Call me Imelda Marcos, call me Marie Antoinette, but please don’t call me late for a shoe sale.
I’m crazy about shoes in general—colorful sneakers, boots of all lengths and styles, sandals, moccasins, even flip-flops—but I’m totally obsessed with high heels, specifically stilettos.
There, I said it.
Before you start laughing, let’s take a trip in my top-secret time machine that will be provided by CERN at some point in the future (if they didn’t, it would cause a world-ending paradox but I don’t have time to explain that right now—just trust me on this one) to see where this enduring fashion trend originated.
When the smoke clears and the doors open, we step out of the time machine to find the person largely responsible for my footwear obsession. And guess what?
IT’S A GUY.
It’s the year 1701, and I’d like you meet His Majesty, King Louis XIV of France. Check out those gams!
Now, shoes with heels had already appeared as far back in time as Ancient Egypt, thousands of years before King Lou’s era. However, only the upper class in Egypt wore shoes at all, and they were ugly (meaning the shoes, as I can’t personally vouch for the aesthetic qualities of your average Ancient Egyptian).
Wedge heels, seriously? Those wedge-heeled monstrosities were hideous in the age of the pharaohs and haven’t looked any better in the umpteen times that designers of questionable taste have attempted to resurrect the style. The only common thread between those travesties of footwear and Lou’s kicky shoes is the primary reason for wearing them.
To put it plainly, the great pharaohs weren’t exactly statuesque (which partly explains the tendency toward overcompensation in their statuary), and neither was Lou.
Back to King Louis XIV. What he lacked in height, the man made up for with an impeccable sense of style. The shoes he commissioned weren’t butt-ugly wedges, but intricate works of art with proper heels that ranged anywhere from two to five inches tall. At one point in the early part of his reign, Louis decreed that only members of the nobility could wear shoes with red heels, and that no one could wear heels higher than his. An egotistical fussbudget, for sure, but I’ll grant him some leeway because of the awesome shoes.
Into the time machine we go again, but only for a short trip, and once again we’re in 18th-century France. Marie Antoinette, surely one of the earliest documented shopaholics/hoarders, the affliction contributing to both the French Revolution and her own untimely demise. In the autumn of 1793, while her people were desperate and starving in the streets, Marie had over five hundred pairs of custom-designed high-heeled shoes cluttering her royal closet.
Personally, I don’t think Marie Antoinette actually said, “Let them eat cake!” when she was told the peasants had no bread. I think it was much more likely that she said, “Let them wear Manolo Blahnik!”
Alas, Marie lost her pretty head over her out-of-control shoe fetish. Worse still, the new regime banned high-heeled shoes because of Marie’s excesses.
Consider that a serious warning from history.
Holy cow, I need to get this time machine back to CERN. Do you have any idea what the hourly rental on a superconducting electromagnetic high-energy particle-accelerator costs? Well, it’s a lot, so we’ll need to skip some stops. Maybe next time we’ll visit the can-can courtesans of the Moulin Rouge in Paris and the bangtails of London’s Whitechapel distric, both in the late 19th century. That’s when the high-heeled shoe went from being the footwear of the wealthy, “well-heeled” aristocratic to the preferred shoe of the Naughty Bad Girl™.
Hold on tight; we’re making a brief stop in 1943 to wave hello to an American pin-up girl, Betty Grable, and I’m not quite used to these brakes yet. Now these are starting to look more like the shoes in my closet. More on that topic soon. 😀
We’ll bypass the Playboy Bunny era, mostly because the new television show sucks and I don’t want to give them any extra press. :yuck:
The sixties brought us barefooted hippies and ugly, basket-weave espadrilles. If those styles ever come back into fashion at the same, I’m sticking with the bare feet.
The 1970s. Oy gevalt. The only people who could get away with wearing those heinous platform shoes were the members of KISS, and they wore heavy theatrical makeup so people wouldn’t recognize them in public.
The 1980s were so forgettable shoe-wise that there’s not even a setting on the time machine for that decade, and the 1990s weren’t much better until the very end when Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City saved the designer shoe industry.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Carrie!
Damn, look at that supercollider meter! I need to speed this along. You’re now probably asking what does any of this have to do with men.
Here, allow me to explain.
For heterosexual men, watching a woman walk while she’s wearing a pair of sexy stilettos is a sporting event second only in importance to the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the Super Bowl, but accompanied by less beer and a more instantaneous erection (generally speaking—as with everything, I’m sure there are exceptions).
When a woman wears a pair of tall stilettos, it forces her shoulders back, which in turn thrusts her boobies out, lifts her butt up, and tightens her calf muscles into balled-up, sexy knots. There are only about a quadrillion pictures of this on the Internet, so I won’t take up Wave’s storage space to post an example. Just Google “high heels” and “posture” for pictures (and, no doubt, some horror stories).
Now, when a guy wears a pair of five- or six-inch stilettos, it has much the same effect, only with smaller boobies and an entirely different set of voyeuristic men (generally speaking—as with everything, I’m sure there are exceptions). Here’s a link to a lovely (possibly not-safe-for-work in your location) video example of men strutting in stilettos for your enjoyment, following an annoying 15-second commercial. It’s my pleasure to introduce the beautiful, talented boys of Kazaky. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
You’re back! Good stuff, right?
By the way, I’m pleased to inform you that I got my deposit back on the time machine, so thanks for not writing any graffiti on the interior walls. 🙂
How did you like Kazaky? I was so excited after I watched that video for the first time that I had to run out immediately to buy a new pair of shoes. These shoes.
Behold, the Komet by Brash.
While Reno was trying on sensible shoes to wear to a friend’s wedding, I was giving walking lessons in those. 😎
I think that about wraps things up for this trip. See you next time! :wave:
MacLeod & Valentine: Shameless Self-Promotion