When I was in college, I remember convincing myself that “Beauty is Pain” while slipping on a pair of killer heels that I knew would also kill my feet. It was worth it, at least at the time, to look fashionable and more attractive. It wasn’t until the end of the night when I got home, that I realized the pain I was feeling was actually a loose piece of the inside of the sole rubbing my foot until it caused it to bleed. I had to sit and think long and hard if I would ever wear those shoes again because it was almost worth it.
In contrast, fifteen years later as I slipped on my grandma-style flats I wondered…What kind of society promotes the importance of beauty to the point that self-deprecating mentalities and painful practices are not just deemed acceptable, but the norm we should all expect? And we all just take it, and actually, we promote it ourselves. Those heels in your closet? You KNOW they are going to hurt. The shoe designer that made them knows they will hurt you. The retail store that sells them knows they will hurt you, in fact, you can buy cushy foot pads at the register.
Why do we set such high standards for ourselves?
Did you know heels actually used to be a male thing too? If not, hop onto Google and take a peep at Louis XIV all dressed up, toes pointed just like an Instagram influencer of today, showing off his high heel shoe with a bow on it. So over the last 300 years, how were men able to shed the idea that they need to be in heels but women’s fashion has adopted high heels as the standard? Do you think the men will tell us how they did it? I would really like to know.
So until we wise up together to say that causing our bodies pain isn’t worth the look, we will either sacrifice style or our arch support because designers and societal norms just won’t let us have both.
It’s not just the heel thing that bugs me. Dudes used to have long hair as the norm, wore wigs and a little bit of make-up sometimes. And for the love of Pete, they get to HAVE POCKETS. Why can’t we just live in a world where flats are sexy, you don’t feel the need to apologize in a selfie with no make-up, and I can have a closet full of nice pants with at least two pockets each…and the ones that are sewn shut don’t count.