Quotable: Leora Tanenbaum On The Glamour Of Shoes

Specchio delle mie brame Dariya1 (Yaya) high heels mirror Unlike dresses or skirts or blouses, shoes hold their shape even when no one is wearing them, and therefore evoke a sense of promise. When you see a pair of stilettos on display in a department store or featured in a fashion magazine, you can imagine yourself wearing them and becoming the kind of person who lives a magical life, gliding around gracefully with no need for sensible, lace-up shoes. The fantasy just might become realizable by stepping into the shoes and inhabiting them.

Very often, what women “love” about shoes is this frisson of potentiality, of expectancy. When considering a beautiful or unusual pair of shoes, whether high heeled or not, they think: This is what I could be. If I wear these shoes I will become a new me—a better me—a me whom others will recognize as fearless and exciting. No longer will I be a woman who plods and clunks along. In these shoes I can be fun, edgy, sexy, unpredictable. Anything is possible.

Alas, as we know, the fantasy is never truly attainable. Gorgeous shoes do not lead to a carefree life, or even to the appearance of one.

—Leora Tanenbaum, Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them

[Photo from DeepGlamour Flickr pool, courtesy of Flickr user Dariya1. The photo's title translates "mirror of my longings."]