I. Yes, loving shoes is a gendered thing and there are a lot of stereotypes bound up in this. Yes, it’s totally stupid because you don’t have to be a girl to frivolously love shoes. Yes, yes, yes, we know, my boyfriend has like seven pairs of Adidas. Yes yes yes choice feminism, yes I admit I would kill absolutely any of you over the right pair of shoes. Absolutely any of you, I swear.
II. Okay, so what do we grab for when people demand we justify our relationship with shoes? My personal favorite is “lol I have [#] shoes and they’re probably worth more than your whole life but I paid less than $5 for each of them so why don’t you justify your lifestyle ok.” But how often do we run with the practical argument?
III. Nothing is less flattering that advertised practicality, but I know you’re familiar with “we love shoes because they are on our feet, because they are the foundation for how we stand, move, maintain ourselves.” I’m absolutely warm to this, not only because Working It makes you Work, and because I’m increasingly limited by my own muscles and loving shoes helps me with that, but because I like any kind of argument that locates clothing and fashion as something that absolutely mediates how we move (literally or otherwise) through the world. Shoes are like our interface with the solar system, really.
IV. But what about bodies that don’t walk or stand? What are you doing to those bodies when you constantly position walking or standing (“practicality”) as central to what might be called “ornament”?
V. What (aesthetic, ideological) ideals is practicality replicating and reproducing? How do bodies that don’t “function” re-orient what “ornament” really is?
VI. Never ever be friends with anyone who judges you for liking shoes. Never ever be friends with anyone who doesn’t care about shoes. Never be friends with people, only be friends with shoes.