I have a friend, an artist by nature, an entrepreneur by choice, who owns, of all things, a high-end shoe store.
Maybe it’s her holistic approach to business, the yogi in her personality that is impossible to extract from her soul, that her boutique is rather part meditation studio, part your best friend’s bedroom when her closet is flung open and all her clothes are pulled off the hangers and scattered around the room because she knows that the perfect dress for your one-off occasion is in here somewhere.
There’s an art to shoes, as much as there’s a luxury to them. Here’s the latest thing she’s shown me:
However, much like many things that serve women or that women are interested in – or come from them, like my high-pitched voice in this previous blog post, that are automatically seen as childish or frivolous, so are the eclectic, eccentric, colourful, stylish, empowering, leather bound, comfort-fit, two-toned, embellishment-studded, deliciously provocative, political-statement making pairs of heels that line the store.
My friend has found herself less in the business of selling shoes than she is in the business of selling the philosophy of shoes – that is, their raison d’être: the visibility of older women, the autonomy of younger women, the desire to stand out, the resistance to blending into the wallpaper, the opposition to being a human hanger, the joy of doing headstands, and the balance your life can possess when your femininity serves you and not the other way around.
Everyone wears shoes, but I understand that not everyone is interested in fancy or expensive shoes, at least not all the time (I’m wearing $20 flats from H & M as I write this). But lest you think this blog is about mounting some sort of frivolous fight against ugly footwear, or promoting a type of consumerist feminism, let me clarify:
It’s only that I realize there still exists a real fear – the fear of being too much, too big, too loud, too colourful and too female.