De Agony of De Feet

for the moment

I'M 5' 3", and I ain't growing no mo'. I can't reach the bars you're supposed to hold onto on the T. I have to ask my roommate to get stuff for me from the top shelf of the closet, and I'm condemned to roam the petites section, that dreaded place in every department store where all the little old ladies and their tacky floral handbags hang out. But never fear, the stiletto heel is here. Although it doesn't save me from shopping alongside gray hair and cellulite, the glorious four-inch spike does countless other wonders for the the price of much pain (hey, a short girl's gotta do what a short girl's gotta do).

Physical agony aside, the stiletto heel provides petites with coveted elevation. It's amazing what a few inches can do. Height grants you instant immunity from being patted on the head and called cute. tallness enables you to look out your peephole without standing on your tiptoes. And, best of all, those heelinduced inches lead you closer to your lover's luscious lips. What more could you ask for?

But the discomfort, you say? Bah! Remember, honey--no pain, no gain. There is a reason why your Barbie doll could never stand up barefoot; her feet are molded for stiletto heels. And look who she reeled in: that handsome hunk Ken. Even in the seemingly innocent realm of Saturday morning cartoons, Smurfette, object of desire for hundreds of lusty blue Smurfs, possessed the cutest pair of white high heels.

Now, the stiletto hell may well be yet another one of men's devices to subjugate women, but I must refer you to real torture--the Chinese footbinding exhibit at Harvard's own Peabody Museum. High heels don't even come close to that kind of suffering.

Yet, the high heel goes way, way back. Sixteenth-century Turkey witnessed the birth of the stiletto heel's earliest ancestor, the chopine, a wooden clog that could reach stilt height. Later, a more narrowly heeled shoe for women emerged during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. And in the eighteenth century, the French began their fashion influence with lovely decorated leather or silk shoes on high heels set under the arch of the foot, Ow la la!


Whether or not vertically-challenged females should don stiletto heels in order to ensnare potential mates, heels with the potential to spear cocktail olives do have the potential to make the person wearing them feel attractive. Are the piercing podiatric pulsations are worth it? You've endured the anguish of orthodontic appliances for your beautiful smile. Think of stiletto heels as braces for your feet.