What's A Foot?
is a despot that must be obeyed. So step up and into our hottest
If the shoe fits, be careful of wearing it.
There was this mountain witch, see, and all things considered, she
looked pretty hip. In brief, that is Japan's take in claiming to
have reignited the craze for platform shoes. You thought the clunky
monsters died out in the '70s, along with Kiss? Boy were you wrong.
Repopularized five years ago by pop star Namie Amuro, the shoes
are part of the yamamba look so named for that hideous witch.
The platforms provide the mountain height. To these add white lipstick,
silver eye shadow and dyed blonde hair. Voila! Instant cred.
Well, that's the idea: the witch thing. A survey in Japan recently
found that 40% of all 20-something women own at least one pair of
lunar-like shoes. Do they all have blonde tresses? Of course not.
What they DO have is height. Platform shoes mean women are no longer
looked down upon. According to sociologist Shinji Miyadai, modern,
height-enhanced women are more willing to take the lead than men.
In fact, their extra centimeters are partly intended to intimidate
the "weaker sex." What a dull place the fashion world would be without
Sure, there are a few drawbacks in toeing the 30-cm-high mode. Vertically
challenged pop starlet Baby Spice suffered a cracked ankle, a sprained
arm and (abject horror) a bruised nose when she fell off her funky
footwear. Supermodel Naomi Campbell got away with (ultimate horror)
a bruised ego when she tumbled over on a catwalk. Platform shoes
have been blamed for at least three deaths in Japan, and in Osaka
they are banned for drivers. At the Chicago stock exchange, shoes
taller than 5 cm are also taboo. Those affected are mainly men,
who have been trying to stand out, or up, in the trading pits.
Personally, we blame that Uber retro icon Kim Jong Il for re-kick-starting
the fad. The North Korean leader bravely stuck it out through highs
and lows of platform fashion an inspiration to the genetically
down-at-heel to emerge as a man with real sole. Beneath those
floor-length trousers, we reckon, a revolutionary design may be
responsible for lifting Korean relations to a whole new footing.
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