“Periods, giving birth, menopause… stilettos.”
The process of wearing heels was finely stated by goggle-box star, Chris, a few years back. As an Essex girl myself, I’ve always loved getting glammed up and high heels have always been a staple item of mine and many girls’ wardrobes.
So, I’d reached the age of maturity. My body was ready – I took the leap and bought the awful black wedges that we all know too well, taking my first steps into womanhood and beginning my life as a teen – taller than all of the boys at the party.
No one forced me to wear them, I wasn’t a social media zombie hungry for D-list celebrity endorsement. So why wear them? It’s simple really: girls have boobs. Girls have periods. Boys like girls. Girls wear heels. I did what I felt I was supposed to do.
Not only did I look ridiculous, but they really hurt. I would wear heels on a Saturday night and play football the next morning with blisters and swollen feet, but it was always the sacrifice made. After starting university in 2016, I ditched the heels for Reeboks in Canal Mills. The rest was history.
However, I’m now in third year and the abundance of 21st birthdays and cocktail nights pretending we’re not all skint has re-united me with my old fiend. Don’t get me wrong, there is an element of power in them. Wearing heels now, I feel taller, my legs feel stronger and my ability to smash two bottles of wine and still dance brings me a touch of pride. Regardless, there is no escaping the eyesore at 3am of staggering stilettos and flimsy flip flops because 90% of the club couldn’t hack it.
For me, heels are something we all wore at thirteen, and which we borrowed from our older sisters. I wear them now, knowing I feel comfortable in them and knowing I can kick them off when my feet start to hurt. But the presence of social media summons new demons. Some of these new trends are dangerous and irreversible, let alone damaging for self-esteem.
I can’t help but think of the poor thirteen year-olds that now have access to Instagram and the kind of uncomfortable trends that they’ll now try. Waist trainers, thongs, contact lenses, lipinjections… the list goes on.
Arguably, heels are a pain worth the gain, as long as you are comfortable and able to laugh back at your old year 8 pictures. What’s truly worrying is the spiralling effect of uncomfortable beauty trends and how accessible they are now for young, vulnerable girls.
By Ella Davis Yuille.
Image: Ralph & Russo