I recently saw a page in the New York Times that made me realize that gender equality still has incredibly far to go.
No, this wasn’t an article about the pay gap or glass ceiling or, simply, housework. This wasn’t an article at all. It was two ads on the same page.
You can see that the top ad is for a pair of very high heels.
You can see that at the bottom of the page is an ad with the recognition that men want to look good, but not at the expense of health and comfort.
When I saw those two juxtaposed ads, I thought, “This is so obviously the problem.”
Yes. Yes, I know. A very first-world problem to be sure – no one living in poverty is worried about balancing on 3 or 4 inch heels - but still, a problem. Dare I say a nefarious conspiracy?
Who decided that women are sexier in high heels – 4”, 5”, even 6”!? In my rigorous research on the subject, I saw many references to the idea that high heels lift butts, elongate calves, take 5 lbs off your weight.
And why don’t we think the butts, calves, and weight we have will do just fine, thank you, with flats? Men are not worried about lifting their butts. The men’s ad says “because you deserve to look good and feel good.”
Well, how about the female gender! Don’t we deserve to look good AND feel good, too?! Ladies, why do we slavishly follow style and then end up in a bucket of Epsom salts soaking sprained ankles or worse?
Let us pledge to make comfortable shoes the most prestigious things you can wear. Let us convince the world that lower butts and shorter calves are sexy! Let us (wo)man the barricades and fight! Convince movie stars to wear walking shoes under their red carpet gowns! Let us go forth and conquer the fashion industry!!
Editor’s Note: Your author is a horrendous hypocrite. Yes. This is your Chief Noticing Officer, caught on camera! Shame! Shame!
©2015 Margery Leveen Sher
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