My desire to perform femininity properly runs deep, and is tied directly to an irrational love of footwear. It runs in my family — one of my favorite anecdotes about my grandmother’s later years involves her declining ability to say words correctly, and the resulting bittersweet hilarity when all her stories about shoes became stories about shees.
But the truth is, footwear fetishes are common to my entire gender. It’s bred into us from the first moment we clomp around in our mother’s high heels, if not earlier. Shoes are an integral part of mainstream femininity, and performing femininity correctly means many shoes, impractical shoes, shiny shoes, shoes we can’t run or even stand comfortably in. Shoes like the ones I bought yesterday:
I love them, but I hate what they say about me and my desire to conform. One can only resist the evil one-two punch of capitalism and femininity for so long. And since I’ve worked across the street from a giant she-she mall for the last 18 months without blowing a wad of dough on something overpriced that represents everything I hate about the world, I figured I was about due.
I love the addition to my black pump collection som’n fierce, and have dubbed them my Irony Kicks. I could blame the purchase on simple peer pressure since my trip to the mall was engendered by two coworkers’ needs for makeup and vacation sandals, respectively. When surrounded by women who blow-dry and straighten daily, know how to blend cream foundation and properly layer eyeshadow, I ask you: What choice do I have but to purchase pumps?
But in truth, I have a long and storied history of shoe-love, with a focus on the black pump oeuvre:
This collection is pared down, and arranged chronologically from left to right. I could tell you exactly when, where and why I bought each pair. Meticulous? Yes. Unusual? No. Sick? Only insofar as society’s made me. My shoes may be a tool of the patriarchy, but that doesn’t mean I am. I hereby absolve myself of all shoe-related guilt.