Why high heels make life better

Yes, Suki, this is in response to your very pertinent point about how you young uns are flitting around with ballerinas while we, the over the hill, and muttons dressed as lambs, insist on mincing around in stilletos. And kidding ourselves that we’re still the bees knees. Of course, the bees knees with varicose veins.

Nonetheless, in my defence, I walk the best in stilletoes. It is a walk that has been arrived at after decades of torturing them feet to adapt to the needs of being at a 15 degree vertiginous angle to the ground.

 Yes, I am not ashamed to say it, I am a high heels girl. Have been so since I was allowed to get into them officially. And I dont mind the lack of movement, for the grace it gives me. Without my stilletoes, I feel like an elephant on skates. Put them stilletoes on, and I am a different person. Taller to start with. And that is very important a factor, to one who spends a lot of time looking upto people around her. People look upto me. And thats a nice feeling. Given that most of my friends are northwards of 5ft 7″.

 And then the added height does good things to the redistribution of weight in a way that is more pleasing to the eye. And then the added pressure of standing on a height, makes you stand in a way that sucks the stomach in and puts the butt out, which can make it quite a pleasant silhouette to look at. The mother has a theory, which I have internalised. Wearing high heels keeps the stomach muscles toned and sucked in. Stop wearing high heels and the paunch will fall out. Shaking in terror with this prospect, I stick to my heels. Chocolate, pastries and burgers aside, it is only high heels that can save me.  

And yes, walking with stilletoes has its highs and lows. You cannot run. But then you dont expect to run. You expect the world to make a path for you that you can traipse gingerly over. You cut a swathe through crowds. You become elegant and refined and poised and polished. You are a lady. But thats only if you manage to walk in them without teetering over like a ship on full sail. As for me, I have high arches. My feet cry out for stilletoes. If I wear flat shoes, I get such unbearable pain in them feet that I need an hour of foot massage to make it go away. And that means taking time out to get an hour of foot massage and that is a luxury I sure dont have. That of time to get that damn massage done at a parlour.

I always believed that stilletoes did good things for one’s libido and science has proved me out.  The men like it. The husband says he loved the fact that I wore high heels to college. And I was lady like unlike the other girls who were running around like mares asking for a rein. I take his word. It also meant he could be gracious, and offer me a hand while I climbed in and out of public transport. It meant he could feel useful and chivalrous and masculine. Not that I needed it, of course, I had perfected the art of jumping into a packed local with them four inchers.

“Italian urologist Dr Maria Cerruto discovered that a pair of “moderately high-heeled shoes” had beneficial effects. “I adore high-heeled shoes and I wanted to find something positive about them,” said Dr Cerruto, of the University of Verona. “In the end I achieved my goal.

“The heels influence and work the pelvic muscles and reduce the need to exercise them.” Leading to increased blood flow in the area. Leading to better feelings. Any wonder why men like their women in a pair of stilletoes? Must ask the husband about his opinions on responses from wife from the days she wears them stilletoes vis a vis the rare day she traipses around in flat slippers and ballerinas. Am sure he would have a very vocal opinion.

 No, I dont advocate wearing heels higher than four inches. You could really put your back out, and thats not good for anything. The man will complain. Bitterly. And higher than four inches is only good in photographs. Not on the roads. Especially not on Mumbai roads. Even if all the walking you do is down the stairs and into the car. Remember, the roads resemble the surface of the moon, and every yard has a pit dug by some municipal authority from the waterworks department, to the gas lines, to the telephone men. Wolf whistles apart, your extra high stilletoes arent the best bet to negotiate mountainous heaps of debris that pile up on what is optimistically referred to as the pavement.

 Yes, yes, I know the anthropological equivalent of the stilleto is the chinese footbinding practice, designed to make a woman unable to be mobile enough on her own. I know that a stilleto is a man’s fetish on a woman. I also know that women in stilletoes are still the stuff of peurile misconceptions about grey matter up there. Serious women dont wear sexy shoes. But then, whoever wanted to be taken seriously? Not me. I’d rather have a great pair of shoes, than a man falling for my brain. And no man falls for a brain. Most men I’ve seen seem to be falling for a lack of it.

I am running short of stilletoes at the moment. I have only around 15 pairs of really serious shoes I can mince around in. The rest are shoes that one walks around in, albeit with decent two and three inch heels in square blocks or rounded kitten heels. I need to replenish my stock. On my wishlist? A new wedgeheel, a floral stilleto with a corsage that is so impractical it is impossible not to love, a nude shoe with a slender heel, a pair of red patent pumps. After all, the perfect heel is always as elusive as the perfect shade of lipstick.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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10 Responses to Why high heels make life better

  1. loved this post. i love heels too. but I can’t do stilletos. only them sensible ones are my type.


