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  • Topic: Why Do Tall Women wear High Heels?

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    • June 16, 2015 6:34 PM BST
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      Why do tall women wear high heels? Or why do us transgendered women wear high heels? I am only 1m 76 (5 ft 10 ins), and these days often wear flats. Partly age, partly to blend in more easily and partly cos my feet are a mess from wearing heels for such a long time.


      I lived in Holland for many years, and I say Holland not the Netherlands as I lived near Amsterdam. There the average woman is almost 1m 80, so when I went out and about I was about normal height - whether wearing heels or not. Coming back to the city of my birth, Manchester, was a culture shock in many ways. But mainly adjusting to living in a city peopled by dwarves; even now I feel like a real giantess when in flats ...never mind 3 or 4 inch heels. The average woman seems to be barely over 5 foot 2 inches, and even the men are small. Being big - as in dress size 22 - doesn't help either.


      But there are still days when I don my heels in the knowledge that I will now for sure be read wherever I go. At least in flats with my grey wig I usually pass. And in heels I can appreciate what it's like to be like Beckie and Trines who are both about 6 foot 3 or 4. The comments and smiles don't bother me...after all you can always reply with humour ..whether self deprecating or not.


      I hope you read the article below - another fine piece from Hadley Freeman in the Guardian about why women wear heels...never mind tall women. And I have given the link for those of you who want to know why women wear heels by reading the comments, all 480 of them at the time of writing this (16/06/15).

      It's usually because they want to - so we are similar in that sense. Or is it?


      All comments are appreciated.....why do you wear high heels?


      hugs


      Pauline xxxxx



      Hadley Freeman...Why do Tall Women wear High Heels?

      http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/jun/15/tall-women-high-heels-dilemmas-ask-hadley?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2


      PM, Lord’s Cricket Ground

      Why does any woman wear high heels? As regular readers of this column will know, I find the enduring existence of high heels both a frustrating mystery and a testament to the triumph of women’s neuroses over their mobility. I have been told that some women find wearing high heels easy. And that’s great! GOOD FOR THEM. But I bet they’d find walking in flat shoes a heck of a lot easier. I once interviewed a celebrity who told me she “couldn’t think in flats”, leading me to wonder if maybe the problem was she couldn’t think at all. See? Not only can I think in flats, I can be a right bitch in them, too.

      But your question is interesting, PM, because it reveals a common male misunderstanding about high heels (and rest assured, nervy Guardian readers, I am not making any assumptions about gender – I know PM is male because he asked me this question in person, at Lord’s, while I was watching a cricket match, something else I can do in flats.) You, understandably, think women wear high heels to be taller, but you are sorely underestimating the mental minefield that it is to be a woman.

      Oh, I know, men, I know: things are ever so complicated for the modern male these days. Should you hold a door for a woman or not? (Yes.) Should you offer your seat on the train to a pregnant woman or not? (Yes.) Should you wear aftershave or not? (No.) Is it OK to chat up women or does that now count as sexual harassment? (Depends how harass-y your chat is.) Honestly, it’s a marvel that you cope with this veritable minefield of dilemmas!

      But occasionally a question will pop through my postbox – or, in this case, be posed to me on the stands at a cricket ground – that will remind me how simple the world is when viewed through the average man’s eyes, not because the men themselves are simple, but because they are not weighed down with the amount of bullshit women are.

      Now, at the risk of stooping to bad-chicklit level of gender stereotyping, when I imagine a man’s perspective of the world, I picture a sunny, two-dimensional landscape, sort of like level one of Super Mario Bros (and yes, I am referencing Super Mario Bros for the second week in a row in this column). A land, you see, where clothing choices are made by what fits and what doesn’t, where food decisions are made by whether you’re hungry or not. A woman’s perspective of the world, however, is like when your TV aerial has been knocked out by the wind and the picture is an angry, staticky mess, where everything you choose – what to wear, what to eat, whether to eat – is freighted with a million twinges of self-loathing and soundtracked by the furious voices of rage that live in almost every woman’s head: “You’re too fat to eat that doughnut!” “You’re so ugly you may as well eat that doughnut because only that doughnut will ever love you!” “Fat!” “Ugly!” “Infertile!” “Gah!” Ahhh, sing it, Tammy Wynette.


