As an observer of pop culture in the United States of America, it isn’t unusual to see celebrities, models on the runway, or women in commercials eating burgers wearing high heels. They walk effortlessly, showing off long limbs that are tightened in direct correlation with the height of the heel, and it doesn’t matter if they are wearing dresses or jeans: heels are mandatory. But are they conducive for the every day woman to wear, well, every day? According to professionals in the field, one in ten women wear high heels at least three days a week, and according to statistics, one third of those women end up with chronic problems of the foot. In addition to foot problems, a woman can be faced with muscle spasms, damage to leg tendons, and even back problems. All of this to say, a woman could easily wear heels all day, but not without paying the price. It is, however, important to recognize that a woman can wear high heels simply because she likes them, rather than there serving any further purpose. It is also important to recognize that women who do like wearing heels need to educate them on the pros and cons of the prolonged usage.
The argument then is this, what about the ladies who claim they enjoy wearing high heels, that they find them comfortable? There is definitely something to be said for the elongation of the leg, the tightening of the muscles resulting in the slim look that is so desired in society, and looking that much better in whatever outfit one happens to put on that day, but at what cost? As soon as a heel reaches two inches or higher, a person (generally a woman), is putting herself in danger. As aforementioned, there are health hazards to wearing high heels all day, and that’s not even taking into account the falls that can result from a lack of balance and incorrect weight distribution. Every woman has had the mantra, “Beauty is pain,” drilled into her head by pop culture and high heels plays hand in hand with that. This isn’t to say that occasional usage of high heels is detrimental, but wearing high heels every day is statistically, and scientifically, damaging to one’s body. Luckily, there are ways to avoid getting hurt. Select lower heels (two inches is where the danger begins), don’t wear heels multiple days in a row, wear high heels that are the right size, invest in a good shoe and a good insole, and don’t be afraid to take a break and sit down. A woman can wear heels, look great in them, but without the side effects that can result. Educating oneself about the long-term effects of high heel usage can go a long distance in protecting the two appendages that get someone from here to there.