Shoes, marvellous shoes… Affordable diamonds that adorn our feet!
Gone are the days when a crystal shoe was the most wanted item in a girl’s wardrobe. The delicate Cinderella crystal shoe is no more! Now we gaze upon ‘pieces of art’ with an extensive palette of colours and materials that may include crystals, feathers or even red soles. Names such: Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo have become the Ferraris, Aston Martins’ and Maserati’s of shoes for most of the girls. Owning a pair of these designer masterpieces is somewhat associated with beauty and success. Practicality, comfort and functionality become secondary variables and the impractical high heeled nosebleed is now endured by women in name of fashion and beauty.
When did shoes become the pixie dust that makes a girl fly?!
It makes me wonder if the modern debilitating painful design of some designer shoes is nothing more than a socially acceptable version of the brutality of foot-binding in the East, Venetian platform heels or even pointe shoes in classical ballet! Should us girls, endure the back aches, macerated raw feet, leg fractures, sprained ankles and not so sexy bunions? Why do strong, independent women put up with uncomfortable, accident prone shoes?
Cinderella, Dorothy, Tinkerbell and Puss in Boots; that’s why!
The ‘cult’ of shoes is engraved in our hearts and minds from a tender age, the object of happiness, dream realization and happy endings in many fables. We were given crystal shoes, ruby shoes, pompom flats and high boots. And all looked fabulous!
To this date a special shoe makes a statement, tells a story and feeds our imagination. While flat shoes may look cute, innocent and grounded, high-heeled shoes, changes the body gravity centre and ‘lengthens’ the leg, making women straighten their backs, walk taller and feel slender. It busts the confidence, changes the mood, and heightens self-confidence or even empowerment. On the other hand, designer shoes, with their exclusiveness, hefty price tags and celebrity links are the assertion of one’s identity as a strong, successful and independent woman.
Shoes express character and style, transform old attires into complete new ones and tolerate bold choices. The strong colours, glitter, animal print or studs that we may not embrace in our clothing can look stunning in our feet. And as in the fables, it can make us feel special and happy, even if that happiness is short lived and followed by a nice pair of flats!
- When in London visit the Victoria & Albert museum exhibition “Shoes: Pleasure and Pain”