The high heel debate: Why do women suffer for the sake of fashion?

high heel debate

The high heel debate

2 Aug 2018 KAYA VOICES

By: Natasha Archary



for the sake of fashion

As women, we tend to suffer for the sake of fashion don’t we? It takes us hours to get plucked, preened and ready. We have more grooming products and “technicians” to take care of our nail and beauty needs. Lasers, facials, microblading, peels, chemical masks, non-invasive mini procedures to plump our lips and make wrinkles less visible.


Most of these are painful (read uncomfortable). Getting ready for a girls’ night out recently, I reached a very accurate conclusion…as women we’re suckers for pain. Ready to suffer through the pain for a few good selfie opportunities, the lengths we go to just to achieve “the look” we’re going for are insane.


I remember the absolute agony I was in walking into the Vodacom Durban July this year. The theme “it is time” at the back of mind when coming up with a “look”, I decided on vintage Pocahontas. Now, the original Pocahontas, Amonute, who fostered peace between the English colonists and Native Americans, wore traditional Powhatan hide boots.


To re-create her vibe, I rocked high-heeled, pointy nude boots.

high heel debate

Why? What possessed me to think this would be a good idea? Even in Winter, Durban is blistering hot, with a humidity factor that turned my Indian hair into a frizzy mane that would make Simba jealous. Boots plus humidity, multiplied by a distance to walk on grass, equals angry blisters on the soles of innocent feet.


I was in pain, 10 minutes after checking into my first hospitality venue. How I survived the day and after party without taking those killer heels off, I don’t know. But I suffered for it for a week afterwards. All to maintain my high-end vibe at the July.


Did I learn anything from that fashion blunder? You would think so, but as I shopped for a new pair of heels for girls night recently, the pain I was in at the July became a distant memory. I wanted to look hot, no matter the expense and nothing makes a women feel sexier than a pair of heels.


The culprit this time? A pair of glittery, high heeled, silver boots. Was it a sensible buy? I probably won’t ever wear them again. There’s not much in my closet that they pair well with, so most ridiculous purchase I’ve made to date but they make me look fierce. So splurge.

high heel debate


They’re as uncomfortable as my updated Pocahontas boots, slightly lower heel but they hurt with a fiery fury. You may have heard the quote “Strong women wear their pain like they do stilettos. No matter how much it hurts, all you see is the beauty of it.”


Well isn’t that accurate.

High heel debate

Which brings me to the high heel debate, are heels bad for your health? Blisters aside, can they cause more serious health issues for women? There have been numerous studies on how high heels cause bunions, musculoskeletal pain and injuries to the wearer.


Scientists at the Faculty of Sports Science, at Ningbo University, in Zhejiang, China, reported that regular use of high heels can contribute to osteoarthritis of the knee joint. The most common injuries occur from women who trip whilst using heels. Fractures to ankles or sprains from trying to balance in heels, or stumbling in them were some of the reasons women went to casualty in South Africa.


Physiotherapists are advising against the use of heels, with long-term use linked to shortening calf muscles, increasing lower back pain and swollen ankles. According to health experts, the height that doesn’t fatigue muscles and joints is around two to three centimetres.


Will this wealth of knowledge stop us ladies? Who are we kidding? Suckers for pain, we own that title.


What was your worst high heel experience? Tweet us @KayaFM95dot9 using the hashtag #KayaOnline

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