Heels: lots of pain, but any gain?


This month’s issue of Cosmopolitan (Australia), exposed that in the U.S. alone, around 20,000 women have to be admitted to emergency because of injuries caused by wearing stilettos. They offered a few tips on how to avoid those injuries, like foot exercises, taking them off during the day etc. I still wonder why they are so necessary for women to wear them at all.

I don’t think there’s much doubt that for a lot of women, heels do look attractive, especially stilettos. Also, some women gain confidence looking taller, especially women who are naturally very short.


What I wonder is, why do women feel the need to put themselves through pain, and possible injury or deformity, to look attractive? Do men find it attractive when women where stilettos (I’d actually like to hear from men on that, do you? Do you care?).

I remember watching Sunrise one day last year (or the year before) and co – host Samantha Armytage and news presenter Natalie Barr were talking about how a producer (I think) who said that the women had to wear heals at work when at Sunrise.(OK, my recollection of actually when it when it was said and who allegedly said it is sketchy, but I remember the bit about heels). Why do women “have to” wear stilettos to work, including in the media? I said this in one of my older blogs when it happened. I wrote at the time, why and also that this may leave some women such as disabled women who can’t wear heels even more marginalised in certain workplaces.


The effects heels have on the spine in particular is fairly common knowledge in the medical field and in society as a whole. Heels three inches (7.62 cm), high throws your spine out of alignment, causing back pain and, in the long run, cause bulges in the ankles due to the long term strain.

Sex and the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker admitted in 2013 that wearing heels extensively during Sex and the City took a toll on her feet. According to E! News, Parker was warned against wearing heels any longer to prevent further damage.


I find  it ironic that in the exact same magazine that reported the rate of injury from stilettos, is the same magazine that constantly markets stilettos to young women or has models wearing them. I’ve read Cosmopolitan for a few years now and to be honest, I can’t remember any of the models not wearing stilettos. They may have done it once or twice. Mixed messages much? For a magazine that prides itself on women’s empowerment, why promote, almost exclusively, clothes by models in stilettos. Why not promote all shoe types, shoes that all women have a chance of wearing?



I’m not here to tell you that you should or shouldn’t wear heels. You can wear what you like. Like I’ve written before, it’s the pressure, the “unwritten rules”. It’s the promotion of fashion in which some women will never be able to wear, leaving others left out and marginalised that I have a problem with.

Maybe I’m mistaken. What do you think about heels? Do you wear them? Do you prefer women to wear them? 

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By Sara Harnetty

I'm a student. Interested in current events, music and various issues.

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