• Wed, Feb 20 2013

Shelved Dolls: Imelda Marcos – No, Seriously, How Many Shoes Did She Have?

imelda  marcos

I’m going to say something that is maybe a bit controversial and certainly not very nice. Are you ready?

There are times when we do not give a shit about anyone else, and those times are “most of the time.”

As the song says, sometimes girls, and men, and women, and people, really, just want to have fun. Here. Let’s all appreciate together how nobody watches this and is like “I want to be the lady preparing the eggs.”

I think that’s more commonly accepted than we generally let on. In reality, every one of us is balancing out our days so we can do whatever will afford us the most amount of fun we think we can have (assuming that the fun would probably go down if you like the money your job gives you). That sentiment is probably why you are sitting at your computer write now, reading what is going to be a SUPER FUN article, and not de-worming orphans in Somalia for free.

However, while it’s generally accepted that human beings are generally selfish creatures who are out for a good time not all of them are seen as villains. Not all of them fit the same category as say, Imelda Marcos, the First Lady of the Philippines – who famously spent a fortune on shoes while the people of her country starved.

At what point point do people stop being just, well, people, who are not supposed to be angels, and start being incompetent monsters?

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  • Anonachocolatemousse

    I have, let’s not call it an obsession exactly, but a love for shoes. Because of this love and the fact that I had over a hundred pairs by the time I was in high school, my family called me Imelda Marcos. Sweet, but also weird now that I know that her acquisition of shoes came at time when her people were starving.

  • M -

    Hm, just a random note – I don’t know how it was in 1983, but Denmark is ridiculously fashionable.

  • beanie

    You must do Michelle Duvalier! She refrigerated her palace in Haiti so she could wear her furs! I love this series you are doing. I’ve learned many new things about the women you profile.

    • Cait

      WHAT!!!! I am so interested in this.

  • hazen

    Some day we will be reading similar stories about the Obamas. Come to think of it, we are already reading them.

    • jjj

      Except it will be Michelle’s designer dresses instead of shoes….or their multiple lavish vacations….yes the list could go on…..

  • marie

    Perhaps what we consider an avaricious sociopath resonates differently in their culture? Pretty big on forgiveness nevertheless.

  • Margaux

    I love the historical information in this because I am from that country and I just realized how many tidbits of information I’ve missed. Also, again this was another great article from you. Me too, I don’t get why the Marcoses weren’t axed or anything.

  • Erika

    I’m from the Philippines and to this day Imelda is a controversial figure. Her life is super interesting–she’s survived assassination attempts, her son Bongbong is rumored to be dead and replaced by a lookalike relative, and the whole Manila Film Fest scandal is totally one for the books. Look it up, it’s incredible fascinating.

  • Cara

    This is a very delayed reaction – I’m a latecomer to this site, much to my shame – but you need a teeny correction to this paragraph: “The only time the Marcoses excesses ever seem alluded to was when the
    revolutionary leader, and new president, Ninoy Aquino, remarked “ours
    must have been the cheapest revolution ever.” …” The person who said this was Cory Aquino, Ninoy’s widow. Mr. Aquino was assassinated in 1983, before the Marcoses were deposed. The rest of the sentence is correct, though – Mrs. Aquino became one of the revolutionary leaders when her husband died, as well as the new President. :)

  • FemelleChevalier

    I just stumbled upon this, and it was interesting. There are some that bothers me, though.

    The people are in NO way starving. The reign of Marcos is considered by most Filipinos as the golden age of economical growth in the Philippines. Because of Marcos, the country became well-known in ASEAN and worldwide.

    Marcos is a brilliant man with an eidetic memory to match. He is a great politician and he made the country a front-runner in the economical standpoint.

    People won’t want to kill them due to starvation, because they aren’t starved in the first place. The opposition wants to tear him down due to his temper and inability to take suggestions. Paranoia, temper, and the political opposition drove him to declare Marshall Law that lasted TWO decades, and THAT’S the reason why the masses revolt. The last few years of the Marshall Law became a mess of violence and the limited freedom is what drove Filipinos to retaliate.

    Not because of hunger, but because of the Marshall Law.

    Aquino is a politician who openly criticizes Marcos and his dictatorial reign. He was assassinated and until now, no one knows who’s behind it (the obvious answer would be Marcos himself). His death became a catalyst and people (who were wronged) made him a hero. And the opposition pushed his widow to become the next president.

    But the Aquinos didn’t improve the country. They are rich, elitist hypocrites who are still in the middle of a scandal involving their farmers and their promised lands. The only good thing that came out of the revolution is the removal of Marshall Law. That’s it. From there, the economy gradually declined and the political greed became more rampant.

    All in all, Marcos isn’t a monster. He and his wife is excessive, yes. But they never let their people starved. That’s why, to this day, his family is still respected enough to be voted in the politics.

    P.S. Bongbong is a nickname.