"What do you think of these?" I asked my boyfriend, showing him an image of the It Shoes of the season, the Prada sandal platforms that, according to a story on hideous heels in today's New York Observer, look "like the work of someone on acid, or at least weed". "I dunno," replied boyfriend. "Guys don't notice shoes." Women, however, do, which is why it is so very odd that this season's most-talked about accessories are the ugliest expensive shit you ever saw. So why are women shelling out the big bucks for things that might turn you to stone for looking at them, if you don't break your back walking in them? Are ugly and overpriced shoes the latest ploy by retailers to create a wealthy elite?
Let's face it. If you are a normal person, you do not have close to $800 to spend on a pair of shoes. And even if you did, you would probably be spending it on something you could wear over and over again, or, hell, something you could wear at all. (Forget "if you have to ask you can't afford it", this is "if you have to be mobile you can't afford it.")
"I feel horrible when my girls come in here and say, 'I can't spend this much on sandals,' " says one boutique owner, who spoke with the Los Angeles Times regarding the rising price of ridiculous shoes. "They think it's my fault, but I am paying these high prices too." Another LA boutique owner agrees. "When Chloé came on the scene, I remember noticing it. All of a sudden, every line started designing a shoe collection that was more elaborate and more expensive."
Why do women do it? Bankrupting themselves, making their tootsies uglier and forcing pain upon themselves for some perverse pleasure gotten from owning something so impractical, so debilitating, and so (we repeat) fug? Let us not forget the sagacious words of our favorite paper, London's Daily Mail, which explains the allure of high heels thusly: "Men like an exaggerated female figure." Yeah, my boyfriend who insists men aren't looking at my feet? Apparently he's right.
[Image via Style.com]