My mother has always called high heels “modern-day foot binding.” Foot binding was a practice in China to wrap, bend, and even break women and girls’ feet to keep them small so the feet would be perceived as more appealing. The damage was extensive, and many women were permanently disabled. Although the damage is less severe with high heels, the principles are the same.
Now a company called Heelarious is selling high heels for infants 0 to 6 months. This product is marketed as a joke but there are very real implications and consequences of having these shoes in the world. In addition to grooming babies into the painful practice of wearing these types of shoes, creating versions of very adult products for very young girls is very problematic. Women’s high heel shoes are made to accentuate certain aspects of women’s bodies to make them “sexier” (i.e. flex one’s calf; make one’s butt stick out, etc.). Do we really want to sexualize our 4-month-old babies with these shoes? The animal prints the baby shoes come in only exacerbate the sexual connotations.
Want to take action? You can e-mail the company at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at (425) 646-HEEL. You can also contact Lindsay Lefler, the Vice President of Corporate Communications at 913 S. Mansfield Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, or at email@example.com. There is also a way to e-mail through the website.