Growing up in a home where my mother covered the floor of her closet with pumps, sandals, flats, and more shoes than Imelda Marcos could shake a foot at, it’s no wonder that at 25 my shoe collection is nothing to play with. Being that my closet is filled with heels ranging from 3 ½”- 5”, I was quite skeptical when I began reading Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Themby Leora Tanenbaum. While I do not plan on trading in my Calvin Klein platforms for a pair of Aerosoles, I have been convinced to be a bit more practical when deciding which shoes to wear to work versus the ones to wear on date nights.
Leora Tanenbaum is no stranger to shining a light on some of the everyday issues that plague women in this seemingly modern age, her first three books dealt with slut-bashing, cat-fighting, and women reclaiming God. As a feminist writer, it seemed only natural for her to tackle to phenomenon of perfectly sensible women wearing shoes that are unhealthy in the name of fashion and feeling feminine. In the attempt to issue a much needed wake up call to the stilettoed masses, Tanenbaum enlists a bevy of experts on feet, fashion, and the Carrie Bradshaw wannabes who walk Manhattan in Louboutins to the detriment of their bodies.
Most fashion girls won’t be persuaded by Tanenbaum’s assertion that Carrie Bradshaw is “a desperate, disempowered character” and that her closet of clothes and shoes is representation that she is unable to plant her feet firmly on the ground. They also won’t turn down a pair of Manolo’s because they read that the pointy toe box and ultra slim heel is representative of a phallus, or of society forcing us to confrom to another unattainable standard of bueaty that we are too image conscious to ditch. They will however stop in their tracks when they read a quote from Vogue’s Uncle Andre calling for them to stop being fashion beasts and get real.
I, for one, am over the mania for the high, high heel. Too many career women look like a herd of fashion beasts, aping one another in impractical shoes. -Andre Leon Talley
Overall the book is not a call for us to burn our heels but for us to become more informed consumers. Hopefully if you know that the brand new pair of shoes you just spent your entire paycheck on will eventually make your feet look like a Hobbit’s, you will think twice before wearing them all day, every day. For me, while cleaning out my closet is not an option, I have begun to notice how the pain in my feet is connected to the pain in my lower back and that a set of $12 insoles can keep that pain at bay without me having to kick off my flat boots(falts without arch support are jsut as bad for your feet as heels) the second I leave work.
In celebration of the launch of the book, publishers Seven Stories Press is offering ladies the opportunity to win a signed copy of Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them along with a free pair of shoes from wither Naot or Thierry Rabotin. For more deatils on the contest go to www.sevenstoreis.com.
Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them can be purchased at amazon.com.
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