned earlier, being taller is no small matter in political circles or in regular life. Politicians from all eras have worn lifts because height projects power. I would also propose that solid heels with their signature clack-clack on the tile, acts as an effective percussive emphasis for a woman’s words and actions. Ladies who wear heels regularly will understand just how powerful this effect can be when used correctly.
Of course heels are sexy. No one could deny it. They create an optical illusion that shortens the foot and emphasizes the curve of the legs. They also draw attention to a woman’s bottom and bust in what some have described as a ‘come hither’ pose. Dainty straps that outline the foot also reference the shapes and tones of intimate clothing, so that an elegant foot almost becomes a hint of delicious possibilities. Clearly women enjoy the attention that heels bring, both from men and from other women. I don’t think anyone buys a great pair of shoes to not have them noticed.
In the End, Who Cares?
I don’t think that there is any great mystery when it comes to this perennial shoe trend. High heels lend women an aura of power and desirability. As all women know, these are some of our most important tools in life. It isn’t that we wear uncomfortable shoes because we’re dumb, it is that what we lose in comfort we gain back in other areas.
Although this exercise in analysis has been educational, I don’t think it makes a lick of difference. Just enjoying high heels because they are awesome, which most women naturally do, is enough of a reason to wear them. If it makes you feel good, there you go. The next time a man chides you for wearing silly shoes, just smile, turn on your heel and stroll away. You won’t have to look back to know where his gaze is falling.
About The Author:
The author is a fashion aficionado and keeps a keen watch on the ever evolving world of fashion. Through writing, she like helping women appear elegant and trendy by offering the latest fashion and beauty trends. Follow Clarissa Seaton on Google+.