If you guys haven’t noticed, part of the premise of this blog, and also of my entire existence, is that I don’t believe in going to ridiculous lengths for appearances. “Dressed to Chill”–get it? I’ve always been a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of girl, and if it were up to me I would never wear any shoes other than flip flops and Converse Chuck Taylors.
Because I work at a company with a business-casual dress code, I can’t get away with wearing Chucks and flip flops every day, so I’ve had to invest in a couple pairs of “dress shoes.” There are few things in life that I loathe more than women’s dress shoes. They’re always unnecessarily expensive and they’re never, ever comfortable or practical. Because I’ve been cursed with a wide foot and a high arch, my shoe-shopper’s plight is far more terrible than that of the dainty-footed female. Dress shoes never fit me, and they almost always give me blisters and make my legs and back ache after only a few hours of walking or standing. I sit at a desk all day so it isn’t a huge deal, but I’m still exhausted by the concept of women’s dress shoes, specifically high heels.
I’m sure we all know where this is going, and it’s not like I’m going to put forth any original ideas about why high heels are terrible, but I still feel the need to express my visceral disdain. Whose fucking idea was that, anyway? I mean honestly. High heels are one of the most idiotic and oppressive inventions to plague modern society, and sometimes when I really ponder their ridiculousness I just can’t even believe that they are still in style.
Glen Coco wrote a great article for Vice where he talked shit about a bunch of modern “art” at the Frieze Art Fair in London. This was my favorite excerpt, about the exhibit shown above:
Full disclosure: I didn’t read the artist’s statement because it was majorly TL;DR, but presumably it’s making some kind of comment on women and body image and pain and blah blah blah. I guess it looks pretty enough, but it’s not really presenting you with any new information in the way that a newspaper or a Wikipedia article would. You’re just thinking about something that you already know about. So is the idea of these shoes with pins on just to make you stop and think about how shitty high heels are for a few seconds? Fine, high heels are shitty. What happens next?
Obviously, the suck factor of high heels is pretty self-evident, which is why it amazes me that so many women still insist on wearing them even though they make your feet bloody and blistered and your back and legs hurt like a motherfucker. I don’t care how many girls have told me “they’re actually REALLY comfortable!” I’m not fucking buying it. Regardless of what you say, your foot doesn’t like being crammed into that tiny space, and your body isn’t designed to walk like that.
It’s not that I have anything against girls who wear high heels, except that in a lot of situations I do. If you can pull off high heels, then by all means, go for it. I’ll admit that some women look exceptionally fly rocking a stellar pair of heels, and if you have the balance and grace to make it work, then do it. But there’s nothing worse than seeing a pair of shoes that’s classier than its wearer. We all have our vices, and I’ve been known to get absurdly drunk and act a little classless from time to time, too. And it’s not like my Chucks and Old Navy flip flops are supporting my feet and back much better than a pair of heels, but at least I can rock them with confidence and without being an obnoxious cunt.
Jenna Marbles speaks to this beautifully in her video “White Girls At the Club,” where she rants about drunk girls who take off their shoes at the end of the night:
When you go out at night, you need to make a mini marriage to your shoes. You need to sit in your room before you get ready, look at your shoes, make a commitment to them. “I promise, no matter how painful and awful you make my feet feel–I might be bleeding, blistering–I will not take you off until I come home.”
I always feel sorry for those pathetic train wrecks when I see them out. We’ve all seen the girl walking down the sidewalk outside a crowded bar, and we’ve all shuddered at the thought of all the germs and cigarette butts and broken glass that she’s mindlessly stumbling over in her bare feet. Pull it together, lady! Getting sloppy drunk is one thing, but if you have a habit of doing so at least rock footwear that is practical for your purposes. There’s no sense in looking like an idiot twice-over for being staggering drunk on the sidewalk AND for carrying the stupid shiny high heels that you just weren’t graceful enough to pull off.
I went out with some friends in Fountain Square last weekend and we decided to make a late night pit-stop at the Bagel Deli in Broad Ripple. We managed to find a parking spot up the block and made our way down Broad Ripple Avenue toward the deli, witnessing some prime drunken sloppiness outside the bars. It was the best people-watching I’ve done in a while, my favorite being a girl teetering down the sidewalk in a tiny dress and too-high heels. This girl was a gentle breeze away from pitching forward onto her fucking face, and the best part was that we happened to cross paths with her right next to a girl in a Northface jacket and jeans who was facing a closed shop window and sobbing hysterically into her cellphone. “Oh, she’s sad!” the high heels girl shrieked empathetically, wobbling dangerously as we blew past on our bagel sandwich mission. She may have been sad, but at least she was warm and able to stand upright. We’ll see who’s crying when a drunk guy bumps into you and you go toppling over onto the concrete, scraping your bare knees and twisting your unnaturally-bent ankles.
Wearing an awesome pair of heels with a great dress to an event or party is one thing, but for a sloppy-drunk night out in Broad Ripple, I just don’t fucking get it. And moreover, there’s nothing worse than girls in high heels who think they’re better than every other girl who isn’t dressed to the nines for no apparent reason. I’ll admit that sometimes I wish I could walk in heels, and more than that, I wish that heels weren’t so godamn uncomfortable so that I could wear them from time to time, because they do look nice. But I don’t care enough about the way I look to sacrifice my own comfort, and in this day in age, women shouldn’t be expected to be in perpetual pain just to look good. It always makes me laugh when girls are obsessed with heels too, or when they insist that dressing sexy is a form of expression for women, oblivious to the fact that this “expression” is pretty synonymous to oppression for everybody else with half a brain. Chinese women thought foot binding was sexy back in the day, too, but that doesn’t mean it was okay.
I mentioned in my last post that for Christmas my mom bought me a pair of gel in-soles for high heels. This was ridiculous, first of all because I haven’t worn heels in over two years, and secondly because no pair of gel in-soles is going to actually make high heels comfortable. That’s one of the most oxymoronic things I’ve ever seen, and while I appreciate my mom’s genuine interest in my comfort, I won’t be using those any time soon. I’ll stick with my business casual ballet flats and my Chucks whenever I can get away with them, thank you.