When I was a little girl, around nine or 10-years-old, I would play in my Mama’s closet. I would ravage through the bottom of her closet where she kept her shoes, put heels on and strut up and down the “imaginary catwalk” in her bedroom. There was one pair, in particular, that I loved— red leather slingbacks. I’m pretty sure then I didn’t know what sexy was then, but I knew those shoes were hot. When they were on my feet, I felt grown–like my Mama.
I would walk into the living and ask her how they looked on me. (Note: I’ve always had big feet, so I could fit my mother’s shoes early on. I blame my height. Size 9.5/10s FTW!) She would tell me they were “cute” and move on, like most mothers did, I’m sure, when they saw their baby girls wobbling in their shoes and beaming with accomplishment. She recognized that I was just playing dress-up, living a fantasy that wouldn’t become a reality until atleast 5-8 years later.
As an adult, I still do the same thing. Only now, I have my own closet to rummage through. My shelves are stacked with boxes and boxes of shoes—some sensible, some not. I still put them on and sashay in my room, eyeing the shoes in the full-length mirror. I stare at those shoes, which have stiletto heels that are usually three inches at minimum. I give my reflection a look of satisfaction and say in my head (or aloud), “That’s some sexy shit!”
We, women, all do. A pair of sexy heels is a key to unlock the door to womanhood. It’s what Victoria’s Secret dreams and catalogues are made of. Sometimes it’s that one thing that can transform a freakum dress from a failure to fire. It’s what makes men turn their heads (atleast after they’ve stared at your booty). For many of us—it’s love in a box.
Perhaps that’s what young girls ages 5-12 think when they rock their heels. Two weeks ago, Good Morning America aired this segment, “Little Girls in High Heels: Cute or Inappropriate?” Yes, the kids are wearing heels now. Maybe not stilettos, but “kitten” heels that are as high as ”2. Check lil mama in the denim outfit and red Mary Janes.
Are we sexualizing our young girls at an early age, like the news segment suggests? Somewhat. Is a 7-year-old wearing kitten heels thinking about sex? I don’t think so, but consider this: There are certain rights of passage that girls go through that take them from girls to teens to women. Most girls will remember their first pair of heels, the first time they were allowed to wear makeup, their first “formal” or “party dress.” Those are moments that I waited for and longed for. I felt sense of accomplishment, as if I’d “arrived.” To what, I’m not so sure, but I was was step further away from being labeled a “little girl.”
Girls aren’t experiencing that as much, as they’re already dabbling in wearing (not playing with) makeup, heels and the like. Considering that studies show most adult women who wear high heels in their younger years will most likely experience foot/ankle pain in their later years, I think putting off the heels is a good idea. Girls, you don’t want our troubles yet. Maybe as I’m getting older, I’m getting a tad conservative, but those are my thoughts.
And this monstrosity……
I found this through one of Lil Duval’s tweets (I stopped following him months ago, but every now and then, he says something sensible.):
LilDuval: this lil n*gga @******** only 14 years old. im scared as hell bout our future
I know kids get tattoos before legal age, but this is ridiculous. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I’ll just sigh. Le sigh