lunes, 26 de diciembre de 2011

The Complex World of Stilettos

     What is that obscure thing that unites us, as women, with high heels? Why if we usually suffer from them, we are reluctant to leave them to oblivion? Why do we treasure stilettos as if there were jewels? Why  does a good stiletto help you to get on your self-esteem and feel divine?

     One day talking with my dearest friend San about this, I said one phrase that will go down of our history as friends: "The world of high heels is very complex"
     And yes, it's very complex. I don't say this just because of my friends or me, who due to our job as models, we have spent so many much more time on high heels than in stores buying clothes; but because of thousand and thousand of young girls who can't walk with them, who don't know how to walk with them but they still insist... Why do they insist in walking with them if they don't know how to do it and they're hurting their feet? What have these little torture devices that attract us so much?
Manolo Blahnik
     Stilettos were born in 1947, when Roger Vivier collaborated with Christian Dior in his collection New Look.  Historically, raised heels were created for men. Its "birth" took place on the XV century when a new kind of shoe was needed as a response to the problem of the rider's foot slipping foward in stirrups while riding. Even there are paitings from Ancient Egipt where women and men appeared  with raised heels.
     However, the real stiletto revolution was in the 50's, when women regained a more sinuous and feminine silhouette. In 1947, Dior launched his first fashion collection named Corolle and Huit; lines which meant a radical change to post-war fashion: below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, large bust and small waist. However, the new collection went down in fashion history as the "New Look" after the editor-in-chief of Harper Bazaar Carmel Snow's exclamation, "It's quite a revelation, dear Christian... Your dresses have such a New Look!" The love&hate relationship between women and high heels was about to begin...

Christian Dior and his New Look
          Good heels are the purest expression of women power. They are an icon of feminity and sensuality. They are an object of desire. They are a piece of art.

     Buying heels always is a pleasure act. We are extremely happy when we acquire them; and it has a proven scientific basis:  our levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with happiness, immediately rise as soon as we pay for an object that makes us feel more beautiful and sexier. After this, comes the rebound effect: dopamine levels drop dramatically and we feel guilty and worried about our current account. But this doesn't happen with shoes. According to Martin Lindstrom, author of "Buyology. The Truth and Lies Aout Why We Buy", inwardly we feel less guilty when buying useful items and we, women, know that a good pair of shoes are going to get maximum yield. Not only for the use we are going to give them, but also for the happiness that such use will provide us.
     Walking with a good stiletto causes a more sensual movement, gyrate our hips and pulled out our chest. Therefore, we consider them a hypersexual and hipersensual object,  and it has risen  stilettos to the podium of the most desired fetishist objects. Both, feet and shoes, are loaded with a highly erotic charge, and roam the dreams of many of us.
Roger Vivier
          Similarly, when we got on heels, we feel more powerful. Not just for the sake of walking on Manolos, Jimmy Choo's or Louboutin's but because, according to experts, most animals (including man) associate power with height. We, women, can look directly into men eyes without rising our heads. And maybe this is one of  the reason why men like Louis XIV of France or Sarkozy have used raised heels...
     Let's face it, girls: each one of us have more shoes than we need. We can not resist buying the latest model we've seen in a store window. And why?!! According to Lindstrom, shoes set off a part of our brain associated with our collector drive and we accumulate more than we need. I have a lot of pair of heels that I've only had used once. They were gorgeous at the store but when I used them... they were a torture... And I  remember yet my first Versace stilettos, which I still keep. I saw them in a fashion magazine and as soon as I arrived Madrid, I went to the Versace store, in Ortega y Gasset street, and bought them. I can't express how happy I felt with my new acquisition... and how amazed my boyfriend felt when he knew I had come to Madrid just for buying those heels...

      I cannot deny it: I adore shoes!! I love high heels!! And they are my biggest and greatest treasure. If there is anything I may be accused is being a stilettos collector. I feel so happy everytime I choose a new model and buy it, that any bad or sad moment disappear inmediatly. If any of you  consider herself "free of sin", throw me the first stone...

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