      I remember the first time I listened to the Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free, and I got to the moment at the end of the majestic last song on the album, Empy Cans, when Mike Skinner muses, “My jeans felt a bit tight, I think I washed them too high, I was gonna be late so I picked up my pace to run”, and this difference between the sexes struck me anew. Again, I appreciate this is probably the worst kind of gender stereotyping, but I think I’m safe in saying that this is the kind of line only a male singer would write. A female singer, on the other hand, would say, “My jeans felt a bit tight, oh God, have I put on weight? It was probably because of that doughnut, wasn’t it? Oh sure, try to blame it on the washing machine, but we all know it’s because you’re a heffalump. THERE IS NO HOPE.”


      Which brings us, eventually, back to the high heels issue. You, PM, as we established, see high heels and think, “Aha! Women wear them to look taller.” Women see them and know there is much more going on here, such as, just off the top of my head, looking thinner; looking more feminine; being able to wear clothes that only look good with high heels (which to me is like making a car that only works in sunny weather, but whatever); looking thinner; making your legs look longer; having a more seductive walk; looking more defiant; feeling more confident (if immobile); looking thinner; looking thinner; looking thinner.


      So, as you can see, PM, there are many reasons a tall woman might wear high heels. The femininity issue is, I suspect, quite a common one, as height – bafflingly – is too often seen as an unfeminine quality in a woman and so, rather than being seen as yet more unfeminine by clunking around in a pair of flats, lots of tall women reach for the high heels. And yes, this makes them taller. Like I said, PM, being a woman is complicated. There might also be a bit of “Yeah, I’m tall – I’m tall and in high heels. What of it, shrimp?” going on, which I salute completely.


      I think the real thing to take away here, PM, is that a tall woman wears high heels for many, many reasons, most of which will seem completely bewildering to you in your sunny, two-dimensional landscape. Don’t ask her to explain (she might beat you round the head with a stiletto) – just enjoy your sunny, angry static-free view.
    • June 16, 2015 8:28 PM BST
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      I typically wear flats. But I don heels for dancing in some cases, especially if I take a turn around the pole. Yup. I've pole danced many times and it's a workout worthy of the Olympic sport it's becoming. And it's not unusual for a bed partner to want to see me in heels... and nothing else.

      I don't wear heels to work most of the time, though. I wear a closed flat shoe, preferably with a square toe and if it's in an industrial environment I'd even don some steel toes. It's a good investment.

      But why worry about one's own height? I've known some pretty tall women who weren't trans at all. Often a tall woman feels compelled to stoop in an unhealthy way because of the heteronormative view that women are supposed to be shorter than men. It's a view which I think has done damage to women everywhere.
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    • June 16, 2015 9:50 PM BST
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      Ahhhh heels. Let me think a bit. There was that pair of blue suade boots I had in my 20s which with re-heeling lasted until I was 30 ish. Now towards the end they had a 3" heel. Oh I loved wearing them and I'm 6' without heels. Oh I should mention I wasn't dressing at that time!

      More up to date I have just sold my pair of 5" heels as they killed my feet on the few occasions I wore them and hell they didn't really go with any outfit.

