Wearing Heels Will Make You More Attractive, Flats Make You Less Feminine

heelsJamie better learn how to wear heels immediately if she wants to be regarded as “attractive,” because obviously one can only be so, if they’re rocking fuck-me pumps at all times. Did you not know this fact? Good thing I’m here to clear up any confusion.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth say heels change the way the entire body moves, including the pelvis, hips, legs, knees, feet and even the shoulders, to emphasise femininity. Women wearing heels are rated as more attractive than when wearing flat shoes, even when those making the judgement are unable to see faces or bodies.

But before you start shaking your fist and thinking that it was just men who thought this to be true, the female subjects involved in the study also felt the same way.

Both genders watched 30-second clips of a video of “walkers in high heels and flat shoes moving towards them.” All the heel-wearing women were regarded as more attractive than the flat-wearing crew, with the women watching the videos rating the heel-wearers even more good-looking than the men did. When in the second experiment the participants were asked to guess the appropriate gender of those wearing flats, the flat-wearers were “twice as likely to be viewed as a man.” You guys, if you don’t wear heels, you look like a man. See how this is all coming together?

The reason for this, like many things, is steeped in evolution. Heels emphasize “sex-specific aspects of the female form,” and this, naturally, is a major component in the mate selection process. Without heels, the human race might die out! Or not. Without heels on, you’ll be mistaken for being a man! OK, maybe that’s not entirely true either.

I don’t know about you, but sounds to me like evolution is sexist. Or maybe I’m just pissy because I wobble in my new 4-inch heels. (I should have known three inches was my max.)


Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

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    • Cee

      I just CAN’T walk in heels. I can’t! My lovely girlfriend has bought me a couple of quite pricey pair of heels and I feel terrible because I always end up ditching them for flats before we head out the door because I’m still too wobbly and they hurt! I admire women that can walk in heels, I just can’t do it.

    • Maggie

      I love wearing high heels, mostly because at 5’8″ on my flat feet, 4″+ heels make me over 6 feet tall, and it’s a pretty awesome feeling. I’ve learned through much trial and error that wedge heels are easier to walk in and result in fewer sprained ankles and less looking dumb when you trip and fall, and not as much wobbling!

      • Angelique

        Oh Maggie, I wish I had your confidence in heels! I’m also 5’8”, and living in Miami, wearing heels makes me taller than most people, including the men, and it always feels awkward being the giant in the crowd.

      • Cate

        Yeah Maggie! I’m 5’10 and I rarely wear heels lower than three inches. People need to stop looking askance at tall ladies in heels. We’re tall anyway, are a few inches really that disastrous?

    • JennyWren

      I’m wondering if the women’s attractiveness rating was affected by their attitudes towards the shoe itself fashion-wise- after all, your average bloke is likely going to be far less able to tell a Louboutin from Banana Republic, or a platform wedge from a stiletto. All they’ll see is heels. Whereas shoes send a far more complex sartorial message to women that could easily affect the study. Hmmm. I say this calls for comprehensive re-testing, in which heels judged “ugly” by a representative sample of women will be used as a control.

      • msk1403

        I wondered about this also. The article mentions that the study participants were unable to see the faces or sometimes bodies, but I feel like in order to really judge if it is the heels’ affect on the way that we walk that makes wearing them so appealing, then the study should have cut off the videos (I’m assuming the participants were watching videos) at the ankle so that the type of shoe was unknown.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sven.erlandson Sven Erlandson

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      • Maria

        This is so pathetic. Spam has never made me this sad. Poor guy. I’m intrigued by GUY LANGUAGE and GUY STORIES (I assume capitalization is an essential part of GUY LANGUAGE), but for some reason I think checking it out would be very depressing.

      • Ms. Pants

        Sven, did you hit your head really hard before you sat down to leave this comment? I think perhaps you did.

    • Elevator_from_Duh_Shining

      Ew, heels are the worst! I guess I’m just doomed to be an uggo in flats for the rest of my life :’(

    • Luna

      I laughed out loud a couple of times reading this.

      Similar to others, my initial though was, “Well did women really feel that way, or did they rate them the way they thought a man would rate them?” I’ll be honest, if I were rating the women I’d be thinking, ‘oh yeah, guys would definitely want her.’

      It’s a defense mechanism, to convince yourself that you can cope with the pressure of other women being beautiful. Then you run out and buy heels so you can compete with them.

    • Bosworth

      Last night, at 12am, I saw a girl walking down the side of a slushy, snow covered street in 4 inch heels, and I just thought of how desperate & sad she looked. If you want to look classy & comfortable, try kitten heels. Few things are less attractive than a woman wobbling around in heels like a lame animal in search of a protector.

    • Ellen

      Even if wearing those heels make you TOWER over all but the tallest people? I guess I’m not confident enough to choose to be in a crowd where the average MAN would reach only to my shoulder.