We need to talk about shoes

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn. However, I’m not quite on board yet. To be honest, this is a difficult topic for me. My relationship with shoes has run along a bumpy track so far, and it still does. With all the other women’s essentials like flouncy skirts, elegant dresses, colorful tops, fancy hairstyles, playful hair accessories, dainty jewelry and seductive makeup … it has always been love at first sight. But shoes … I was not that convinced. I had to give that some more thought.

However, there was no escape from it. Women’s shoes were inevitable. When I finally started working on my feminine wardrobe, I had no choice but to expand my shoe collection. A man’s shoe cannot possibly pair with a pretty dress. I started very carefully, though, with white sneakers from the women’s department. At least those were comfortable to wear and didn’t deviate too much from what was familiar. In the meantime, I had begun to study: what do women wear on their feet? And what did I like, and why? Another whole universe opened up, and I learned again about the options associated with women’s privilege.

A pair of pumps could not be missed, of course, and I started with simple black patent pumps. They gave me a very double feeling I must say. I appreciated the uplifting effect. My body was elevated, and also mentally it felt like an upgrade. In the mirror I saw my legs being lengthened. The elegance radiated from the mirror’s reflection… as long as I remained standing still. For I couldn’t possibly take those first steps in an elegant way. It took effort to keep my balance, and after about ten steps I began to feel aches and pains.

After buying and wearing several new pairs, I have to conclude that women’s shoes may do something that flouncy skirts, elegant dresses, and colorful tops have never done. They can hurt. Stilettos are not made for wandering the shopping street, but rather for flaunting at a reception. My admiration goes to the dancers who can tango with them. After an afternoon on high-heeled boots, I felt pain in my spine, and I developed blisters where I never had blisters before: on the soles of my feet. I don’t know what I did wrong. I was walking nicely straight, chin up, shoulders back, tummy in, right? The other day I visited my therapist on nice sandals, but for the remainder of the day, I had put on my sneakers again.

The motto here seems to be “form precedes function”. If one wants to be beautiful, one must be able to suffer pain. And I have to admit, it works. Details make all the difference. Or rather, shoes are not a detail at all. A skirt that seems a little too common and casual suddenly becomes classy by wearing nice, graceful shoes with it. An elegant pair of pants with bows around the ankles gets an extra upgrade with pumps underneath. A shorter dress makes the wearer look sexier, and then it is so lovely to create some contrast with a bold pair of high boots underneath! A little black dress matches perfectly with a shoe with slightly more complex shape and texture. And with an open sandal, people can see what nice color the toenails have been painted.

As is common in fashion, differences are amplified. A men’s shoe makes the foot look bigger. The foot appears stronger. The connection to the earth is reinforced. A woman’s shoe makes the foot appear smaller, more elegant, more beautiful. One has to be stronger to wear them. The connection with the earth is somewhat released so that the wearer seems to hover.

Meanwhile, there is no turning back. I can no longer tolerate men’s shoes. The sight of those giant aircraft carriers at the end of my leg is unbearable. I want elegance. Except for one pair, I no longer wear men’s shoes.

Marylin, I’ve come a long way, but this girl has still so much to learn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s