American Gender Codes High Heels English Literature Essay

In American society, high heels are common objects owned by about every adult female. Young misss have grown up take parting in the antique game of frock up ; draping pearls over pretty frocks, puting flowery chapeaus upon coils, and stealing on her female parent ‘s high heels. They become adult females who associate high heels to phrases such as “ beauty is pain ” . Lorna Luft has expressed what all adult females grew up believing, “ To me, being grown up meant smoke coffin nails, imbibing cocktails, and dressing up in high heels and glamorous outfits ” ( “ Lorna Luft ” ) . This proves that adult females have embraced their gender functions and have conformed to what society believes is beautiful. Although high heels can be beautiful, they represent a fancied beauty in which adult females embrace objects that demean and instill gender codifications and the desire to conform. High heels objectify adult females sexually.

High heels have a rich and diverse history. No 1 knows precisely who invented high heels. Many believe that it was Catherine de Medici who kick-started this innovation. She commissioned places that would do her taller for her marrying the future sovereign of France, Henry II, since she was rather little and because of her insecurity when compared to Henry II ‘s kept woman, who was every bit tall as she was beautiful ( “ The History of High Heels ” ) . More significantly, nevertheless, she wanted to hold a dominating presence that could be achieved with a taller build ( “ Dangerous Elegance ” ) . Catherine de Medici was, in fact, responsible for the formal innovation of high heels, in a manner sense ( “ Dangerous Elegance ” ) . However, hints of high heel-like places were found dating back to every bit far as 3500 B.C. in ancient Egypt ( “ Dangerous Elegance ” ) . Their grounds were non so much for aesthetics. The affluent and royal wore them, nevertheless, meatmans besides wore similar places that allowed them to hammer through the blood and meat ( “ Dangerous Elegance ” ) .

High heels are typically made out of stuffs that are appreciated by society. Some are made with echt leather and even. Others are made with diamonds, such as Jimmy Choos, or with ruddy colloidal suspensions, like Louboutins. The more expensive, the more worthy they are in society ‘s eyes. The fact that many of these high heels are trade name names merely adds to the desire adult females have to possess them in order to suit in. Nowadays, the most popular high heels are “ kill heels ” . These are looming black leather Louboutin stilletos with ruddy colloidal suspensions that screen largely the full pes, similar to ankle boots, and expose spots of tegument tauntingly. The name “ putting to death heels ” are particularly fitting because stilletos are really defined as a short sticker with a tapering blade. Even its name, both official and unofficial, suggests danger.

In both past and present American society, work forces and adult females have specific gender functions. In the past, work forces were the breadwinners whereas adult females were housewifes. Some behaviours have non changed much over clip. Work forces are typically loud and objectionable. They must look dominant and non demo marks of failing, such as shouting or sensitiveness. There are certain ways of stance and frock that suggested aggressiveness and assurance. It was manfully to take up a batch of infinite ( Devor 676 ) . Women, on the other manus, must be soft-spoken, soft, and fostering. They took up every bit small infinite as possible by maintaining weaponries near to sides and legs closed, toes indicating inwards ( Devor 674 ) .

Presents, adult females typically wear apparels that show as much tegument as possible, some times surrounding wrongness. They wear frocks, skirts, trunkss, anything to demo off their legs, which would be enhanced by high heels. This, evidently, was non for their ain benefits. Womans do n’t have on perilously high heels and obscenely telling apparels merely to believe, “ darn, I look good, ” every clip they passed a brooding surface. No, they dressed this manner for work forces. By have oning high heels, adult females exhibit more attraction and are more likely to capture a male ‘s attending. Just like animate beings, adult females are seeking to last by happening a mate. Similar to how a Inachis io might expose its brilliant feather to pull couples, adult females do the same by dressing provokingly with high heels. They braved the uncomfortableness and danger, with the words “ beauty is pain ” in head, in order to be deemed “ beautiful ” by society, anything to heighten their temptation and sexual entreaty. As Linda O’Keefe provinces, “ Not merely do you acquire these enormously long legs — and slender mortise joints and calves that look tauter — but you besides acquire this gloss of an hourglass figure, because your chests are pushed frontward. Your lower dorsum is arched. Your shoulders have to travel back, ” ( Sherr ) . These are all characteristics society hold to be beautiful. High heels have objectified adult females, turning them into sexual entities.

Marilyn Monroe one time expressed, “ I do n’t cognize who invented high heels, but all adult females owe him a batch ” ( “ Marilyn Monroe ” ) . As stated antecedently, no 1 is certain of who invented high heels. However, for an iconic figure to propose that it was a male shows that in American society, if an object was invented to further a adult female ‘s beauty and captivation, the discoverer must hold been male. It was besides widely believed, although most likely non expressed, that high heels were invented to decelerate adult females down and do it harder for them to get away their hubbies. It was non uncommon to see or hear about domestic maltreatment. An illustration would be in ancient China, adult females in high society, such as portion of the emperor ‘s hareem, wore uneven platform places that are called “ platforms, ” among other things, to decelerate their pace, prevent get awaying the hareem, and to do “ illicit liasons hard ” ( “ Dangerous Elegance ) . These adult females would besides adhere their pess tightly, get downing at immature ages, for long periods of clip to forestall growing. In ancient Chinese society, it was considered highly attractive for adult females to hold little pess. This shows the length adult females would travel to be beautiful.

There are some unconscious grounds why adult females wear high heels, nevertheless. Women wear high heels to bespeak power, where none is had, at least harmonizing to typical gender functions. Sigmund Freud, one of the most well-known psychologists, “ used the term Phallus to intend any symbol or representation of power, in physical world or in the head ” ( “ Sigmund Freud ‘s Theories ” ) . The tallness of high heels adds high quality and the heels become a phallic symbol proposing power. For illustration, as antecedently noted, Catherine de Medici wore them in order to hold “ a more eminent build ” ( “ The History of High Heels ” ) . This was most likely an effort at compensation for her short tallness, and the demand to hold a dominating presence as the married woman of a future male monarch of France. However, for some, the slow pace required in order to walk in high heels play upon gender functions of work forces as defenders, as adult females seem susceptible and powerless. High heels have besides been seen as economic indexs. It is an interesting position, and one perceiver has noted, “ Normally, in an economic downswing, heels go up and remain up — as consumers turn to a more showy manner as a agency of phantasy and flight ” ( Kelly ) . This fundamentally means that adult females who feel unequal, economic or appearance-wise, bend to high heels as a agency of compensation.

Womans wear high heels for legion grounds. They forge through the hurting of have oning high heels in order to appeal sexually to work forces. They brave the danger to look beautiful in society ‘s eyes. Womans slip their favourite braces of ruling heels to demo a sense of power, and to counterbalance for their insufficiency. High heels sexually objectify adult females and are a symbol of how adult females conform and want to suit into society.

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