Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Walking the walk

As I was surfing FB I saw that a friend posted she had recently made a resolution to wear high heels more often. I thought I knew why. There are many things a good pair of heels can do. They make you feel taller and hence, more powerful. They slim your overall look by visually lengthening your legs. They create a "wiggle in your walk," that many find attractive. For me, stepping into my heels often signals an imminent special occasion--probably because they remind me of my girlhood "party shoes" that were too impractical to wear everyday.

I know, too, that there are many reasons to hate high heels. The three main arguments against then:
1) Physiological/medical: Are you an orthopedist? If not, heels are no good for your health and well-being.
2) Feminist: What does it say that men find women more attractive when they are wearing footwear that renders them virtually helpless, or at least keeps them off balance?
3) Practical: There are so many things essential to everyday life you absolutely cannot do in heels, why would you want to wear them ? (Of course the women who take part in Amsterdam's Stiletto Run may disagree: after looking at them race in heels I would say they have special skills.)

I have been watching women teetering on sky-high heels for a long time. But I reserve judgement: I am sure they have their reasons. However, all too often whatever image/illusion these women create by wearing heels is shattered when they begin to move. Sometimes I worry they will fall and twist their ankles. Often I witness women who have no idea how to walk in heels clomp about like so many horses. I single out women; any self-respecting cross dresser or drag queen knows that walking in high heels is something that takes a lot of practice.

So - practice. Wear your heel inside to break them in. Slow down. Put one foot in front of the other. As young girls in the 60's we were taught to do this (I believe it was a prerequisite for getting our first pair of heels). Most importantly, extend your legs from your hip sockets, not just your knees. Not only does this put slightly less stress on your knees, it helps you maintain a graceful gait. Walking by kicking your your legs out from your knees results in that unattractive horsey-walk.

You have your reasons for wearing heels, none of which involves a comparison to Mr. Ed!  If you put in a little practice, you will glide like a runway model -- and not the ones who fall off their shoes.

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