  2. 🙂 . I guess the difference between our outlook on life shows through.

    I’m a very no-nonsense, utilitarian person. It reflects in my totally Boho style sense at the moment – these days I sport a bandanna, denim jacket, kurta, jeans, sneakers and backpack. I KNOW most people can’t stand me, so I neither rely on nor expect or try to get any favours or special treatment. I’ll forge my own path, no matter what the fuck the planet does to me. I just realized that’s what you’d do too, but in a much more civilized and ladylike way than I would :P.
    And yeah, I’m always ready to climb a virtual mountain(am not the sporty type, lol). Given that perspective, stilettos are a pain in the heels, ankle and back. They don’t make great companions on hour-long bus rides and longer walks. Which is why, in spite of no regular workouts and more hogging than by 90% of girls, I still have a healthy body.
    For me, being healthy, feeling comfortable and ready to go beats feeling sexy, all eyes on me(which I get anyway.. heh) and taut calf muscles. I have a pretty good posture thanks to my mum’s lecturing as a kid and the fact that walking straight(tummy sucked in, shoulders back..) feels good. It doesn’t change when I wear heels. And heels make my feet hurt to all hells, and give me blisters :(.

    Which is why I have one pair of walking shoes(ketos), one pair of women’s walking shoes(for salwar kameezes etc), and one pair of strappy black platform heels that I can still walk a kilometre or two in. 🙂


  3. childwoman says:

    I love high heels. The higher the better. I feel good and sexy… 😛


  4. Kiran Manral says:

    ITW: You are being sensible about it. I am fetishist about heels, and ruining my feet and my back in the process.

    Suki: You are young, you can get away with flats and sports shoes. I would look ludicruous. I have two decades on you. And I need the added inches vertically. Its high time I become mature and adult and ladylike. LOL. Having said that, I do realise that flats are sensible for walking, and do wear them heels only when I have not much walking to do. Regular wear are heels which arent so pointed and shaky. My back will probably pack up on me in a few years. But yes, when you have a caesarian and PCOD, you need all the help you can get in keeping the stomach in and the shoulders out. Even with four inch spikes if necessary.

    Tara: Arent they great? I always say judge a lady by her shoes and her feet.


  5. dipali says:

    I will flunk miserably, Kiran. I have very broad feet and wear mid-sized, comfortable heels. And my heels go dry and cracked with a single day’s neglect.But them I’m no lady:)


  6. sraikh says:

    I have one pair of sensible heels to wear when I *have* to dress up. Otherwise, I run around in *are you ready for this*.. CROCS. I have 4 pairs.

    I know people hate them but they are the most comfortable thing on earth. Plus I am a us size 10 and that too a wide so sexy plus comfort is impossible. And not only that, I have had a a baby on my hip for the past 9 years.


  7. @Kiran: I think I’ll go back to this post fifteen years later 😀 . By which time I should have graduated to block heels when I’m not on walks. At five feet nothing, I need them 😉 .
    And I refuse to let my body pack up on me. Not until I’m 80 anyway.


  8. Kiran Manral says:

    Dipali: I have the ugliest, worst feet possible made worse with corns and blisters and dark patches caused by abuse inflicted by years of illfitting shoes. In fact, it is only now that good comfortable shoes have actually come into the Indian market…so I’m no lady too, with you on the cracked heels bit. Only pretending to be one. I must slather on Moistuderm everynight and wear socks or I have craters on my feet the next morning…Ugghhhh.

    sraikh: Nine years with a continuous baby on the hips…Lord. I bow down to you. You can wear chappals if you please, you owe it to your back.

    Suki: LOL. So we all think at 20 my dear. The body packs up and signs out…and has a mind of its own…


  9. d says:

    Love this Ode to the high heel.. I so envy women who can wear stilletoes (sp?) . They do look awesomely sexy and make those legs look longer too.. Sigh!!


  10. christina says:

    I totally agree with you.I’ve always been a shoe type of girl.I like how you said you look straight down to people’s footwear cause I always do that.lol.I have a huge closet where all my shoes are kept back home with a lock on it so my little sister won’t wear them. haha. anyways,I got my Christian Louboutin shoes yesterday too and they look sexy as fuck.

    Lucky you. We live vicariously ..


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