Growing Into High Heel Shoes

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Tabatha Southey (tsouthey@globeandmail.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.”

 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/minister-kenney-can-i-become-a-citizen-in-these-shoes/article4181318/

 Picture source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/fashion/clothing-straddles-the-line-between-sweet-and-skimpy.html?_r=0

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The Well-Heeled Heritage of Stilettos

“One of the best ways of damning a woman is saying she wears practical shoes,” said Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum. ‘On a Pedestal,’ a museum exhibit, examined two of the most extreme forms of Western footwear, the chopine and its successor, the high heel.

The sex appeal of the clunky chopine may not be immediately apparent, but it embodies the same ideals a pair of six-inch Louboutins do today, a simultaneous sense of power and that stalwart of femininity: impracticality. No sensible shoes here

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2010/09/10/think_stilettos_are_hazardous_check_out_these_heels.html

Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum’s exhibition “On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels” ran from November 19, 2009 to September 20, 2010.

(pictured below) Venetian chopines, 16th century, on loan from Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, Italy

The tallest chopines come from Venice. Some, such as this pair, have pedestals measuring over 50 cm in height. These chopines corroborate the visual and textual evidence suggesting that some women actually wore chopines of such towering heights. This pair has been conserved for this exhibition but will not be allowed to travel again. This pair has been conserved for this exhibition but will not be allowed to travel again.   Photograph © Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

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(pictured below) Milanese chopines, 16th century, on loan from Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy

These chopines are typically Italian in design. Their bases are of carved pine, tapering in the middle and flaring at the base to provide greater stability and are covered in white kid. The uppers are decorated with cutwork in patterns reminiscent of lace from the same period.  Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Applicata – Castello Sforzesco, Milan. All rights reserved

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http://batashoemuseum.ca/exhibitions/on_a_pedestal/index.shtml