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Lighten Up

October 26, 2009

I understand that with Fall comes a heavier shoe aesthetic but, is it just me, or has this season gone completely overboard? The buzz word for shoe trends this season is “chunky” whether it be from the return of the chunky heel, to the prevalence of the wedge on any style of shoe, to the added material anywhere they can shove it. And S&M detailing has been more popular than ever before. I’m all for a couple of tough pairs of shoes in my closet. A girl simply can’t exist without a kickass pair of motorcycle boots and, ever since I saw Miz Bradshaw strutting around in them last May, I’ve been drooling after the Dior bondage heels just like everybody else.
But, seriously, where are the pretty shoes? What happened to femininity? All of these girls clunking around in these oppressive shoes are getting me down. They weigh down the whole look and take the joy out of it. Sure it’s fun to play around with proportion and mixing styles. I love to toughen up something feminine. But I can’t stand this being the only option any longer.

Of course, I’m attempting to understand the psychology behind this. The first thought that comes to mind is it’s reflecting our current state of affairs in the country. With our economic and political situation right now, who wouldn’t be depressed? Who could really muster up the attitude to look lighthearted and pretty? Stomping down the sidewalk in our heavy shoes and strict, structured clothing, we look like constant warriors; always rioting, always protesting, always expressing the view that all is doomed.

And then there is the state of women to consider. Femininity may be out, but feminism is always in. We’re moving past the post-feminist thought that women can still rule the world while looking pretty and returning to the idea that we must look the part of a dominant, fearful woman in order to succeed. No matter what you think of Clinton or Palin, a glass ceiling has been broken and women don’t want to play Pretty anymore. They want to fight, and that can’t be done with delicate heels and lovely little detailing.



So here is my call to return to simplicity, to lightness, to pretty. A tough, chunky shoe may make you feel dangerous and in charge but sometimes it’s ok to be a happy and sweet. In this day and age, it can be difficult to remember that.



Originally written October 6, 2008

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