The traditional rite of passage for Latinas is at age fifteen. Quinceañera, celebrated with a Catholic Mass and a fiesta, includes rituals symbolic of entry into responsible adulthood. The community watches as the girl’s father kneels at her feet and exchanges her flat shoes for high heels. Everyone treats her as an adult from then on.
Tabatha Southey (email@example.com) wrote:
“When I was growing up, my mother used to say to me, both of us wearing our sensible Mary Janes, that her mother told her, ‘There’s nothing less appealing to a man than a woman in high heels. No man would ever want to be with a woman with pretty feet and a pained expression on her face.’
From a fairly early age, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, granny, I think we’re going to move in very different circles.’
At any rate, I grew up to wear high heels fairly frequently and whatever else it pleases me to wear. The only way in which what I choose to wear is problematic for me is if it invokes any patronizing assumptions that I require liberation from my footwear. And yes, I’ve thanked my mother for the 13 years of ballet that enable me to walk fairly well wearing the very shoes that bewilder her.”