A recent Today Show poll noted that 48.6% believe that high heels empower women — making them stand out as confident individuals. 31.9% felt that high heels oppress women — objectifying them as mere sex objects while causing lasting damage to their feet and ankles.
I know that I can make a statement much more pointedly with the click-click of my heels than when striding purposefully in flats. For me, there’s a feeling of empowerment that I don’t get when wearing flats. I know the relationship women have with their shoes is often the butt of jokes, and probably for good reason.
The human foot is one the most intricate structures in the body: it contains one-third of the bones in the body (26), has 35 joints, and more than 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles. High-heels place a ridiculous amount of stress on feet, and over time can create major problems for women later in life.
The photo above made me start thinking about my relationship with heels. For most of my life I’ve been in the “comfortable shoe” camp, and certainly own more sneakers and flats than heels. But lately I’ve begun to notice that the shoes I choose to wear on any given day may directly influence how others interact with me. Though perhaps it’s my own demeanor that changes when I’m wearing heels — it really is difficult to project an authoritative presence at 5’2”.
Whatever the reason, though I’m always most happy when my feet are happy, if I’m pulling myself together to go out and slay the dragon, I’ll take along a pair of high heels as part of my arsenal.