      So what heel do I wear, I'd say between 3" and 4" if I want to look tall and thin or flats if I want to walk any distance. But at least I have a choice my male ego has to make do with lesser heels.
    • June 16, 2015 9:52 PM BST
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      An interesting and thought provoking article as always Pauline. Thank you.
    • June 16, 2015 10:24 PM BST
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      As you say, Pauline, I am 6ft 3ins and despite this I almost always wear 3 or 4 inch heels when out and about, sometime even higher? Reasons are manifold. Main one is I'm head and shoulders above everyone else so I'm going to be looked at anyway - so what the hell difference will a few extra inches make? (Actually I'm not read that often in the street despite my great height, I think it's all to do with confidence, bearing and the way one moves). Second reason is I have short legs (32") for my height so high heels make my legs look more in proportion. Third: - I have large feet 10/11 so high heels foreshorten them so they look smaller. Fourth:- whilst I can walk well in flats, heels do help me to walk in a more feminine way. Fifth: - I feel bloody great in them!!! Hugs, x x
    • June 17, 2015 7:39 AM BST
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      Cool question,
      I guess this is my take on the reason's why at 5"11ft I personally adore wearing heels.
      I think and feel they make my legs and ankles look better, which in turn as silly as it might sound increases my confidence.
      Like many garments or items I choose to wear the heels sure are not the most practical choose but as said weigh that against how they make me feel and it's heels for me over flats.
    • June 21, 2015 6:24 PM BST
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      Thanks Pauline - I think the answer lies in their historic associations with women xxx
    • July 29, 2015 7:32 PM BST
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      I don't see why someone or certain people should be denied from wearing high heels or forced to wear flats because of their height. While they can obviously make you taller, high heels aren't about height, its about how great they look and just as importantly, how they make you feel.. High heels are a very female and empowering piece of clothing very much associated with and pretty much an icon of femininity, and to deny that to someone, is to deny what many consider to be a significant aspect of femininity. We already have enough restrictions and conventions from society without adding more i say..
      This post was edited by Emily B at July 29, 2015 7:57 PM BST
    • July 29, 2015 8:06 PM BST
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      I dont think high heels suit tall people. Makes them look a bit daft I think. I'm tall and never wear them. But I guess its up to the individual how they want to present themselves.
    • July 29, 2015 8:33 PM BST
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      I'm only 5'5", so heels don't make me too tall. They look so much more feminine and actually seem to make legs look better. It must be to do with the curviness they create.
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    • July 29, 2015 9:44 PM BST
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      I just don't know when height became such a thing.. I've seen genetic girls 6ft and over in my own town, and should they not be able wear heels either and looked on as strange if they do? If someone's tall, it doesn't mean that their body is disproportionate or that they don't look good in heels. I just think there's already all these restrictions and conventions in life already based on birth gender, without looking for and starting on other things like height. Most of the worlds top models are classically very tall, but i don't see anyone saying that heels don't suit them, in fact they get reverence for their height.. I wouldn't say i'm that tall myself but not short either, but even if i was tall i wouldn't let height stop me from embracing what's for some is a fundamental and big part of being feminine, as much as i would like to hope that it doesn't let a genetic girl stop her for worry about what other people think, that's how i see it anyway..
      This post was edited by Emily B at July 29, 2015 9:58 PM BST
    • July 29, 2015 10:00 PM BST
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      I make a concerted effort to look as feminine as possible, dieting, expensive hairstyling (finally), HRT etc etc. It takes a lot of effort. Looking and being feminine is difficult to achieve. I'm doing OK at looking 50/50. I get some right odd looks, being pointed at etc. But I shant ever be able to get that much more feminine than I am now. Wearing heels has nothing to do with it for me. If I wore heels I would almost be undermining everything that I am trying to achieve in my daily look. Heels would make me look daft. They wouldnt make me feel remotely feminine. They would make me feel ridiculous. How we present ourselves in terms of clothes, which includes footwear is to a degree restricted by the body we were born with. A big chap wearing heels because he feels feminine in my eyes equates to a fatbird on jeremy kyle squeezed into a pair of leggings which are so streteched they are almost see through, topped off with a lycra crop top. Both look ridiculous in my eyes and in both cases people should understand limitations on how they dress. If people however have no idea about what suits them or really couldnt give a toss, well fair play to them, but if it results in them ending up as objects of ridicule by ruder members of society than they cant say it wasnt expected.
    • July 29, 2015 10:05 PM BST
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      I agree with what you say in that it really comes down to the individual Ashley. You may not think you look good or don't feel good in heels, where another would think you look or they feel great in them. How it makes them feel also changes for the individual and we have different perceptions. Like i said in my previous post, the worlds top female models are tall, but they are revered for their height and never see them questioned or criticised when wearing heels.. But as you say, everyone has their own opinions and perceptions don't they.
      This post was edited by Emily B at July 30, 2015 3:22 PM BST
    • July 29, 2015 10:08 PM BST
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      yeh I get what you are saying but like I said in the post above, most of us are restricted to what we can wear because of the bodies we were born with, supermodels by definition tend to look good in anything be it gucci or matalan ;
      )
    • July 30, 2015 9:59 AM BST
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      The really big downside of wearing heels a lot (like everyday) is that you get foot deformities. I have ingrowing toenails on both big toes....a chiropodist said to me, usually I only see that with women who wear heels a lot.

