So last weekend I wound up not only out of the house in the late evening but on my way to a restaurant in a trendy part of downtown. While cruising for parking we saw a number of majorly decked-out pedestrians heading towards one of the popular nightclubs. Maybe it’s because it’s been unseasonably warm for the usually chilly Pacific Northwest, or maybe it’s just because I don’t get out enough, but I noticed many of the women were wearing very short skirts and extremely high high-heeled shoes.
Call me a fuddy-duddy, or an incompletely reconstructed ex-hippie, or maybe just a prudish libertine but…
I know the idea behind high heels is they’re supposed to be sexy. But my very strong impression is that those things are pretty much impossible to walk around in without a kind of weird bent-knee gait that’s… actually a little more alarming than sexy to watch. Update: I ought to add that by “alarming” I don’t necessarily mean “oh those poor dears might fall over at any moment. “ Because obviously with just a little practice let alone longtime use even high heels are perfectly navigable. Nor am I referring to various reports of bunions, shortened tendons, and other potential medical complications. The people I usually see wearing high heels are capable, intelligent, coordinated adults who are perfectly aware of what they’re doing and why. I just mean I’m alarmed to be so evidently out of touch that walking on bent legs with your arms waiving around for balance just seems gawky and uncoordinated to me. Instead of cool, svelte, and drop-dead alluring.
And yeah, I know and appreciate the argument* that on many, many levels the way fashion is supposed to work is for the benefit of the wearer, and that the opinions of onlookers are supposed to be somewhere between irrelevant and intrusive. But…
I don’t know. I’m more of a fan of things that make knees weak and feet point and toes curl naturally. None of which, outside of certain branches of BDSM, involve trying to stay upright while crossing broken pavement.
That’s totally my personal, maybe even idiosyncratic opinion. There’s plenty of room in comments for opposing views. I’ll happily stand corrected.
* See Phoebe Maltz of What Would Phoebe Do for a far more nuanced take on who fashion is and isn’t for.