High heels… a pair of shoes that hold more symbolism for women than any other item she may wear. The other day I asked my followers to tell me what comes to mind when you see a woman in high heels: confident, powerful, successful, beautiful, sexy. When I put on high heels I feel a bit silly, usually uncomfortable, and rarely powerful. I prefer flats; I’m comfortable in flats, close to the ground, and can chase after my kids. It’s funny because sometimes I feel real powerful when I’m rocking a pair of loafers. So here is my question… Why do I have to wear high heels to look powerful to others?
If you asked me about my impression of a woman in high heels, I’d probably have answered similar to what everyone else said. I may also wonder what she does/if she has kids/if her back hurts. I don’t know if it’s because society has conditioned us to associate high heels with certain adjectives, or because the shoes really do a lot for a woman – either way, they’ve become quite distinctive.
Power, money, class, profession – they all can be determined by the brand or style of high heel a woman wears. If there is a red bottom, she has money. If the heel is short and stout, she is an old lady. If there is 5 inch clear platform, well… I don’t want to say what we grew up thinking but you get my point. For women, the type of heels you wear suddenly tell a story about you, one that might not even be true.
Some people spend a lot of time, money, and thought on the shoes they wear day to day.
Perhaps we can say the same about other types of shoes and the stereotypes they give the wearer: sneakers = athletic, loafers = academic, flip flops = casual. Some people spend a lot of time, money, and thought on the shoes they wear day to day. I prefer a pair of shoes that are nice, my taste is sometimes expensive, but it really is all about comfort when you’re a 33 year old work from home Mom of two little girls who like to dance around me in circles.
Let’s go back about ten years…
I bought a pair of green heels to wear on my wedding day because isn’t that what brides are supposed to do? I also packed my favorite pair of slippers and wore them 95% of the evening. In my defense, it was a cold October night and I had the flu when I got married, but still… wearing my furry Ugg slippers didn’t stop me from feeling gorgeous, powerful, and confident.
With all this being said, don’t assume I’m anti-high heel.
I wear high heels on special occasions and the random date night. When I do slip on a pair, I feel a little bit taller and a little elegant (even if I walk around like a baby giraffe). I notice the sound the heels make, clicking away on the floor, and I like it. It’s almost like you can feel the heads turn to see who is coming in. We can all thank society for that.
But that’s not to say that I don’t wonder…. How cool it would be if I made the same impression on others without staggering in on a pair of heels? My 5’3 stature, my attempted ballerina-like posture, my confident aura… all able to exude POWER without relying on a pair of shoes.