In Kinky Boots Charlie Price's practically cobbled chunky heel on a burgundy boot no less, elicited a venomous hiss from Lola reminding him "to look to the heel young man, the Sex is in the Heel" and sent her screaming for Red, Red, Red! Well, clearly he deserved it. Because it's true. Take it from a drag queen, an amazing shoe adds an undeniable femininity.
My mother determinedly wore heels till her 70's and only stopped when it became a safety issue, loudly announcing that only age and infirmity should cull the precious objects from a woman's wardrobe. This is the school of thought I was reared in.
But even I was a little taken aback when the Svengali of Shoes, M. Louboutin was published in the Daily Mail declaring he hated the concept of comfort to explain precisely why he won't be collaborating with Uggs. Here he is looking positively mesmerizing, performing yet another feat of magic on a shoe.
This sent peeps screeching about the oppression of shoes, the disabling of the feminine via a lack of comfort, the absence of freedom! Maybe it was a bit of well-timed controversy and opining from a shoe artiste who doesn't have to wear them, probably never did and doesn't realize the physical mastery it takes to last an entire day in heels. The breathing, the careful positioning of the feet, the swiveling in chairs, the tactical planning of the day, so on and so forth. Clearly comfort was never the man's forte.
He goes on to explain that he designs his shoes for men and not for women, pointing out that men can't resist the red sole. I just think that's being honest. I wouldn't go so far as to wage a war on comfort, but isn't that the first thing sacrificed in the pursuit of beauty? And aren't we all in some form tacitly agreeing? It may not be shoes, but in a world that's actually always been highly visual, caring about how you come across will always involve some level of sacrifice. And the idea of "comfort" anything in dress just parlays a certain level of indifference and well, giving up.
In a way, I wish this didn't message come from him. Because having to hear it from a man who makes millions from the discomfort of women, even as it enhances them, seems to be rubbing it in. Worse, it makes us conveniently forget that we wear these shoes by choice, and the reality gets lost in the politics. I wear some version of heels 5 out of 7 days, sometimes more often than that. Some are towering, some are dainty, some are wedges. Yet I never really consider my shoes as something out there I HAVE to wear. Once they're on my feet, they're just part of my look. And the kind of comfort I derive from wearing them isn't always the physical kind.
Do I wish it was? Sure, but I'm also certain a unicorn isn't about to pop out of a rainbow. One day, I'm sure I'm going to have to hang the heels up. Until then, I'm just glad I have the choice to exercise my options now.