Banning Heels Is the Height of Stupidity

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Banning Heels Is the Height of Stupidity


Byline: Olivia Cole

WHEN I got dressed yesterday I stepped into the black heels I'd thrown off late the night before. Like creatures that shouldn't see the light of day, they rattled stonily on the pavement with that satisfying high-heel noise. They might have said: "I mean business" as I stomped around the office but actually they whispered: "I went to bed too late, got up too early and got dressed in the dark."

Unwittingly I had strayed into a war zone: this week the TUC said it would like to see heels, which it terms "sexist" and "inappropriate", outlawed in the workplace. Suddenly I'd been elevated not just by a key few inches but to the status of an activist.

As though her Louboutins were about to be impounded, Tory MP Nadine Dorries raged in the blogosphere: "I feel like a lone voice speaking out for every woman ... Don't worry, girls. I will not give up on this. The unions will not have their way and defeminise us."

There is something irresistible in the idea that one of the final acts of Brownera dreariness could be the banning of heels.

Beyond the delicious fantasy, I don't think it needs either the TUC or a gathering of chiropodists to establish that they are dangerous. There is after all a book by Camilla Morton titled How to Walk in High Heels. Let's face it: in heels, negotiating stairs unaided or without a rail is problematic.

Marilyn Monroe used to cut the ends off hers to put her off-balance -- as though she was permanently about to fall into someone's arms. Today, the ever-increasing height of heels makes that unnecessary. …

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