Monday, 3 October 2011

The Alpha Opinion-The Hype About Heels

10-inch heels from UK designer INSA-would you believe they're made from elephant dung?
Strutting your stuff in a favourite pair of stilettos can make any female feel glamourous but, as a girl of 5’10, I have to consider the health and safety risks. Taller girls have further to fall! That and, to be quite honest, heels really get in the way of my ability to dance (or what I call dancing) right into the next morning on a good night out.

However, guys still seem to prefer women in heels so this week, with our all-male fashion panel, I have been finding out whether they actually have a preference and what they really think of us hobbling home at the end of the night.

Unfortunately, they generally do prefer a well-heeled girl...great. The panel accepted flats for daywear but heels were the footwear of choice for a night-out. Our sportsman expected the same stamina as he musters on the field and declared they shouldn’t be “wimpy heels”, which is, apparently, anything less than two inches . The exact phrase was, “go high or go home”, though he was still quick to point out he wouldn’t be carrying any addional just-in-case flats for us (don’t worry, I soon put him straight about the male gender’s role in a relationship).

Mrs. Beckham certainly doesn't wimp out on her footwear, even when she's carrying fragile goods!
The other men agreed to heels, though over-the-top high wasn’t a general preference, thank-god. On having researched what a kitten heel was, the scientist decided they looked “too small to be worth it” but a moderate size was better than too high, otherwise the woman looks “weirdly taller than you’re used to”.

As for why men prefer women in heels, our musician came straight to the point; they “make a woman’s legs stand out”. Perfectly true, they do lengthen the legs, produce the appearance of toned thighs and calves and give the gluteal muscles a work out...or so I’ve heard. I couldn’t really tell you how effective they are as a substitute for the gym. Our businessman brought up the sense of power they provide and the scientist thought they were just classier.
Not exactly classy but made me smile
Interestingly, he referred to social convention for his reasoning behind the term ‘classier’. Heels are associated with formal wear in the same way as men’s ties and yet neither have a function. It just happens flats relate to a dull state of practicality and I suppose this then reflects on the woman wearing them.

There is nothing practical about the following heels (courtesy of but outstanding from an artistic point of view
Whilst stiletto clad women may look classy and confident at the beginning of the night though, we have all seen/ been the one hobbling to the bus-stop by the end of the evening. Can men really still find the negatives of high-heels attractive?

Gaga's Recent Trip
In general, no. Our businessman and scientist both saw the lack of appeal; “you need to maintain some class in heels, that’s the attraction”. Whilst our young man-in-training, who was so quick to choose heels over flats, declared it makes for a great laugh at the end of the night. Yet, the sportsman was big enough to admit he is normally in “blurred vision mode” by that point and hasn’t actually noticed before. We concluded that as long as you’re staggering in the same direction, a girl wobbling about in heels could get away with appearing to be in complete control!

So there you have it, pretty simple and pretty much what was already assumed; men generally do prefer women in heels. In fact, they like them for the same reasons that women do; confidence and attractiveness. You wonder why they don’t start investing in them themselves but that is another of the heels’ qualities; they highlight gender difference and emphasise femininity.
Heidi Platform Sandals-KG by Kurt Geiger-£200
Anyway, however interesting the psychology behind high heels may be and whether or not a pair of stilettos could actually create a bum for me, I have no intention of forfeiting my chance to dance pain-free or risking a trip to A&E. Call me boring but guys don’t like a girl taller than them either. So I’ll still take flats please or heels at a dinner-party of gorgeous, wealthy giants!