February 10, 2010

Do these shoes look good with my knee brace?

Whether we’re discussing the legitimacy of cultural traditions as in the age-old examples of Chinese foot-binding & the corset or the modern use of elective plastic surgery, the Muslim head scarf or the burka – fashion is a contentious and contradictory place for a feminist to find herself at play. I’ll admit to owning more than a few pairs of heels despite my knowledge about their not only misogynist, but classist and racist, history. They make my legs look long, lean and pretty. What’s the problem?

Well, according to your doctor, there are many including: osteoarthritis, knee injury, bunions, hammertoes, and let’s not forget one “health risk” listed on the always veritable Wikipedia (please note sarcasm ;): “they render the wearer unable to run.” Wow. I am compelled to write a blog simply based on why that is a health risk for women.

In an interview with the Australia based “Today Tonight” supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw dismisses the interviewers’ questions about the industry standard of thinness. However, she does note that the excessive and dangerous use of extremely high heels has to change. Kershaw herself had to have knee surgery at the age of 21 due to a fall in a pair of these . The theme for the last couple of seasons has been an architectural design which has lead to some pretty outrageous and, needless to say, impractical footwear.

Despite my love of the illusion of long, fabulous legs & the art that is involved in creating said illusion, I think that it’s time we call for change in the use and abuse of the women in fashion. Even if that’s simply by choosing a nice pair of ballerina-style mary janes…..