I’m sure you’ve all read about or seen pictures of the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign in Toronto. If you haven’t, it’s a campaign in which men step on up into a pair of heels and stride around to raise awareness for violence against women. Obviously, walking in someone’s literal shoes is nothing like walking in their figurative ones, but that’s not the point, and it’s not what I want to talk about. My mind is on shallower things: the heels themselves.
When I first saw a picture of the event, someone had commented that mean being forced to wear heels was a good thing, not because of the cause it was for, but actually so they would know how we women feel all the time. Because we are forced to wear heels. All the time.
My initial reaction was the heartiest of scoffs. After all, I don’t wear heels because I’m forced to. I like them. They make my legs look nice. The ones I wear most are comfortable (obviously well worn in) and often complimented. But if I ever feel like wearing flats or sneakers or jandals (flip flops, if you insist) you can be damn sure I will, and I had assumed most women felt the same.
But not two hours ago, as I walked through the bitter London air, my feet protected from the cold concrete by solid, heeled boots and woolen tights, I saw two women standing in stockinged feet as they changed from ballet flats to shiny and new looking four inchers.
Now, if you want to go to parties or meetings or lunch in shoes that shoot you up to the sky while sucking the life from your feet that is absolutely your choice. And if you want to carry around a pair of normal shoes so you can actually walk, you are sensible. I just hope that all the people that do this (and I know there are a lot) do it because they do actually want to, and not because it’s just become the social norm.
I will be wearing comfortable boots for the next few months, whatever the occasion. I am driven in this by the desperate desire to have warm feet.
Janina is addicted to dark chocolate and peppermint tea. She once made a burger so good she has a picture of the occasion on her bedroom wall. You can find out more about her at myrednotebook.com and follow her on twitter at @J9London.