The Red Bull Diary   Recent Posts
RSSRSS Friday Free Games
"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Stilts, Indeed

Okay, so I'm only mildly ashamed to admit that I have a thing for women in high heels. You know, those strappy, open-toed, stiletto-type things that make her butt stick out? You know, that symbol of modern femininity that says, "look how damn sexy I am"?

Well, the Times ran an article today entitled Stilt Walking Into Spring, featuring some of the most outrageous-looking shoes I've ever seen. And I looked at them, thinking, "What woman would wear these? They're just plain ugly."

So I read the article, wanting to see it from the woman's perspective. And I was a little surprised to learn that the focus seemed to be on sheer height. "The desire to be taller, amazonian, seems to fit with a society that likes things pumped up — lips and S.U.V.'s, for example — but that is only a conjecture," explains the columnist, Cathy Horyn. She gives the examples of Ms. Chetrit, who was willing to pay $795 on a pair of shoes to be taller than her kids and Ms. Reisman, who donned 5-inch Dolce & Gabbana platforms so she could say, "Now I'm tall."

Speaking as a man who doesn't think tall is necessarily sexy, I think they're missing the point. Because peppered throughout the piece is a hint of the real reason behind it all:

In other circumstances, like walking on the wall-to-wall at the office or at a party where I mostly stood, the Lanvins were actually comfortable, and I enjoyed my new height and the giddy looks of fright on the men in the office.

In reality you don't wear a pair of shoes like that if you carry a book bag and share trains with commuters. You invite looks of pity. Shoes like that serve a different purpose: seduction, fun, making men bark.

It's not about being tall, ladies. It's a marker, it's a sign, like plumage on a bird in mating season. A woman who wears particular clothes is signaling to potential mates: "I am a woman who wants to look good," or "I am able to conform to these social expectations and thus make a suitable partner." What other possible explanation could there be to strap yourself into a pair of ugly stilts in the name of being beautiful?

Comments on Stilts, Indeed

Pandora: My Favorite New Songs
LibraryThing: What I'm Currently Reading
Archive Links
Friends of the Red Bull

Sinfest by Tatsuya Ishida

Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew
The Red Bull Diary Is
The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.