For those of you who have not met me – I am 5ft 6 inches (maybe 5ft 6 and a half). This is decently tall by the Indian standards. I remember as a kid aiming to be as tall as Mamma but then I was never quite there. And then something changed during my teens, from standing in the front section of the class picture, I moved to standing in the last row. Yes – the growth bug did finally manage to find me. I was amongst the taller girls of my class – I was not the tallest but then I was almost there.
I spent rest of my teenage trying to get accustomed to my height. I was either always in my flats or if I wore heels (during those rare occasions) I was slouching and trying to fit in. But then somewhere before college, my mom (who by the way has the most amazing shoe collection) coaxed me into wearing heels and wearing it right. And ever since, I have been in love with them.
And then this other day, when I was visiting a relative I heard the most common prejudiced comment ever. My sister-in-law looked at me and claimed “Oh wow! You look really tall.. why do you need to wear heels, you are tall already?”. I wanted to retaliate “I wear heels because I want to, not because I need to”. But good sense and courtesy prevailed. And I kept quiet and smiled instead.
This however, got me thinking. So many men and women alike have commented on my heels and how tall I look in them. Some have often taken the trouble to forward me the links to medical journals that talk about the ill-effects of wearing heels and others have argued about how my center of gravity changes when I wear heels making it more probable for me to fall down especially since I am tall already (physics ..really!). While I am sure this is out of purely good intentions, I don’t mind standing out. Wearing heels for a party or to an office meeting isn’t really the biggest health hazard.
I do not wear heels because I want people to notice me. Like, I do not dress well because I am hoping that I would catch a guy’s fancy. If that was the case, all the married women should stop dressing up. What is the point? But I dress up because I feel good, and wearing heels is a part of that dressing up. I do it for me.
And no, women do not wear heels to look tall. Looking tall is a result of wearing heels, but it is not the reason for wearing them. Atleast not for me. I wear heels because I feel good about it. Because I love them. Not because of a need. And I would not stop wearing it because it makes others feel short or insecure. Wearing heels is a part of my dressing up and it makes me feel gorgeous when I look into the mirror. I am going to continue doing it till I can rock it.
And all the tall ladies who have resorted to wearing flats because of the fear of public scrutiny – please stop trying to fit in. You are meant to stand out and do it with elan. Wear the heels if you have always wanted to. Don’t wear them if you don’t want to. But do what you want to, not what others expect of you!
(illustration by thebangaloresnob)