Why Do We Wear High Heels?

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High heels – whether you love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that women all around the world have some sort of fascination towards them. Even those who belong in the latter group may find themselves occasionally doning a pair of stilettos. Essentially we all know that high heels are bad for our feet and let’s not even get started about the discomfort. So the real question is WHY DO WE KEEP WEARING THEM?

Here are some of my thoughts and musings upon doing some research…

The ‘Feel Good’ Factor

Frank (2008) explains that in addition to making women taller, the structure of high heels help to exaggerate the female form, working to attract favourable attention.High heels can also accentuate a woman’s legs and create the appearance of a thinner body contour. These factors all contribute to making a woman feel more attractive, thus enhancing their confidence and self-esteem levels, which serves to explain why so many are reluctant to give up high heels.

Social Conventions On Femininity

Women are often compelled to adhere to normative dress codes in order to present themselves in a manner that’s considered socially acceptable. High-heeled shoes are deemed as a favourable footwear option for women, in particularly in the eyes of the opposite sex, as it adheres to the “social conventions and constraints of femininity” (Woodward 2007, p. 142) This perhaps explains why women often turn to heels for occasions like job interviews and dates.

Fashion and Pop Culture Trends

With A-list celebrities constantly donning the latest high-heeled shoes down the red carpet, coupled by designer fashion labels such as Jimmy Choo and popular TV shows like Sex and The City constantly glamourising high heels, more women are encouraged to wear high heels as they perceive the choice to be the most trendy and fashion-appropriate (Sanghani 2014).

Do you wear high heels? If so, do any of the above reasons resonate with you? Or perhaps you disagree? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

-JL

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