      I started this thread and these days I do mostly wear flats, partly age and partly cos heels are not comfortable. The days when I could run in them have long gone.

      But I don't think we should delude ourselves that we compare to the world's top models ( who are usually below 6 feet) or forget that men wore heels to start with - either because they were small like Louis XIV or because they needed their feet not to slip out of the stirrups like the Musketeers.

      Many transwomen wear high heels and short skirts - some real women have the same look, but not many as a walk along any high street on an everyday basis will show; they usually keep the heels and short skirt/dresses so favoured by our community for nights out. Even then I was at a family party 2 weeks ago (about 150 there) and most women wore leggings or jeans or cropped trousers, a few in dresses (my nieces mainly) and very few in heels.

      Maybe my perceptions of how real women dress are deluded, though I am out on an everyday basis as Pauline, and heels are just not practical.

      These days I really do prefer the look which Brigitte Bardot invented back in the 1960s and which is back in fashion again - just walk down any high street and look at the young women.

      hugs

      Pauline xxx
      Why Do Tall Women wear High Heels?
      This post was edited by Pauline Smith at July 30, 2015 10:05 AM BST
    • July 30, 2015 12:26 PM BST
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      Can't say I have ever met a women or T gurl who has not at some time wished to wear heels !! but it is all about dressing appropriately !! . I am sure like women we would like to wear heels . For day , kitten heels ,if it is appropriate or flats are very stylish with lots of choices and still look very feminine . When ever I go shopping it is a case of ' hunt ' the dresses being worn and flats look great with leggings or jeans !!However , as Ashley and Pauline says , sometimes our body or more to the point feet just do not allow the choice of heels .

      Evenings , most women and T gurls wish to wear a dress or skirt and heels always look best but very high heels over 5" should be reserved for just dinner and very little walking !! As they say experience is an expensive teacher and I now realise that walking around the bars and clubs for 8 hours makes a good fitting shoe a painful experience !! . I now buy wide fit and a size up !! and no higher that 4 " and now I can get on with enjoying the whole night with very little discomfort ( most of the time ) ha-ha .

      Of cause these are just my personal views , would love to hear how others deal with a problem we ALL face !!

      " KEEP THOSE HEELS CLICKING GURLS "
    • July 30, 2015 12:39 PM BST
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      Even in heels I'm smaller than most. At Sparkle I wore flats and really did feel like I was in 'Land ot the Giants' (some on here will remember the TV show from the 70's, or was it 60's?). Most people I met were surprised at my height as some of them were in excess of six and a half foot in heels! I was the little blonde girl who a few said they could just pick up and carry away. Makes me feel more feminine being small in that respect. Overall I think heels are and always were purely an aesthetic preference and have very little to do with height in most cases.
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    • July 30, 2015 12:48 PM BST
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      oi Pauline I'll have you know I compare to a super model, but only the ones that get off their faces and make ridiculous life choices, well and thats only in behaviour and not in looks lol
    • July 30, 2015 1:14 PM BST
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      I seriously doubt if any of us have the looks to make it as supermodels, though the odd one or two of us is photogenic as long as its not in close up. Notice that Caitlyn Jenner, even with all her plastic surgery, never has any close up pix and I suspect many special effects are used to make her look half way decent in those we do see. All those special lenses and filters which they use for all mature women in the public eye.

      Right now I doubt if any supermodels are worrying about us trans peeps stealing their jobs - though maybe the ones who prance around on catwalks could be as most clothes are designed for titless hipless women, with one big exception though as at 5 foot 10 they are dress size 6 not 16.

      Even Ashley takes a bigger size than a 6 - don't forget in the high fashion world size 12 and up are plus sizes - and she is very slender.

      Ashley does of course follow some of the precepts of being a super model, like indulging in substances ( a la Kate Moss) and loosing off diatribes at all and sundry (aka Naomi Campbell) and she is probably about their age - mid 40s - and she is photogenic.

