I love high heels. Not in the Carrie Bradshaw “walking 40 blocks in $400 shoes” Manolo fetishist kind of way, or anything. I just love them. I love that they are pretty. I love that they are womanly and glamorous. I love that they make me taller. I love the way my legs look in them. But most of all, I love that they make me feel powerful. I love my high heels, but they do not return my love. In fact, they turned on me.

A few weeks back, I noticed soreness in my foot; I ignored it. I began walking with a limp; I still ignored it. It got so bad that last week, after a lovely dinner with girlfriends, my friend Ana had to literally carry me home on her back when we couldn’t get a cab because it hurt too much to walk even a few steps. So I broke down and went to the doctor. And it turns out I have a stress fracture.

According to Wikipedia, as stress fracture is a “type of incomplete fracture in bones.” It is caused by “unusual or repeated stress.” This is in contrast to other types of fractures, which are “usually characterized by a solitary, severe impact.”

People usually get stress fractures from extreme running or high impact activities, but sometimes they get them from walking around the streets of New York City in 3-inch fricking heels. So yeah, you could say I’m bitter. Not only am I banned from wearing high heels for 6 weeks, I am forced to hobble around the city in an orthopedic boot! Sure, it also hurts like hell, but mere physical pain I can live with. What’s probably worse than wearing the boot is that I don’t even have a cool story to tell when people ask me what’s wrong. I can’t say that I had a kite boarding accident in Maui, or that I was rappelling in the Amazon. No, I have this injury because I am vain and drawn to impractical footwear.

But all of this feeling sorry for myself has led me to thinking about all of the other ways we may put our physical safety at risk for beauty. Surely I am not the only vain idiot that end up in the doctor’s office because of fashion!

Meralgia Paresthetica

You can seriously mess up your nerves from skinny jeans. I remember reading a story about this last year.

It turns out, all of this flagrant skinny-jean wearing had been causing women to develop ‘meralgia paresthetica,’ also know as “tingling thigh syndrome.” I had 5 people email me this story. Women who develop this condition complain of numbness in the leg and describe a “tingly, floating” feeling. As scary is this sounds, this condition is not very serious. The cure? Switching to looser pants. That’s it. No irreversible damage, just don’t wear tight jeans! Um, okay. Maybe this epidemic is what led to the evolution of the jegging.  Maybe jeggings were borne out of an actual medical necessity. Somehow, that makes them seem easier to justify.

Fabric Allergies

Did you know that waterproof and stain-resistant clothing is coated in formaldehyde?! I personally found this shocking, yet everyone I talked to seemed to already know this. Besides being creepy and gross, formaldehyde can be dangerous because people can be highly allergic to it. Reactions can include burning in the eyes, nose and throat; rashes; chest tightness; wheezing; fatigue and headaches; or dermatitis. Um, ew?

If you are afraid of or already are experiencing these symptoms, you would do best to stay away from synthetic, stiff, waterproofed products and instead stick to fabric that is 100 percent cotton, polyester, nylon and acrylic. You should also wash all your new clothes and bedding before use.

Heavy Handbags

So, it’s not a real shocker that some women are carrying around 10-15 pounds of junk in their bags. And I am the guiltiest of the guilty. When I leave the house In the morning I have my laptop, charger, iPhone, wallet, checkbook, a couple of magazines, a book and sometimes even a camera. I know this is not wise, but hey, what if I need that stuff?

According to The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, “Heavy, cumbersome bags may leave you with back, neck, and shoulder pain, even headaches and can aggravate or accelerate arthritic conditions,” Yikes. Now for the cure… wait for it: Stop carrying around a bunch of heavy shit in your bag! Other solutions include wearing a backpack with evenly displaced weight or pulling a bag with wheels. Now, anyone that cares even a smidge about fashion will dismiss the last two options instantly. So maybe, just maybe, find away to leave the laptop at home. Maybe now is the perfect time to buy an iPad?

Poisonous Jewelry

I am not sure how widespread this problem is, but a few months ago it was reported that Miley Cyrus’s jewelry like contained high levels of the toxic mineral cadmium. Now, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Experts say that even high levels of cadmium jewelry is fine. The only problem is when it’s ingested. So, lesson her is don’t gnaw on your costume jewelry. And next time your baby niece tries to teeth on your cheapy Walmart bracelet- stop her!

So I suppose the lesson here should be to be smart, care about your health, and don’t compromise your well being for beauty. But honestly, what fun is that? I say, yeah, fashion can be uncomfortable; you may injure yourself, but probably not too badly.  So wear what you want, listen to your body and find a nice compromise.