My name is Cherene, and I am a SHOE-AHOLIC…. but I’m not ashamed of it. Hell why would should I be? Shoes are good – right?
But seriously, what is it about a great pair of stiletto’s that make a woman feel strong, confident and sexy, with most having an almost insatiable appetite for more? Everyone knows that from when we are little girls, most of us love dressing up – and then it’s all over! From that moment on women never seem to get over there adoration/addiction to shoes.
Even though heels are optional in our pole classes, if someone suggests “lets do heels”, 99% of the other women in the class are right into it. I watch our students move through their routines, gracefully transitioning from floor moves into athletic pole tricks, and I have to say that heels DO add another dimension to their performance. Why/How?????
Well – according to the Google God, high heels are any shoe with a heel over 3.5 inches and by wearing high heels…
- they change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves
- they change the wearer’s posture, requiring a more upright carriage and altering the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion (this to mean a women’s chest is pushed outward and can give you a Booty Lift of up to 25%…..Hello!!!)
- they make the wearer appear taller, they make the legs appear longer, they make the foot appear smaller, they make the toes appear shorter
- they make the arches of the feet higher and better defined
- they make the lower leg muscles more defined (never a bad thing…)
- and they may also improve the tone of a woman’s pelvic floor muscles.
According to the “King of Shoes”, Christian Louboutin, when women try on shoes we don’t really look at them first – we put them on, stand up, walk to the mirror and look at how our body looks, then our legs and how they look in the heels… and if we’re pleased with what we see, then we’ll consider the shoes. NOW AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH?
However, as always in life, this seemingly harmless object of fashion hasn’t been without controversy. Critics throughout history have argued against high heels. They cite medical problems and condemn the more sexually aggressive gait given to ladies wearing heels as a means to trap unwary men. ABSOLUTELY SCANDALOUS! Seriously, the Puritans banned high heels in the new world due to their “sexually desirable nature.” The Massachusetts Colony even passed a law banning women from wearing high heels to ensnare a man or they would be tried as a witch. Guess I would have burned at the stake!
My biggest problem is that wearing my gorgeous “killer heels” is not always “appropriate”. Try wearing them to the Supermarket to do your weekly grocery shop and see what sort of reaction you get from fellow shoppers – or rock up to the local Thai Takeaway and take note of the looks you get. You’re breaking social norms and people’s perception of you can be dramatically influenced by your appearance/what you’re wearing. Most check out your face and hair first, then go straight to the shoes. Nudge, nudge – look at those shoes…she must be a stripper! Actually NO honey! I’m a business woman and dance/fitness instructor, who used to be a kitchen/bathroom designer – and it just so happens that I like wearing nice shoes! GET OVER IT! Gotta love stereotypes – NOT!
Maybe the key to my problem lies in caring a little less about what other people think, and caring more about how/what I feel myself. I’m not suggesting to stop caring – just care a little less. This got me thinking about things I/we can do to care less about other people’s opinions and perceptions of us and our choice of footwear – and maybe even change their perceptions????
So here’s my theory – we’ll call it “The Stiletto Effect”!
1. Know who YOU are – you need to know what’s important to you, what you stand for and truly value, and what you’re aiming for in life. Once you know who you really are and what you’re all about, what other people think of you becomes much less significant.
2. Express Yourself – practice breaking social norms. Try a Random Acts of Courage experiment with such things as…
Offer free hugs to strangers
Sing loudly in the street
Walk the wrong way down an escalator
Ask for a freebie at a coffee shop
Sounds silly, right? But doing all those things help build immunity to what people think of you. You will likely get all sorts of strange looks, but nothing bad happens and the world will keep spinning just the same.
3. Be Confident – Competence breeds confidence, so get to work on yourself! Develop some new skills, learn more things. Those days when you knock a significant chunk off a big project or learn some cool new skill… those are the days that you won’t need external validation to feel good about yourself.
4. Live in the Moment – live like tomorrow may never come. Realise the beauty in every moment, and in everyday activities. It’s a conscious act that requires participation, not just observation, but the reward is a richer, fuller life. You only get one life, now live it!
5. Smile and Be Thankful – you can set the whole tone of your day by simply waking up with a smile. There’s scientific proof that the expressions you make with your face can actually influence how you feel. Being thankful for what is already in your life will bring you back to the present moment and remind you of what is truly important to you.
Dr Wayne Dyer says “It’s none of your business what other people think of you!”
There are many reasons why women love shoes but the bottom line is this – they’re gorgeous, exciting, and a whole lot of fabulous – and once hooked you can never have enough. In the end isn’t that what life is really all about though – projecting confidence, rocking your femininity and feeling good about who you are?
“Strong women wear their pain like stilettos. No matter how much it hurts, all you see is the beauty of it” – Harriet Morgan
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Cherene – self confessed Shoe-aholic….