Let’s ignore all the obvious reasons to love high heels. Let’s ignore that they make your legs look fabulous. Let’s ignore the fact that high heels, as Veronica Webb said, “put your ass on pedestal, where it belongs.” Let’s ignore the fact that they make you taller. Let’s ignore the way they improve your posture. Let’s just ignore all that. Because really, I think high-heel love comes down to the fact that whatever people like Leora Tanenbaum say, women know what glamorous looks like, and it doesn’t look like the sad little shoes you go to the market to buy frozen peas in.
Maybe those shoes – the sad shoes – are, as Leora Tanenbaum says, practical and serviceable and comfortable. You know what else is practical and serviceable and sensible? Volvos. Track suits. Oatmeal. The entire city of Bismarck, North Dakota. But are any of those things beautiful? No. No, they’re not.
Why do women think high heels are beautiful? I don’t know, why do people think the Sistine Chapel is beautiful? You know what is beautiful because something deep within you recognizes what beauty is. I think Plato said that. Plato, or possibly Heidi Montag. One or the other.
But, okay, if forced to offer up a justification, maybe it’s the level of designer talent that goes into them. Maybe it’s because they serve as a testament to the fact that we can value beauty over simple practicality. Maybe it’s because we like things that come in pretty colors. Maybe it’s because a really perfectly made pair of high IS a work of art, but as Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada says “they’re better, because they’re art you live your life in.” Real talk.
Oh, but they hurt. Umm, no, they don’t. Or rather, they shouldn’t. I don’t know where Leora is buying her shoes – perhaps she’s picking them up from TheShoeStoreWhereShoesAreMadeOfRazorblades - but well made shoes, properly sized, shouldn’t be too painful to walk in. A big problem in Bad Shoes seems to be that women keep buying shoes that are too small for them. And that seems as though it could be easily solved by letting the nice man at the shoe store measure your feet to make sure you’re getting the proper size. It could also be solved by walking around at the shoe store to make sure that you can walk in them reasonably comfortably. And sitting down and making sure that they’re not cutting off your circulation. These things are pretty basic, though. And if your shoes are so painful you can’t walk, then you need to buy a pair where that is not the case. They’re out there. They’re definitely out there.
But they will cause you feet problems. Okay. You might get bunions. You know who else has bunions? My dad, and granddad. I don’t quite believe that’s because they once had a glamorous life on the cross-dressing circuit. I think it’s more because bad things start to happen to your body as you get older. If you’re worried about it, here are some simple exercises for bunions.
And when you are old, and grey, and full of bunions, and dozing by the fire in your sad shoes, you can remember the pair of shoes you once had that made you feel like Sophia Loren. And you can remember how they made your otherwise plain outfit pop. You can remember how incredibly sexy and powerful they made you feel. You can remember how everyone else admired you in them. And then you can toddle off to the market and buy some frozen peas.