7 Much Ignored Ill Effects Of Wearing High Heels: A Thing Of Beauty Is Not A Joy Forever

Posted on September 1, 2013 in Health and Life

By Baldeep Grewal:

Everybody wants to look good, be attractive; to turn heads and capture hearts. In a world where appearances are everything, even more so. Women are not called the ‘fairer sex’ for nothing. We fit ourselves into tight, fashionable clothes, curl our eyelashes and open our hair; just to find a nice, enviable position in the mould of society. Poets struggle to put feminine beauty into words and writers dedicate words just to describe the curl of a single strand of hair.

However, somewhere along the line, the beauty of the female form has become objectified. It has become a fetish of the capitalist world.

high heels

High heels are just one of the many components in the average woman’s wardrobe that she invests in to enhance her physical appearance. Psychologist Paul Morris from the University of Portsmouth wrote that high heels enhance the feminine gait and make a woman walk even more like a member of the female species. The breast and the hips get thrust outwards while the legs look longer and sleeker. This makes the woman attractive since men generally like an exaggerated female figure as observed by fashion historian Caroline Cox.

Beauty comes at a price. Here are 7 facts of just how expensive high heels are:

  • Regular use of high heels causes shortening and cramping of the calf muscles. Some muscles of the foot are over stretched while others are over contracted, which cause pain and abnormal muscle formation.
  • The Achilles tendon gets abnormally tightened which results in pain and even chronic damage.
  • Since the arch of the foot is heightened and stretched, the shock absorption ability of the foot is reduced, making the person more prone to knee and hip injuries.
  • The body’s weight is concentrated on the balls of the feet instead of being distributed evenly over the whole foot. This increases the risk of developing hairline fractures in the joints just behind one’s toes. This shift in the body weight makes other weight bearing joints vulnerable too. The joints in the knees, ankles, hips, spine and the neck are thrown off balance. In fact, a study found that the pressure on the knee joint increased by 26 percent in case of 1 inch heels, 57 percent in case of 2 inch heels and 76 percent in case of 3 inch heels. Literally staggering, isn’t it?
  • The cerebellum (that part of the brain which controls posture) cannot process the bent position of the foot. When a person is wearing high heels, the cerebellum assumes that the person is walking up an incline. It makes an inappropriate postural adjustment which makes walking in high heels up an imagined incline dangerous and difficult. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • The rigid back or the strap of the high heels causes a bony enlargement at the heel called Haglund’s deformity.
  • Nerves and minute muscles in the feet suffer swelling and permanent damage due to constricted blood flow.

While high heels enhance the outer beauty, they cause a lot more irreparable and invisible damage. The use of high heels has more to do with the psychological mindset of the person. In 2009, Tom Cruise’s daughter Suri stepped out wearing a pair of high heels at the tender age of 3. The kids’ fashion industry went overboard with its production of kids’ high heels styled along with adult models. According to market research company the NPD group, the sales of fashion footwear for girls grew by nine per cent that year. Now, high heel shoes for young girls is a $4 billion industry, thanks to the ‘mini-me’ craze of young daughters eager to emulate the style of their mothers. While many parents scoffed at Katie Holmes’ decision to let Suri wear high heels, a greater number gave in to the trend.

Personally, I feel that one’s personality should be luminescent enough on its own. Sure, it feels nice and pampered to wear good clothes and go sashaying in high heels. However, these things are just a confirmation of one’s inner beauty and not a justification of it.

Wobbly, painful steps look beautiful to only those eyes that can’t see beyond them. Natural beauty is not a commodity. Walk straight and true, with your eyes on the sky and your feet on the ground; every step an epitome of your inner worth and value. That is the true walk of a lady.

Photo Credit: sake028 via Compfight cc