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The Dollar May Be Low, But Heels Are High, And Getting Higher

Illustration for article titled The Dollar May Be Low, But Heels Are High, And Getting Higher

Yesterday's Independent featured a story by Harriet Walker about skyscraper heels. Prompted, of course, by Victoria Beckham making an appearance in spindly 5 inch stilettos. Writes Walker: "Just when you thought heels couldn't get any higher, guess what: they have." This season, Prada, Louboutin and Dior all have towering heels. And the Giambattista Valli shoes for fall (pictured) have a retro feel, but with platforms and heels so high they almost seem designed for toppling over. The Daily Mail points out that high heels have been around since 3500BC, when Ancient Egyptian noble women picked their way through the pyramids. Hundreds of years, billions of aching feet, twisted ankles, throbbing bunions and crusty corns. Why do we do it?

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Are heels this season so high because the economy is so low? There's power in height, in the instant and literal lift one gets from heels. Some say they feel sexier, and there's no doubt that wearing heels changes the posture of a woman — pushing out the chest, tensing the calf muscle, elongating (actually hyperextending) the leg and putting stress on the lower back, causing hips to work harder and therefore "sway." But where is the true power when you can't really walk? Where is the power when most of the popular shoes were designed by men who don't wear them? Ever notice how ladies who wear sneakers all the time have smooth and un-callused feet, and women with a "sexy" heel habit have stressed out and jacked up feet? Why, after thousands of years and a sexual revolution, do we continue to do this to ourselves? Is it because there's a thrill in being a woman, in claiming all of the chicks-only, "feminine" accoutrements that go with being decidedly female? While you ponder these questions, I'm going to see if I can find a price for those black Giambattista Valli numbers on the lower left. What? Just curious!

Skyscraper Heels: They May Be Painful And Expensive But We've Seen Nothing Yet [Independent]

Posh Spike needs a head for heights as she steps out in five-inch heels [Daily Mail]

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Earlier: Fashion Victims

Fashion Writer Wears Fashionable Shoes, Loses Will To Live

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This image was lost some time after publication.

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DISCUSSION

stoprobbers
stoprobbers

I think heels are connected to the economy because it helps to *stabilize* gender roles; women need to leave the work force in order to ensure men have jobs. Just look at the 50s

Wow. That's a totally unfounded opinion with no facts to back it up that's pretty damn insulting to all of us who love to look at, buy, and wear heels.

I think the reason things like lipstick and heels (and the cut of clothing, hemlines, etc.) are connected with the economy is because when times get tough, people get more overt about injecting glamour into their lives. The best example is during the depression in the 1930s and early 40s, otherwise known as the The Era of Hollywood Glamour. Movie studios made a conscious effort to make glamour over the top in order to distract people from the misery of their everyday lives, if only for an hour or two. This translates into the way we live — we're not getting paid as much, rent is hard, gas is hard, etc., so we toss on some heels and some red lipstick and make ourselves feel pretty and rich for an evening.

As far as ways to cope psychologically, it's not a bad way to go.