Two of Modern Love’s walls are comprised of floor to ceiling windows, which admits a tremendous amount of natural light and affords an excellent view of Westminster Street. It wasn’t until Modern Love opened that I noticed a lot of the architecture that I’d been blindly walking by for the past 10 years. My favorite view from the store is the one that looks between the buildings on Eddy street and up to the top of the Biltmore.
I see a lot of the same people walk by all day, too. I have my favorites, like the tall slender girl with incredible posture who wears her hair in a sleek bouffant and the guy from Farmstead who walks into the store sometimes with a tray of cupcakes. And then I have my least favorites, like the sweatpants (really?) and Ugg-clad (still?) JWU girls who shuffle by like a herd of drunk Snuffleupaguses who must always have something in their mouths because they can never seem to shut them all the way, and I can’t see any other reason for demonstrating a consistent inability to close your mouth all the way except for extreme laziness, and if you were really that lazy, wouldn’t you just kind of… die? But hey, at least they’re comfortable. Then there’s the other side of the extreme, the girls who walk by with quick, choppy, strangled motions, who are moving their limbs quite as fast as they are able but are nonetheless covering a small amount of ground rather slowly, since they have cruelly bound themselves in jeans so tight it looks like every other part of their bodies are struggling to get away. “No!” screams the stomach, “You can’t make me get in there! I’m just going to spill out up here and there’s nothing you can do about it! I don’t care how cold it is!”
“Mmmmmmffff!” scream the thighs, “Mmmmfffmmmgrrbbbmmmmfff!”
“Gasp!” say the lungs.
But as horrific are the tortures they voluntarily inflict on their bodies, nothing rivals the torment visited on their poor, poor feet. These women don’t walk, they teeter. Every step causes them obvious, nearly intolerable pain. It’s like watching a baby force itself to chew on a piece of aluminum foil. You don’t know why it’s happening, you just want it to stop.
I read an interesting article a few years ago, I forget where, that talked about the negative social implications of high heel-wearing. According to the article, high heels are essentially misogynistic objects. It discussed Chinese foot binding (guh) and correlated the swaying, handicapped “lotus gait” of bound Han women to the restricted motions of a woman in high heels. It also presented the theory that high heels are attractive to men because they turn a woman into easy prey. In high heels, you can’t run very fast. I do believe that there is merit in the idea that there’s something essentially wrong with high heels, simply because they often simultaneously cause pain and inhibit movement, and anything that simultaneously causes pain and inhibits movement is bad. Bad, bad, bad. I can accept pain for beauty: ballet is pain and I love it. Hair removal is pain and I accept it. Sex can be painful and awesome. I have several tattoos that didn’t tickle. But to physically prevent myself from moving how fast and where I want? Bitch, please. (I do confess: I love my ass when I wear heels. I wear heels to get this ass. There are some heels that are more comfortable than others. But I keep a pair of flats in my bag for when I want to walk around.) There is another and very populous sect of women who embrace high heels as a feminist convention and believe that a very high heel that makes you quite tall and very sexy is empowering. The philosophy, often found under the label of feminism, that equates a woman’s projection of physical sexiness with social empowerment tends to puzzle me. I think there’s a difference in feeling comfortable, confident, and uninhibited with your body and sexuality and this particular brand of sexpot feminism that unabashedly caters very much to the pleasure of a male-oriented society. There’s also a middle ground between salt-stained Ugg boots (really? still?) and towering, pointy stilettos. It’s these:
And it’s these:
Our rep from Me Too was here earlier today. He drove up from New Jersey so that Karen and I could sit on the floor and make piles of the shoes we liked the most. It’s all in a day’s work. These were the two I touched first. I love these. If you need to walk, and if your legs function then you DO need to walk, there’s no reason you have to be a slob for comfort nor an idiot for appearance. These are cute. Wicked. Cute. This idiot came by the store last week wearing a pair she got from Nordstrom. We’ll be selling them for $10 less than for what they charge at Nordstrom (sorry, idiot). In addition to their fanciful, beautiful exteriors and the softly folded origami that insouciantly drapes itself across the toe, these come with Me Too’s signature padded footbed. They pad the hell out of their footbeds. And hidden in the heel? One small inch. Not enough for any part of your body to take notice– except your ass.