Pleased despite pain

Pleased despite pain

Sure, they are sexy. But to suffer chronic pain and injury just to feel more confident seems like a bad joke on you, writes Suja Natarajan

When Cinderella strutted her way to the ballroom in  stunning gown and sparkling glass shoes, she left the prince and everybody at the ball mesmerised. One of her shoes came off when she fled the palace, leaving a vital clue for the prince to find her. Her life changed forever, thanks to those heels, as have the lives of many girls who read the story...

Wearing a pair of heels can be totally transformative, for they accentuate sex appeal, empowerment, and discomfort! High-heeled shoes continue to remain an indispensable part of many women’s ardrobe even when they are known for podiatric conditions like sprains, arthritis and bunions. Despite the torture of earing them, why do we still fall for tilettos? Is the pain worth it?

“I am 5.5 inches and still wear them ecause they make my legs look longer. It’s a fashion statement,” says Moumita Basu, content coordinator with a web
development company. A woman does look attractive when her legs are a bit longer than her torso, found a study led by Dr Pawlowski, Wroclaw University.

High heels alter a woman’s gait to make her look more attractive than a woman wearing flats. “It is a natural instinct for a woman to want to be noticed. At a deeper level, there is a desire to make oneself  esirable to the opposite sex. There are other things that women endure to look attractive (piercing, threading or waxing) because of their need to look good,” remarks Dr Ishita Datta, psychological counsellor, Nationwide Clinic.

Having additional height can have dvantages in the business world; it commands a certain attention as a mark of power and authority at work place. Who said stylish people can’t have brains or that brainy people can’t be stylish! Look at Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, in her tailored business suit and audacious stilettos! We can see that heels and brains make a powerful combination in the male-dominated industries.

“I personally don’t like them, but when I want to make an emphatic presence, I prefer heels over flats. High heels not only add to my height, but also to my self-esteem,” admits Pavitra Siddharth, an IT professional.

High heels emphasise femininity. It alters how the entire body of a woman moves – hips, legs, feet, knees, feet and shoulders. Researchers believe the
higher the heel, the sexier is a woman’s appearance.

A study published in the journal

Evolution and Human Behaviour suggests that mate selection and impression among peers are the main reasons why women choose to wear heels. Further, it is more likely that a woman who feels confident with a better body language is what makes her attractive to men.

Unfortunately, the implications of wearing heels are way beyond just grace and sex appeal of a woman. Let’s be honest. High heels can be painful. Sure, stilettos are sexy, but to suffer chronic pain and distortion to feel confident seems a bad joke on you. Studies demonstrate that women who habitually wear high heels risk damage to their hips, bones, knees and back since all the weight is on the toes and one could need surgery to reverse the injury!

“After years of wearing heels, and finally paying dearly for it, I realised how I had abused my feet. Switching to flats from heels was initially hard, but I no longer feel the need to boost my looks with heels. I now love being the way I am,” confides Madhavi B, a beautician, who was on bed-rest for several weeks, as a result of severe back pain.

Being a woman doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you subject yourself to loving and wearing high heels - all in search of confidence and sex appeal.  “A woman can certainly feel and look good if  she accepts her shortcomings. You can make efforts to look good and be  happy, but when you make looking-good an identity in itself, it becomes a problem,” insists Dr Ishita.

As Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk put it, “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
You can be happy, and exude confidence and sex appeal even with your feet flat on the ground. There’s no need to grin and bear the pain.

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