      And lest we forget - like BB - Ashley likes cats.
    • July 30, 2015 2:23 PM BST
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      and don't forget to be a super model you also need a near totally symmetrical face - i'll blame my mum and dad for that one, as well as blaming them for the big ears, big nose and bandy legs (couldnt stop a pig in a passage me). Apparently substance abuse be it alcohol, nicotine and other more exotic substances is also genetic so they can have that too whilst I'm in a giving mood :)
      This post was edited by Mia Wallace at July 30, 2015 2:24 PM BST
    • July 30, 2015 2:40 PM BST
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      Can I have some too please if there's any left over?
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    • July 30, 2015 3:23 PM BST
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      Mx Ashley said: ''yeh I get what you are saying but like I said in the post above, most of us are restricted to what we can wear because of the bodies we were born with, supermodels by definition tend to look good in anything be it gucci or matalan ;
      )''
      -------------
      And heels :)
    • July 30, 2015 3:48 PM BST
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      Pauline Smith said: ''The really big downside of wearing heels a lot (like everyday) is that you get foot deformities. I have ingrowing toenails on both big toes....a chiropodist said to me, usually I only see that with women who wear heels a lot.

      I started this thread and these days I do mostly wear flats, partly age and partly cos heels are not comfortable. The days when I could run in them have long gone.

      But I don't think we should delude ourselves that we compare to the world's top models ( who are usually below 6 feet) or forget that men wore heels to start with - either because they were small like Louis XIV or because they needed their feet not to slip out of the stirrups like the Musketeers.

      Many transwomen wear high heels and short skirts - some real women have the same look, but not many as a walk along any high street on an everyday basis will show; they usually keep the heels and short skirt/dresses so favoured by our community for nights out. Even then I was at a family party 2 weeks ago (about 150 there) and most women wore leggings or jeans or cropped trousers, a few in dresses (my nieces mainly) and very few in heels.

      Maybe my perceptions of how real women dress are deluded, though I am out on an everyday basis as Pauline, and heels are just not practical.

      These days I really do prefer the look which Brigitte Bardot invented back in the 1960s and which is back in fashion again - just walk down any high street and look at the young women.

      hugs

      Pauline xxx''
      -------------
      I agree with you on the comfort issue, they can get uncomfortable to downright painful after a while. I never suggested that anyone wears them all the time, though i know of some GG's that do. but i know the reality is , is that they are generally worn on occasions and when you want to look your best, but some wear them because it just makes them feel good, and who am i to argue :) I do think its a bit of a misconception that cd's/tg's only wear short skirts with heels, or indeed heels all the time and do the washing up in them, and i couldn't run in heels at any age, not really lol. I for example tend to wear longer skirts around the knee length, and if i want to look smart, a short lbd or trousers. I'm not a fan of that look in your Brigitte Bardot photo if i'm honest, but that's what i mean about everyone having their own perceptions..

      I was not comparing myself to the worlds top models, god no lol, it just so happens that the words top models happen to be tall and specifically selected for their height among other things, it certainly seems to be a pre requisite which is why i mentioned them. The point was, is that i don't see people say they(or any tall GG come to that)told they don't look good in heels because they're tall, and i personally wouldn't want someone to feel they are denied something because of someone else's perception/opinion on it. While i agree, if your super tall, its probably not good to make yourself even taller, but i wouldn't begrudge some who did, its up to them, but to be honest, its not something i even ever thought about until i saw it here in the topics and never thought it was a 'thing'.

      You talk about flats being back in fashion, which makes me think about how genetic women are dressing less and less femininely as time goes on. I almost feel that the trans woman is becoming the new traditional woman, who embraces and likes to embrace their femininity and thinks more the the classically traditional woman, which is what i think a lot of guys find attractive about trans women, but perhaps thats for another topic lol :)
      This post was edited by Emily B at July 30, 2015 3:56 PM BST
    • July 30, 2015 3:50 PM BST
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      Mx Ashley said: ''and don't forget to be a super model you also need a near totally symmetrical face - i'll blame my mum and dad for that one, as well as blaming them for the big ears, big nose and bandy legs (couldnt stop a pig in a passage me). Apparently substance abuse be it alcohol, nicotine and other more exotic substances is also genetic so they can have that too whilst I'm in a giving mood :)
      ''
      -------------
      Lol :). Yes, i know there are other requirements hun, i was just saying that that is one of them and just talking about their height
    • July 30, 2015 3:50 PM BST
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      you wouldnt think it was a misconception if you were at sparkle

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