Killer stilettos are incredibly sexy
TOTTERING along on stilettos can bring confidence and power - and can make a woman feel beautiful, more feminine and with oodles of sex appeal.
Fashion expert and stylist Paledi Segapo of Palse Homme says sex appeal is power because it is a way to get people to do what you want and high heels are the prime symbol of erotic femininity.
"Heels make a woman's feet look smaller and her gait becomes much more refined, making her calves and shins tensed and elongated. They also keep a woman's posture bolt upright," Segapo says.
He adds that shoes with high heels also make legs appear defined and that wearing them can make a woman statuesque and so more attractive to the opposite sex.
This explains why men like women in high heels.
Studies show that tall people inspire more trust and are perceived as better leaders.
For the record: it's not just shorter women who love high heels.
Some tall, shapely, long-legged models, like Sonia Booth, love their heels.
Such is the power of these killer shoes that celeb Uyanda Mbuli has confessed to doing yoga just to be able to walk in them for longer periods.
"The power of the stiletto derives not only from the fact that it makes you walk taller, but it has a slimming effect on your body too," Mbuli says.
But walking in 10cm heels from your workplace to your toddler's creche and home every day, just to look sexy and fashionable, can put a lot of strain in your body.
For ages now feminists have dismissed stilettos as demeaning, constraining and deforming women.
Phumza Koti, woman activist and feminist, says: "Stilettos have been touted as a symbol of female grace and beauty. On the flip side though, they give the impression that a woman is helpless and vulnerable.
"Women are expected to squeeze their feet into these uncomfortable shoes all in the name of looking sexy. In some companies it is even policy to wear these killer shoes. After wearing them all day, women are expected to go home and perform domestic duties in blistered and corned feet," she says.
Doctors have also criticised high heels as dangerous. They say these shoes are the cause of bunions, stress fractures, back problems, disfigured toes, knee pain and increased risk of arthritis.
For pregnant women, the risk of injury is higher, doctors say.
They also say that wearing high heels frequently lead to painful and unattractive nail infections.
According to Dr Zinzi Mbuqe, stilettos throw off the balance so much that your spine has to bend backwards to compensate.
She explains that the spine is the central core of the body.
"The spine protects the spinal cord, which provides communication from the brain to the rest of the body, enabling mobility and sensation via complex interaction between the nerves, bones and muscles. It also provides support for the rest of the skeletal structure.
"If a woman walks in heels that are higher than five centimetres, several pressure points develop in various parts of the body experiencing stress. Also, with the feet in a pointed-down position, the leg muscles and lower back are strained," Mbuqe says,
But this does not mean that women have to stop wearing heeled shoes altogether. In fact, heels that are 2.5cm to 5cm high are better for the feet than heels under 2.5cm because these might not provide adequate shock absorption according to www.majesticaromas.com.
Dr Mbuqe advises women who wear high heels to sit as much as possible and to try not to walk long distances. She also advises women to be extra careful when walking on uneven surfaces.
She adds that by wearing high heels less often, women allow their feet, legs and backs time to recover.