Feedback: Why do women endure high heels


When I published my views on this, I immediately knew some of the arguments would stir some interesting debates, which is the entire purpose of this blog. Remember there are no perfect answers. Let's look at some of the comments.


1. "High heels accentuate the female form. That's entirely a personal opinion and not proven"

My Response: Well that's what majority of us men think. Appearance- Attractiveness, Beauty etc are relative characteristics. If you ask 5 men to rate the same set of profile pics of randomly selected women, you would  still never find a ranking consensus.However, if you ask them to list 5 female characteristics which they are immediately attracted to, you are bound to find atleast 3/5 common ones.

Since I am no authority on fashion, I am relying on the famous Fashion Historian Caroline Cox spent her life studying fashion trends and it's influence and power on both sex. She wrote an entire book on Heels :)



2. "There is no empirical evidence that tall women are more successful"

Response: Agreed, Thus I have amended my reasoning. There are studies that show taller men have a slight edge both socially and professionally (read Malcolm Gladwell -Blink). Hence I will stick to heels enhancing the female form/posture. However, taller women do get noticed.



3. "What about tall women. They like to wear heels but are afraid to intimidate their shorter male peers"

Response: This is a very interesting one which I overlooked. Women on an average are 3-5 inches shorter than average men, in most societies (wiki height distribution). Thus our initial reasoning will still hold in most cases.

Let's try to explain this. The tricky part is that the utility gains from heels could be offsetted by the disutility of being percieved taller than their male peers. My first suggestion to them of selectively going out with taller males was shot down immediately :)

The answer lies in understanding which of these two effects is stronger. The Nash Equilibrium would tend towards that solution. Thus, we have 2 cases. Tall women will tend to wear heels if they think the relative advantage of wearing heels compensates for any social discomfort. Else they will wear flats.

It may seem logical to think that the taller the individual is, more is her inclination towards heels. What do you think about this?


Thanks Precilia, Mingming for their comments! Please do keep your feedback flowing. It is a lot of fun thinking and analyzing phenomenons which we take for granted. Thanks.