So, as some of you may know, I believe that you can learn a lot about a person according to their shoes. Judge me all you want, but you're going to start noticing from now on. And it doesn't have to be big, sweeping judgements- just little ones like how comfortable a person likes to be in their work shoes or how tightly strung their tennis-shoe laces are.
As I was scoping out all of the hot commute-home-from-work shoes on the metro yesterday evening, I noticed a pattern. I know that it has always been there, but it just kind of snapped into focus yesterday. And I can't tell if the pattern in our shoes is merely reflective of the differences between men and women, or if it even perpetuates our ingrained notions even further.
What I noticed is this: men's shoes, generally speaking, are designed to look sturdy. Go on, look around the office. The everyman's work shoe of today is probably one of those black shoes with the thicker soles that are squared off at the toes. Even if they're not this EXACT pair- although plenty of them are- they all have one thing in common: they actually look like feet.
I know it sounds nuts, but what woman's shoe is actually shaped like a woman's foot?
And mens shoes are actually largest at the bottom. When a man is standing in his shoes, he looks stable, sturdy, well planted. Do you think that this plays into what we're looking for in a man? We are usually looking for a man who, well I hate to borrow an overused phrase, but has his feet on the ground. Every pair of guy's shoes on the planet makes this easier. The can stand for hours in those Herman Munster's Tuxedo Shoes and look right at home.
Now, lets turn the lens on the ladies. Now I'll preface ALL of this with the fact that I love shoes. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Doesn't matter if they're uncomfortable or too expensive, I friggin love them. Usually, the more ridiculous the better. Hot pank shiny peeptoe stillettos with bows and lace on them? bring it.
But lets use an analytical eye to look at what we put on our feet..
They're ridiculous. And UNNATURAL. What woman has pointy toes? Heels? What a terrible and torturous idea! And it seems as though the prettiest ones are intentionally engineered to be as difficult to balance in as physically possible. Let's take all of our weight and balance it, in perfect, hip-swinging motion, on two little points that are barely bigger than pencil erasers. Awesome. EVERY woman on the planet has been crippled for a day of uncomfortable, but attractive shoes at least once in her life, (and most of us at least once a weekend.) They just seem like bad ideas all around, no matter which way you turn. And yet, we ALL do it.
And now I ask, WTF?!?!? Is this supposed to make us look like skittish does that could just as easily prance away as fall flat on our asses?
Now, I may be confused- but for the whole "thrill of the chase" mentality, shouldn't we at least be worthy opponents who won't topple over after every third step? Or are we supposed to look all wobbly so we need the support of a big stwong man to cawwy us back to the cave because we're weak wittle females??
But then, I sit here and consider the alternative. Comfortable shoes? You are, of course, referring to ugly shoes. Yeah, right.
And so each of us ladies perpetuate the status quo of the genders. Our shoe tastes are like a modern, living art homage to "Ode on a Grecian Urn." We may never get caught, but at least there will always be the chance we might.
And men sit there, looking pretty, in their practical, feet-shaped shoes. Devices that are ACTUALLY designed to be walked in.