High Heels can make ladies seemingly look long, tall and sexy. Posh workplaces, corporate bosses, the fashion glitterati and advertising world may also encourage or demand that they be worn because it supposedly (albeit mistakenly) makes women look ’smart’ and ‘elegant’. It may make womens' bodies look uprightly curvaceous, but at a great cost to their comfort, health, safety and wellbeing.
Like the traditional Chinese way of binding women’s feet (so these remained very tiny especially in later life; and likewise ‘manacled' women to their feudal male masters), highly elevated shoes do great, progressive damage to women’s feet and upper skeletal parts. It restricts their mobility and reinforces bad posture when standing or moving. Furthermore, it is the most uncomfortable footwear (that causes bone, joint and muscular pain, damage or injury) and is terribly unsafe.
First, it places feet in a very unnatural, highly-stressed position, hence sliding (friction) or concentrating the entire body weight and pressure especially on the forefoot. It causes corns and thick calluses on the affected areas.
High Heels also splay the metatarsals (which reinforce, contribute to functional or self-inflicted) flat feet, the formation of or worsening bunions, bent or crossed over digits or toes especially the big toe and the adjacent smaller toe— or what is known as Hallux Valgus.
Second, it misaligns the upper body bones-- the area below and above the knees (tibia, fibula and femur) , hip bone and the spine (especially the portion on the lower back) thus causing progressive rear foot and upper body bone or joint damage, too. This results in rear foot, knee, hip and back pain and perhaps inflammation (particularly in the joints where interconnected, misaligned bones (and cartilage) progressively wear out (due to undesired friction) as a result.
Third, these hard-insoled, tight fitting shoes can also cause disfigured or ‘clawed’, ‘hammer’ toes. It also deforms toenails. When mobilising or walking swiftly the high, elevated heels will cause the feet to slide downwards along with the body weight it supports, putting too much pressure on the forefoot and the toes, hence, increasing the risk of deforming the big toes and smaller toe bones (eventually resulting in clawed toes or what some people call ‘chicken feet'). Friction and pressure, too, also increases the risk of painful and uncomfortable blisters, thick calluses and corns especially along the soles of the feet and round the toes especially the halluces (big toes) and fifth or smallest toes or digits and along the first and fifth metatarsal areas. In some cases, trauma on the soles of the feet can also appear like the feet's version of ‘black eyes’.
Finally, high heels can also cause ankle sprain, ligament injury, bone dislocation or fracture. These are hard, unstable foot wear and are prone to twisting the ankles, especially in uneven surfaces and stairs. They can easily get stuck and, embarrassingly, the stilettos can slide into and break on iron grids or vent covers lying on pedestrian pavements; and also on escalators, lift or elevator gaps.
There are anatomically supportive, well designed, high quality, comfortable footwear around that can help with every lady’s needs. Besides, genuine beauty really comes from a woman’s strength of character, independence and intelligence — not from some dangerously high, pointed shoes that are phallic symbols of vanity and subliminal subservience to vulgar, sexist values.
Remember, Health and Safety First!
Dump those high heels... get rid of the ‘long,tall sallys’ ! —jr
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