More Than The Shoes I Wear:
Only in a man's world can one of the top news stories of today be about how "dangerous" heels are, and how women shouldn't be forced to wear them to work. I am blessed in that I have never had such a dress code, and have always had the choice to wear heels if I want…. nine times out of ten, I want!
For me the issue is this, though: When will women be judged by how excellent they are, or how successful they are, rather than what's on their feet?!
I mean, come on! Most of us who wear heels, know the "risks" involved in wearing them! Especially when walking on pavements with cracks in them, or coming downstairs. I am a proud heels wearer…the higher the better. I'm just a risk-taker like that! I like teetering on the edge!
At the risk of offending all crocs wearers, or other such ugly shoes, heels were designed to make a woman's legs look good! And (most of the time) it works! Wearing causes us to walk straighter, in a more upright, accentuated, posture, so we can't just slouch along when wearing them! Heels also allows us (mainly me!) to "buy height", so when I'm speaking to people, it means I am closer to being able to look someone in the eye, rather than their belly button. Ok – I'm not that short, but it stops people looking down on me! Especially when my roots need doing….!
But seriously, my point is this: Whether I wear heels or not doesn't mean I'm any better at what I am doing at work. It might add a feeling of confidence when strutting into a new room, but I don't write better just because I have heels on (I mostly kick them off under my desk, but shhhh don't tell anyone!). It doesn't lead to loftier ideas just because I have my loftier platforms on.
So why can't women be judged according to what we actually are capable of, instead of all this hoo-ha about shoes, for crying out loud! Did it need people to waste money on researching something we are already aware of?? We know heels can cause bunions. We know we can twist our ankles. We know we can fall in them. But we can do that in any type of shoe….and so can men! In fact, when I used to co-host a teenage girl's conference, I would run up and down the stage in heels, no problem. The one year I wore flats for an "army" theme – I fell over! Wearing heels is not our problem.
How we are assessed so much by what we wear or don't wear, is the problem! Look at a woman's skills in the workplace, not at her outfit. Look at what she contributes to the business, instead of what she's contributing to fashion. Look at her huge amount of potential instead of the huge height she's bought.
If recent stories about the disproportionate wage gap is anything to go by, women have more things to worry about, than what size heel to wear! And so do you men if you think we're going to keep letting it happen. Let news-worthy stories focus on the inspirational place of women in the workplace, of the women who balance life and work, of the women who started with nothing and crated their own business empire, and stop looking at her shoes!
Who knows – she might be your boss, and start to redefine you by what you're wearing!