“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe
The next time you go to a party, or a night club, take a look around at all the shoes women is wearing. You’ll find a substantial number of them wearing high heels. After walking carefully and stumbling around all evening, they’ll get home and groan about their aching feet. Wearing heels, after all, is not the most comfortable thing in the world.
So despite the obvious discomfort, why do high heels inevitably form a part of the latest women fashion trends? We all knew the answer- to look pretty! Here’s a photo that shows us the effect of high heels:
Everybody in a fashion designing course (and every woman!) has his or her own opinion on why high heels make women more attractive. However, as much as we love art, today we wished to take a more rational view of the matter. So we looked into science to find whether it has put forward any explanations on the subject.
Let’s first try and back up our hypothesis, ‘High heels make women more attractive’, with some scientific evidence.
The French Study
A study published in the in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior asked three sets of French women, all wearing the same dress apart from the shoes, to approach people for a survey. One group wore a pair of flats, the other a pair of black shoes with a 2.5-inch heel while the final group wore pumps with a 3.5-inch heel with. After 10 tries, the women switched shoes.
The answer surprised nobody- the percentage of responses were directly proportional to the height of the women’s shoes, with the pumps recording an 83% success rate as compared to the flats, who were (rudely) turned away, 47% of the time. Thankfully, women were not so shallow, they were equally rude regardless of shoe size, with only 33% bothering to help their sisters.
But why are heels more attractive?
The author of the study, Nicholas Gueguen blamed the media for the association between stilettos and attractiveness, but there are other reasons.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Portsmouth gave us the answer- high heels increased the attractiveness of the women’s walk.
The researchers fixed reflectors to the heels, ankles, knees, hips and shoulders of women and then asked them to walk in high heels and flat shoes. They recorded videos, but only lights shone on the reflectors, and the themselves were invisible. Thus, men were assessing gait without being distracted by the women’s appearance.
Male observers consistently found the gait of the women wearing heels to be more attractive. The researchers say that walking in high heels requires shorter steps and more hip movement, which overemphasizes the feminity of the walk.
However, studies have also shown that women were heels were adjudged more attractive even when they were sitting. So it’s not all about the walk.
Males who agonized over the amount of attention given to women’s shoes should now have their answer- it’s their fault!