If the shoe fits.....

Art by Pierre Kenal Louis

Art by Pierre Kenal Louis

We are programmed to believe that putting yourself through pain (literally) because you want to "rock the look" is okay.

The history of elevated shoes -slash- heels started with men, specifically horse riding European men. This was mainly among the upper class because owning horses was a status symbol.....soon enough upper class women added elevated shoes to their wardrobe. This was before heels were a strong signifier of gender as they seem to be today.

The disparity between "male vs female" heels became more gendered through the differences in designs. Men's heels were more broad & stable while women's were more decorative. In the 18th century men deemed heels impractical. That, together with the change in subculture as well as the declining popularity of aristocracy, made high heeled shoes for men a thing of the past.

The re-emergence & popularization of heels for women was  aided by the rise of photography, which led to the rise of pornography. Heels looked great in pornographic photography. Heels became sex charged..... stilettos were literally invented in alignment to masculine sexual arousal & excitement.

Tons of designs later, women are still finding fixes, hacks, and work arounds.....recording tons of youtube tutorials on how to walk, how to minimize pain & some even  getting surgery to align the structure of their feet to specific shoe designs. All that instead of questioning their deep desire to wear heels despite the unbearable pain ( or maybe bearable pain?). We're talking nerve damage, aching legs, shortened calves, bunions, you name it. The most well designed high heeled shoe is at best an hour or two more comfortable than the rest, & not to mention more pricey. So called aesthetics vs comfort. But of course, shoe designer Martha Davis would disagree, she claims that its more about fit (measure & proportionality) versus the height. It's interesting to note though that her shoe designs turn to be chunkier, shorter & less aesthetically pleasing....but alas.

I'm not about policing what people should or should not do with their lives, its their natural born right for goodness sake. What I am about, is questioning with the intention of gaining more clarity. The real question for me here is: instead of patching & finding hacks to an inherently flawed design (through the invention of stilettos specifically) which served no practical purpose other than to please the male gaze , why bother.......but then again, if the shoe fits.