Come Fuck Me Shoes are those ridiculously totemic high-heels, designed by men and worn by women in the belief that, though they can barely walk, they are somehow empowered and erotic. In my newspaper this week I saw a photograph of a celebrity on the red carpet; she was sporting a pair of six inch stilettos, her feet at such an unnatural angle that there was a noticeable gap between her heel and the back of the shoe. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t think “I must buy a pair of those” I just thought the poor girl must be grimacing in pain behind that smile.
So why on earth would women desire a pair of killer heels? The obvious answer of course is to look good. Two of my friends confessed their youthful penchant for such footwear; years later they still have numb toes as a result. But they say that despite the pain, they loved wearing these shoes or high-heeled boots; they make your legs look long and your arse look great. It makes me wonder if feminism ever happened. As Caitlin Moran wrote “they think that effectively by walking on tip-toes they are slimming their legs down from a size 14 to a size 10. But they aren’t of course.There is a precedent for a big, fat leg dwindling away into a point-and it’s on a pig.” I am all for looking nice and would probably choose mascara as my desert island luxury but to be in pain in the name of looking good, or to be more realistic, to turn men’s heads, is surely verging on insanity. Terry de Havilland, a UK shoe designer has admitted that stilettos are “bad for the feet, but they’re good for the mind. What’s more important?” Of course Mr de Havilland has a vested interest in promoting the erotic nature of his shoes but he won’t be going to Boots to buy gel pads to go on his blisters or sinking in to the grass at Ascot or falling over whilst trying to run for a bus or ruining his friend’s wooden floor. Even if you don’t consider yourself a feminist, any woman should ask themselves certain questions like “are men fucking around wasting money on footwear in which they can’t walk?”
The trouble is that even thinking men, who know these shoes cut a woman’s feet to ribbons and cause untold foot problems, like the look of a woman in high heels. “I can’t help it, it is imprinted on my mind that heels are erotic” is pretty poor I think. Women have undergone surgery or had to wear splints to sort out problems caused by years of squeezing their feet into unnatural positions. It is surely not erotic to look at a pair of feet covered in blisters and bunions and corns. The footwear historian William A Rossi points out that “most women prefer a trip to hell in high heels than to walk flat-heeled to heaven.” As he is a man I think we can disregard what he thinks most women want. I think that when an actress sprints up the steps to collect her Oscar in a pair of Doc Marten’s underneath her designer dress, it might be the beginning of the end of 100,000 years of patriarchy.