High heels cause physical, mental repercussions


Many students were in attendance at the fall 2008 Career Expo Sept. 22, myself included. I searched for interviews rather than a career, so I didn’t necessarily need to dress up, but I still felt silly in jeans and converses when business suits surrounded me on all sides. As I watched the hopefuls walk by, there was one component of style I noticed again and again-heels.

In fact, they weren’t difficult to notice. I felt as if I was in some strange world where women naturally towered over their male counterparts as stilettos and five-inch pumps continually passed me by. Personally, I stumble in heels, and therefore avoid them, opting for an easier, just as cute flat during special occasions.

According to Reference.com, heels were male footwear until the 1800s, and were only for the elite to wear mainly in “court-only” settings. The women of those times didn’t spend their time job hunting, but flash forward to the 21st century and suddenly they have positions to compete for. I find it interesting that in an effort to gain advantage in the job-seeking field, women feel it necessary to be as tall or even taller than the men.

But is a leg-up in society worth it in the long run?

According to various health articles on Mayo Clinic‘s website, it’s not. Putting on those heels can mean putting yourself at risk for future health problems such as metatarsalgia, hammertoe, mallet toe, mortons neuroma, corns, calluses and plantar fasciitis. In the case of plantar fasciitis, the options for non-surgical recovery include wearing night splints or going to physical therapy. I personally would hate the restless nights caused from the splints and my suddenly empty wallet from expensive physical therapy, but imagine how much grief it would cause if the condition was so bad it required surgery. The truth is many women don’t think twice about these warnings when they slip on their heels for a night out on the town, and that’s scary.

Upon searching the internet for information on heels, I found the site Heelarious. The product for sale on this domain? High heels for babies. You can imagine the nauseous discomfort that overtook me as I browsed the various prints-leopard, zebra and various shades of pink.

The fact that we’re embedding this false standard of beauty into our children’s minds at such an early age is at the very least offensive, and I would pass it off as an odd internet scam if it wasn’t for the plethora of media coverage dedicated to it-The Today Show, In Touch Weekly, and the New York Post, to name a few.

My discomfort turned to anger as I read this comment on the LA Times blog “How to walk in high heels.”

“OMG! I love them! Honestly they are relatively eay to walk in I love the added height they make me 6.6 tall and Hubby loves me wearinbg them lol”

Honestly girls-this is the point I draw the line and ask is this what we’ve become? Note the “eay”, “wearinbg”, “lol” and in my opinion, the worst of the bunch: “Hubby”. No offense to the man in question, but I certainly wouldn’t marry anyone who thinks compromising my physical wellbeing is sexy. On the bright side, at least she capitalized it, though I wonder what his actual name is and I’d rather think my health is more important than my appearance or height. By “health”, I’m not only referring to my physical future, but my mental present as well. Girls shouldn’t need to wear heels to feel attractive or appealing, and that concept is only more damaging to fragile self-esteems everywhere.