She toddled out to the lounge room looking like some sort of bejewelled, Dame Edna-ish dwarf.
Her neck was adorned with strings of shiny plastic beads. Silver chandeliers were clipped to her ears. A gawdy tiara sat askew on her head. And the clip clop sound on the tiles came from the oversized high heels on her pudgy feet.
Who was this two-year-old? Certainly not what I ever imagined my daughter to look like. But it was her.
When Libby turned two she was given eight pairs of plastic high-heeled shoes.
I kid you not.
We accepted the gifts with grace and I let her try them on.
Her dad in particular was dead against the idea. He wanted to bin the sparkly lot immediately.
I reasoned with him that the minute we completely outlawed anything would be the minute it became more desirable to our children.
So, out she came in her ridiculous get-up and I stifled a giggle.
Then, it happened. She took a step and twisted a foot awkwardly. Her tiny body fell faster than we could catch her and she went sliding across the floor.
“I told you,” my husband said. “Get this off her!”
As Libby wailed, I de-frou-froued her and wiped her tear-stained cheeks.
The shoes were ‘donated’ and she hasn’t asked for them back.
A few weeks ago I pulled on my own platform heels for a night out with some girlfriends.
“Silly shoes,” Libby said, much to the delight of her dad.
The trouble is, I know they’re silly. I struggle to walk in them and if I wear them for longer than a few hours I pay for it the entire next day.
So, why do I do it? I’m 5 foot nothing and I like the way they make me look.
Maybe one day I’ll grow into a figuratively bigger person, confident enough to accept my short stature in all its flat-footed glory.
Actress Emma Thompson caused a fuss this week when she accepted a Golden Globe with heels in hand. She then attended the SAG Awards in flats and made this comment:
“I’ve taken my heels off as a feminist statement really, because why do we wear them? They’re so painful. And pointless, really. You know, I really would like to urge everyone to stop it. Just stop it. Don’t wear them anymore. You just can’t walk in them, and I’m so comfortable now.”
I admire her. I really do. But, you know, she’s kind of tall anyway. Sigh.