The TUC, Trades Union Congress, have proposed that high heels should be banned in the workplace as they pose a threat to health and safety and are sexist. They’ve even has the audacity to suggest that female workers shouldn’t wear heals which exceed an inch to avoid injuries and the development of long term back and foot problems.
The only thing sexist I can see about heels is the suggestion that women would be unable to do their job properly wearing them, and they lack the sense to not wear a pair of shoes which cause them pain or prevent them from doing their job.
Granted, seeing a waitress in a pair of stilettos, or a factory worker teetering in her Manolos would be impractical, but for the majority of office workers will only take a few hundred paces around the office in the day, so a pair of heels can’t possible affect their ability to perform their role, nor can it affect their health.
Heels have long since been a staple of the female’s wardrobe and far from being a symbol of female repression; rather, they represent female empowerment and the ability to take on males in the work place.
For shorter women, adding an extra inch (or five) in height gives them the confidence to walk with more pride and be more assertive, allowing the wearer to give the illusion that they are in charge and should be taken seriously.They elongate body, causing you to arch your back, lengthen your legs and stick out your bottom, resulting in, for many, a reminder of your femininity, which is handy in a workplace dominated by men.
As well as being used as an empowering tool in the workplace, the high heel is also a status simple for lots of women. Anyone flashing a red sole, trade mark of designer Christian Louboutin, is bound to get admiring glances, that’s a woman who knows the importance of good shoes!
A shoe is an item of beauty and wonderment in itself, and it’s something that men will never be able to comprehend. So until a man can truly appreciate what it’s like to wear a pair and experience the feeling of which Manolo Blahnik said, “You put high heels on, and you change.” Maybe the TUC should spend their time at least trying to do something useful, rather than debating the pros and cons of a woman’s footwear choice.
Photocredit: Lauren Close