Pain, Pleasure, and Killer Heels

I returned to New York to visit my family for Thanksgiving last week. I love going back to a town I once lived in(not that long ago) feeling like a visitor, rather than a resident. It's much easier to take advantage of all the wonderful activities a city has to offer when the realities of home aren't there to distract me. 

I went to see the "Killer Heels" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. It was captivating, complex, and well worth venturing out in the freezing rain. The exhibit explored the nuanced emotions that heels evoke, considering stilettos, kitten heels, platforms and everything in between all "killer."

 Forbidden Color by Aoi Kotsuhiroi (front), Louboutin Boot (left)

Forbidden Color by Aoi Kotsuhiroi (front), Louboutin Boot (left)

Many of these heels could easily be considered torture devices: thigh-high stiff leather, heavy hardware, oppressively pointy-toes. In addition to the structure, the color in the display above is at least memorable, at most vulgar. 

The pain inflicted by these works of art implies a level of mental stamina, power and strength by anyone who would attempt the feat of wearing them. 

While mental stamina may not be on the forefront of the mind when considering which heels to wear, the feeling of power that 'killer heels' create is a reason many women wear them. 

Heels add height, making you more commanding in any environment: the boardroom, the bedroom, the ballroom. They serve different functions, too. One pair will give you the appearance of authority with an exaggerated stature, while many others will create that universally recognized sex appeal. 

Every part of an outfit can be considered art, but heels are different. A pair of heels can literally stand on its own. Heels are meant to be viewed.  They are unapologetic about being more about fashion than function. They exist to be beautiful.