High heels – a woman’s prerogative

Recently a male friend put forward the proposition that high heeled shoes were the equivalent of Chinese foot binding. This is not an uncommon notion generally put forward by men and militant feministas. But it’s not the same at all. Although both have an erotic aspect to them – Chinese men got off on women’s tiny little feet and there’s something very sexy about a pair of high heeled pointy toed stilettos – Chinese girls had no say in the matter. At age 4 they would have their toes broken and forced down to their soles and then tightly bound. A hideous practice to keep women subjugated (they couldn’t walk very far on those little deformed stumps) and marriageable. The smaller the feet the more marriageable the girl. Not until the early 1930s did this practise stop.

High heels on the other hand are entirely optional. Women can choose to wear them or not. They can choose to wear them all the time or some of the time or just occaisionally. I have a huge selection of shoes and boots with varying heel heights, from ballerina flats, flat sandals, loafers, brogues, to boots on low heels, chunky platform shoes, mid- size heel stilettos to high heeled pointy toed Louboutins. Nobody is making me wear these ridiculously high heeled pointy toed shoes. I wear them because I like them and I think they’re sexy.

The other myth perpetuated by men and feministas is that women wear these shoes for men. Also not true. Women wear these shoes for themselves because they feel good in them. And as for the assertion that these foot crippling shoes are designed by men for their own satisfaction,  that might well be true but at least these men have a good sense of style and design. Personally, I think there’s nothing more gorgeous than a well made pair of pointy toed stilettos. We fashionistas do have choices. Oh, and by the way, Jimmy Choo is headed up by Jimmy Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi.

 

The moment I wake up… baring all

One of the things that goes by the wayside when I’m on holidays is makeup. Despite taking a limited range of cosmetics – foundation, tinted moisturiser, blush, eye shadow, eye liner (in 3 different shades), eye brow pencil and lipsticks, I very rarely wear any. Nonetheless I still pack my set of brushes and the basics plus a few extra eye shadows in case we go out somewhere fancy and I need to look good. But mostly, we’re just tramping around or driving in a car or walking and its either too hot or just not necessary. No one sees me and it does seem like a waste of time to put it all on and then have to take it all off at the end of the day. Much easier just to moisturise, sunscreen, apply a slick of lipstick and go.

I usually always wear eye liner (pencil) and mascara, lip liner and lipstick. This time, I’ve only been putting on lipstick – not even lip liner. Have my standards dropped? Or is it that traveling and being anonymous gives you the freedom to go au naturelle. Its liberating in a way. When I was working I spent quite some minutes preening – primer, sunscreen foundation, bronzer, blush, eye primer, shadow, liner, mascara, lip liner, lipstick. And the hair. When I stopped work there seemed no real need to do all that but I nonetheless wore eyeshadow, eye liner and mascara and the lipstick (with requisite liner) and more recently as the weather warmed up tinted moisturiser with a high SPF.

So as I pack my stuff at the end of each leg of our journey and put away the various cosmetic bags I wonder why I bothered taking so much. Its the “what if” factor. What if we go out and I need to look good? The reality is, no one sees me and no one cares. Its been quite liberating to forgo these beauty rituals and just make do with the essentials: moisturiser and eye cream and lipstick. Now if only I could pack this lightly on my next journey.