Welcome to Midlife Crisis, a diary of being 40 something and a half in today’s world…
Personally, I don’t mind shoes. They keep your feet warm. They stop you from experiencing the squelch of dog poo and chewing gum discarded on the pavement like some surreal obstacle course.
What I do mind is pain. Unless you count watching Big Brother, I have never known real pain until I wore a pair of heels. It was for a job interview. I was fresh out of Uni, my eyes bright-ish, and in my head I knew what to wear – a suit. And in the mid 90s that meant a skirt and heels, or specifically, a court shoe. The amusing thing was, the job I was going for was for a company that sold shoes. And not just any shoes – comfort shoes.
So, you can imagine the amusement when I rock up, my heel bloodied and bandaged from my shoes. I sit, face a gargoyle of pain
where upon the interviewer takes one look at my heel, sighs and says, ‘That wouldn’t happen with our brand of shoe, love.’
High heel shoes, you see, are like the yielding whip of fashion. They dictate that we are only women if we wear them, that somehow a high heel maketh the lady and to heck with the pain. Christian Louboutin, the major shoe designer, said that he doesn’t care if high heels hurt women, and that – get this – high heels are a ‘pleasure with pain’. That’s like saying root canal work is great because it hurts. This all from a bloke who doesn’t have to wear what he makes – and that’s the point. You can’t dictate anything to anyone if you have no idea what it’s really like to, in this case, quite literally, walk in their shoes. Or Mr.Louboutin’s shoes, for that matter.
The real pain is that women are on the receiving end of this ball and chain shoe thing. We feel, as lasses, we should be rocking that sleek court-shoe-pencil-skirt thing to look the part. Yet the fellas can go comfort all the way with a nice slip on flat and still nail the male look with not an Elastoplast in sight no matter what their age, no matter how many years past forty they roll, hair greying, cheeks adopting hollow enclaves all the way to their eye sockets.
I haven’t given up on heels – the delight of feeling tall, sleek. It’s just I’ve seen the reality now. A fashion iron bar where your free thinking is welded with glue, where heels are the prison of pain. And then you pull away and run, barefoot, as fast as you can.
What do you think? Post your thoughts below…