High Heel Terrors
The week before the Black and White dance in eighth grade, I bought my first pair of high heels. They were on the clearance rack at Macy’s: black satin strappy sandals decked out in rhinestones with a three inch heel. They were perfect. That was the beginning of my obsession with high heels. Since, I have gathered around 15 pairs of all types of heels – pumps, wedges, boots. While my collection pales in comparison to more die-hard shoe fanatics, I adore my shoes. While the weather is nice, I generally rock high heels three or four days a week. Considering my campus is one large hill, this is some serious dedication. And then the other day, my “Culture, Dress, and Appearance” professor dropped a bomb on our class: high heels are terrible for you!
The reason women (and their men!) love the way they look in heels is because high heels completely change the body’s posture. Heels realign the body’s center of gravity, pushing a woman’s butt and boobs outward. I will admit: I love how I look in heels! My butt is perkier; I look longer and leaner. These are ideals that society pressures females to strive for.
However, check out this survey by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, conceptualized in The Washington Post. Frequently wearing heels can lead to bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s neuroma, and shortened Achilles’ tendons or calf muscles. It also increases the pressure exerted on the forefoot and knee. All of these conditions are painful and result in extreme comfort later in life.
I was appalled. How could the pride and joy of my shoe collection be an enemy to my body?! So, I had to do some serious thinking. And what it came down to is this: wearing high heels daily is not worth the risk. I would rather look short and stumpy now than need foot surgery when I’m 35. Now I’m not saying that I will never wear heels again. I certainly will wear them out on the weekends and to special occasions. But I am going to have to invest in some cute flats to wear on a day-to-day basis.
This blog post is dedicated to all the fashionistas still in the dark, like I was. Be aware of the side-effects. Just as with so many other things in life, you have to decide if it is worth the risk. Looking good now is not worth having a broken down body later. That’s the way I see it, anyways.