There is some unwritten rule that most people believe that you have to wear heels to be fashionable, sexy, and sometimes even a woman that is worthwhile. It's not uncommon for me to receive commentary like,
"Those are old lady shoes?"
"Not those shoes with that dress."
"Do you ever wear heels?"
"That outfit would have been great with heels."
Let's just say these are comments that I received recently, but I just want to dissect them in not only what they say, but what they imply.
I wear a lot of boxed heel shoes, and they unofficially deemed the old lady heel. The old lady shoe comment is problematic because in our society women over a certain age aren't seen as attractive, sexual, or vibrant. I feel like this was the whole premise behind the Golden Girls. You got to see women over a certain age be everything that society said they lost after a certain age. Dealing in body positivity using "old lady" as a fashion insult isn't body positive. On top of that, there are some "old ladies" that I would very much like to be like one day, Iris Apfel and Cicely Tyson regardless of their heel heights or shoe choices are vibrant and attractive. Age shouldn't be used as an insult.
As mentioned earlier the "old lady" shoe comment usually refers to boxed heels; I wear boxed heels because I like them, they are comfortable and will not cause me injury. Did you hear me? They will not cause me injury. In a society where conforming to the heel standard is more important that one's health, I'm not interested in playing that game. We see our pregnant celebrities struggling walking in them and women walking around unstable and ready to fall over. Without getting too graphic, there are things on my feet that were caused by my heel wearing in my 20s that need to be surgically taken care of. Heels screw up a lot of women's feet, backs, and bodies. So please excuse me if I don't want to be in pain and yes, these shoes with this dress.
I will often get, "do you ever wear heels?" I often think, why does it matter? Does the woman who always wears heels get asked, do you ever wear flats? There is always an implied standard that heels look better and make you prettier. I like to think that my blog has shown women that if you don't want to wear heels or can't, that doesn't make you any less attractive, pretty, or any less of a woman. Let me say it again for the folks in the nosebleeds. Not wearing heels doesn't make you any less of a woman!
When someone says, that outfit would have better with heels, I just think, but it's great now. Wearing heels have been feed into our brains from the time we were young, and many can't see past that standard that has been set, but it doesn't mean that can't be changed. Just adding a little perspective, I am a fashion blogger who blogs about plus size fashion. Eight short years ago no one thought that anyone that wasn't thin could be attractive, but we have slowly changed that.
Finally, because I can't wear high heels, I've had to make fashion work regardless of that limitation. Fashion makes it hard on the woman that doesn't want to wear sky-high heels but still wants something fashionable. I search high and low for my shoes. It shouldn't have to be that way. There is also an implication on if you want shoes that over a size 10, wide width, that aren't high heels then you don't want shoes that are fashionable, but that's a whole other conversation. I get asked a lot about shoe options so I am putting some of my favorites below:
Disclaimer: Let me say, that I am not leading a brigade against heels, but I am saying that one should have the choice (and be left alone in that choice) in whether they want to wear high heels or not. More importantly, they shouldn't be made to feel any less beautiful, attractive, or sexual if they choose not to partake.