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high-heels-250x250There’s a great article in The Guardian today about flats versus heels. The author explains that wearing flats regularly instead of the heels that fashion magazines dictate is an “act of collective fashion disobedience.” She explains:

Fashion has given us shoes as decorative objects, not footwear. A couple of years ago, Prada brought out shoes whose heels were shaped as vases. They sent out a specific message about the person wearing them: that they had elevated themselves above such plebeian activities as walking. Like the towering wigs of women in the 18th century, or the hoops and bustles of the 19th, they signal a life lived entirely ornamentally.

While I appreciate the beauty of high heels, and do (on very rare occasions) put them on to feel particularly fashionable, I spend most of my life in flats – not comfort flats (and never sneakers), mind you, but flats nonetheless. My dad likes to say that women wear high heels in order to show off their chests and their butts. I’m not sure if this is really the case, but I do think that there’s this expectation that to be sexy women should be wearing high heels. A guy recently told me that he thinks women should wear high heels all the time, because it just looks better.

It does seem like many women wear heels in order to live up to some kind of beauty expectation that was largely put into place by men. In this way, I can see how not wearing heels is an act of feminist defiance. Heels are, after all,  incredibly uncomfortable (I dare you to find me a pair of 3 or 4 inch heels that you can wear comfortably all day), and they can cause long lasting back and leg pain. I will continue to wear my flats with pride, and I won’t have to worry about bringing a change of shoes with me everywhere I go.

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