Suffering for Beauty – High Heels

How much pain would you be willing to endure to be thought of as beautiful? To what lengths would you be willing to go to ensure that you were thought of as sexy? How much trauma would you be willing to put your feet and your body through?

high heels, pexels

For me, wearing high heels isn’t safe at all. Why not? I’ve sprained my left ankle more times than I can count. My ankle seems to twist of its own accord even when I’m in tennis shoes, so high heels would definitely be dangerous for me. But what about other women? What about women who’ve never had any ankle injuries?

Benefits of high heels
First, I must say that there are a few benefits to wearing high heels.

1) They strengthen your legs and tone up your calf muscles. On the other hand, if you wear high heels every day, they may cause you to stand in such a way that you throw your spine out of its proper alignment. In other words, wearing them could cause you to have back problems.

2) They add inches to your natural height and have a slimming effect.

3) They can give you confidence.

4) Face it, high heels are sexy. But if you stumble around in them or fall flat on your face while wearing them, they lose their sexiness real fast.

Wearing them occasionally should be okay unless you are naturally clumsy. But wearing them every day can have some serious and undesirable effects on your feet.

The dangers of wearing high heels
Yes, I realize that there are women who love wearing high heels. Before my daughter had four children, she used to be one of them. She even found that high heels were more comfortable for her than tennis shoes.

hammertoe, flickr

But no matter how comfortable you find high heels, they can cause damage to your feet.

Your toes are being pushed forward and down when you walk around in heels This can lead to hammertoes. This is when one or more toes becomes permanently bent downward. Pictures of this condition can easily be found on Google. When I first looked at these pictures, they reminded me of pictures I found for foot binding. The toes are bent out of shape and are ugly.

bunion, wikimedia commons

Your toes being pushed forward and downward can also result in bunions. A bunion is the swelling of the first joint of the big toe, which is displaced to one side. An inflamed bursa— a fluid-filled sac or saclike cavity—forms over the joint.

One more thing your toes being pushed forward and downward can cause is an ingrown toenail, a condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the flesh.

Tendonitis is simply inflammation of a tendon. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When you wear heels the majority of the time, the pressure is taken off the Achilles tendon to do its job. Over time, this tendon will actually shorten. When you put regular flat shoes back on, they will be uncomfortable because your tendon will be stretched to its original length. Over time, it will stretch back out, but why shrink it in the first place?

high heels with flash, flickr

Plantar fasciitis can come from wearing shoes that don’t have enough support for your feet. Having this condition is a nightmare. When you stand up first thing in the morning or after sitting for a little while, it feels like someone is taking a knife and stabbing your foot during those first steps you take. It will subside once you’ve walked around a bit, but it always comes back after you’ve been off your feet for just a little while. And having this condition can seriously hinder your activities.

Have you ever felt like you were standing on a fold in your sock? Maybe you’ve felt as though there was a pebble or a stray piece of kitty litter trapped in your shoe. That feeling can be annoying when you really do have something in your shoe, but what if you had that feeling and there was nothing in your shoe to cause it? This condition is known as Morton’s neuroma, and it can be brought on by wearing high heels.

Walking around in high heels also tends to wear away your foot’s natural cushioning.

You can trip and fall no matter what kind of shoes you are wearing and sprain your ankle, but once you have sprained it, high heels make you more prone to do so. Sprained ankles are no fun.

Ways to reduce the stress on your feet
It would be best to not wear high heels, but when you must, there are some simple ways to reduce—not get rid of—the stress they put on your feet.

wedge heel, wikimedia commons

Don’t wear the same height of heels each day. That way, your feet won’t be made to endure the same angle each day. If you can change the heels you wear throughout each day, that is even better.

When your shoes become worn out, ditch them. Of course, that stands true for any kind of shoe you wear. Even the sneakers I normally wear will hurt my feet when they become worn out.

Platforms and wedges will distribute your body weight more evenly. This means they are less likely to throw you off-balance.

If possible, wear comfortable shoes until you get to work or wherever you are going. Once you arrive, you can switch to wearing your heels.

As soon as you get home and are able to kick your heels off, massage and/or stretch your exhausted feet and legs.

Writing Prompts
In the video “Dangers of wearing high heels”—you can watch it above—we find out that high heels for toddlers are being made and sold. They can be found at many stores. Now that you know the damage that the continued wearing of this type of shoe can do, how do you feel about introducing very young girls to them?

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

For a writing prompt, you need to take the introduction of high heels to girls at this early age and compare it to the practice of foot binding. High heels are an option. Foot binding wasn’t an option; it was forced. What if wearing high heels was no longer an option but was mandatory? What if it was mandatory to introduce young girls to them as soon as they could walk? What effect would this have on the role of females in society? How would it affect their health?

 

Recommended Articles:
Suffering for Beauty – Foot Binding
Suffering for Beauty – Lip Plates
Suffering for Beauty – Neck Rings
Suffering for Beauty – Scarification
Suffering for Beauty – Unique Hair Care for Your Characters
Suffering for Beauty – the Victorian Corset

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