Paris is known for many things, but if you ask a female she’ll probably tell you it’s the fashion capital of the world. With French designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rene Lacoste, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, it’s not difficult to guess why the City of Lights is coined as such. The annual Paris Fashion Week is looked forward to by fashion enthusiasts, drawing them into the city like bees flock to honey. If you walk along the cobble-stoned streets of Paris you’ll see a makeshift runway; ordinary citizens seemingly go through their daily routines as if they are styled. One can say that everything there is a work of art. The most magnificent “artwork” that women today are thankful for is something worn on our feet: high heels.
(Photo from http://blog.bubble-mood.com)
“I don’t know who invented the high heel but all women owe him a lot,” said Marilyn Monroe, and this is an understatement. When women wear high heels, there is a certain air of confidence around them due to the added height. A heel’s contours give an illusion of allure and sexiness, something that flats or flip-flops do not have. If you do a survey of Parisian women, we’re betting they’d opt for heels than any other shoe type. Try sitting on a café in Paris, and watch how the ladies strut—just as natural as, say, the French playing poker. And how “natural” is this? Why, if you must know, France is the birthplace of the universal card game. It was originally called poque, and after a few twists it became the game we know today. The popularity of poker in France is evidenced by the boom of online poker sites like fr.partypoker.com, as well as the cropping up of poker clubs such as the Aviation Club de France. The convenience of online poker sites make way for a more accessible avenue where players can further hone their skills. Along with high heels, the card game made a name not only in France but all over the world.
(Jason Wu, Fall – Winter 2012 – 2013)
One of the benefits of wearing heels as told by the beauty and wellness website BecomeGorgeous.com is, “The muscles in our body contract and relax. The calf contracts and adjusts to the angle we keep our feet in. Heels make them shorten and tighten making our legs look like we’ve been working out.” Studies even suggest that wearing heels may help improve pelvic floor muscles by being placed in an optimum position to contract and strengthen. Women’s online health magazine BestHealth.ca, however, gave us a warning about our favorite footwear: “According to Stephen Hartman, a chiropodist and the chief executive officer of the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine, heels that are two inches or higher propel the body forward, turning the simple act of walking into an awkward chore.“ The knees and hip areas therefore “picks up the slack”, which may lead to arthritis.