The pain of graduation: 5-inch heels
After attending several graduation ceremonies and being regaled with a treasure chest full of bejeweled uplifting messages about the grand journey of life (“This is not an end but a beginning”) and the meaning of success (hint: “it’s not about money”) and the richness of friendship and the importance of persistence and the power of big dreams, I can say that the overwhelming image that I carried away from each of these lovely occasions is this one: Girls and young women with sky-high heels literally tripping down the aisle to pick up their diplomas.
Call me unsentimental, call me old fashioned; go ahead and accuse me of being in the pocket of the podiatrists’ lobby.
There is not a single decent reason for eighth grade girls or 12th grade girls or college graduates, or, frankly, women of any age, to be wearing heels (considered by podiatrists to be more than two inches high) that not only are impossible to walk in normally but strain the knee, push hips and spine out of alignment, shorten calf muscles, cause toes to hurt or become numb, lead to hammertoes and joint pain in the ball of the foot, impair balance and risk a sprained or broken ankle, or even create a bony enlargement on the heel known as Haglund’s deformity.
You’d think that knowledge of the Haglund's deformity possibility alone would significantly cut down on the sale of 4-inch and 5-inch and 6-inch heels. Aren’t 3-inch heels back enough?
Yet in ceremony after ceremony, you can see the audience nervously watch some poor girl start to topple as she heads toward the podium to collect her diploma, and collectively breathe a sigh of relief when she steadies herself just in time.
If you’ve been shopping for graduation or prom shoes, you know what I mean.
Somehow, American women have been sold on the notion that they look better in shoes that are harmful to them.
Nowhere in the curriculum from preschool through college graduation is there enough emphasis on teaching girls enough about physiology, long-term health consequences, or the importance of having the strength to say ‘no’ to sadistic shoe designers.
So I propose that somewhere in between lessons on quadratic equations, the elements on the periodic table and whether Romeo really loved Juliet or just loved being in love, teachers spend more time explaining why it would be better not to malign the female foot.
In fact, the British government helped fund a six-week program for 16-year-olds to teach them how to walk in high heels to prepare them for a career in the business world and for their social lives, according to the Daily Mirror. Now that’s some forward thinking.
Either we are going to have to rely on schools to give lessons on how to buy shoes, or parents and women of all ages are going to have to learn how to just say “no.”
It would be nice to attend a graduation commencement and be able to concentrate on the graduation.
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| June 17, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories: Student Life | Tags: girls tripping at graduation, graduation ceremonies, graduation shoes, health and high heels, heels and feet, high heels, high heels at graduation, high-heeled shoes and girls, prom shoes, shoes and fashion and graduation, the dangers of wearing high heels, what high heels do to feet
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