Sunday, May 10, 2015

The height of fashion

Nicola Sturgeon's shoes
According to a study by the Université de Bretagne-Sud, "men behave more favourably towards a woman if she is wearing high-heeled shoes," concluding that "high heels make women more beautiful". Sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann claims "high-heels are an important tool for women hoping to attract a male partner." But if you're looking for a proper grown-up relationship, maybe that's not the sort of partner you want?

Presenting the BBC's Young Dancer 2015 final last night, Zoë Ball was perched on ridiculously high heels, as she often is. I guess it's part of her show business image, to wear totally impractical shoes. During Strictly Come Dancing, she must have been glad to sit down. She certainly couldn't dance in them. But why does Nicola Sturgeon totter around on stilettos? They throw her body forward so her gait is unnatural. She probably wears them because she's short. Now what would a psychologist say about that?

Naomi Campbell's spectacular
1993 fall at Westwood's show
It's a very long time since I wore high heels. I had some silly platform soled shoes in my early 20s that were an accident waiting to happen, and it did. Shoes like this remind me of my Aunty Dorothy. She wasn't a real aunt, but our next door neighbour when I was growing up. She always wore high heels and her calf muscles looked like they had knots in. In later life, she had difficulty walking even in flat shoes, due to the damage done by walking on tiptoe for years. In years to come, fashion historians will probably deride very high heels as the height of foolishness.

Click for the history of high heels.

Seems I'm not the only one who's been interested in Nicola Sturgeon's shoes. She was on ITV's Loose Women, where she got side-tracked into talking about her appearance instead of about politics.

Nicola Sturgeon on Loose Women: How the 'most powerful woman in British politics' dealt with questions on shoes and fashion.  

Bit of a hoo-ha at the Cannes Film Festival, when women were turned away from a red carpet screening for not wearing high heels.

Nicola Thorp was told that she had to wear high heels to work as it was part of the dress code. She refused, and is trying to make it illegal for bosses to impose this rule.


quedula said...

They've been about for a very long time. And their demise often predicted.

Margaret Nelson said...

From Kerry Flint on the f word blog:

'Heels fell out of fashion with women until the mid 19th century when they were considered to be glamorous and elevated to new heights by the porn industry. Semmelhack, author of Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe, told the BBC, “If it becomes a signifier of actual power, then men will be as willing to wear it as women.” A signifier of power in the form of something that makes getting around very difficult seems unlikely but let’s keep our eyes peeled anyway.'