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.