Men love heels. And at the soaring height of 5’2, I love heels. Always have. Then years ago, I went to a fetish exhibit at the V&A and I learned an interesting fact that made me love them more. According to the curator, various psychologists and symbologists (yes! It is a job outside of the DaVinci Code!), heels are the metaphoric gateway to sexuality for male babies. Crawling on the floor, the first thing they see is the foot. Foot bone ultimately connected to the thighbone and all that, and the eyes travels. Get me?
How about female babies? I don’t have the backing of the V&A on this, but I do know this. High heels were my ‘go to’ choice in the dress-up box because they were the gateway to adulthood. Glamorous nights out. Real jobs. Relationships. And, I suppose, some latent knowledge of sexuality. Seems to me that whether boy or girl, heels are the focus of an early and lifelong mutual appreciation society.
I’m with them; I’m a member. I used to work for an old school ad man, who way before Mad Men always had a great suit and a glass of whisky close to hand. He was a member, too. He said he was turned on by the very sound of the clack of a high heel on a hard floor. For a man straight out of the 60s, he had a very modern view that it was the implied power in that noise that titillated him. He also used to go all glowy at the mere mention of how a woman’s calve is elongated by a heel. I place an enthusiastic tick in both those boxes.
Mostly, I like the way heels force a woman to stand straight and master her swagger. It’s the confidence that’s addictive – and what separates the heel from the disdained flat. I get that flats are functional. They can also be cute. But cute is an aim-low look. I mean, these non-threatening shoes literally shrink our presence in a room, and I just can’t stand for that.