The Higher the Heel, the More of a Woman

IMG_2377I bought a pair of nude high heeled shoes from DSW the other day–another pair to add to the mountain of never-worn heels I have accumulated over the past decade. I can count on one hand the number of times I have worn heels in 2017. And when I wear them, I wobble. The ever-present risk of breaking my ankle is a deterrent, but even more of a deterrent is that I will be found out as a fraud. For you see, I am a 33 year old woman who has yet to fully come to terms with the fact that I am not the picture of femininity I want to be. And this desire to be feminine, to be a girly girl, is at total odds with my feminist ideals and independent spirit.

Look, it’s not that I don’t believe those two things can’t coexist harmoniously; every woman can choose to create the persona that she wants, the one that makes her feel her very best self. What I’m saying is that after 33 years of living in this body and with this brain, I have yet to reconcile these two parts of myself. A part of me wants to know how to curl my hair into those loose waves that look so fetching and romantic. Another part of me wants to go hiking in muddy terrain. Yes, these two things can both happen, but I find myself struggling to find a balance, and to accept myself for who I am and how I am.

I hate showering, but I use Korean face masks on the reg.

Shopping and malls make me sweat and give me anxiety but I’d never turn down a beautiful Chanel bag.

I will talk to anyone about pretty much anything but I still live with this antiquated notion that girls don’t fart. (I really hate myself for this one.)

I own closets full of clothing but I wear the same three sweatpants and t-shirts that I pick up off the floor basically every day.

I love my alone time, but I want a man to wake up next to every morning.

Like, who the fuck even am I? I wish there was an easy answer. For someone as seemingly open-minded and progressive as myself, I crave the straightforward labels. And in my case, as in the case of many women of my generation, it’s not that simple. There’s this constant struggle, this push-pull, to be everything (I feel this is akin to the whole idea of “having it all” which to me is the biggest fucking sham of today’s society). I can’t be everything. I can barely be anything. I want to wear high heels and walk in them gracefully, but it’s just not gonna happen, so why do I keep buying them? Why can’t I just be ok with the fact that flats are my go-to shoes? Or that I am a bundle of contradictions that somehow come together to create a relatively decent person?

I don’t have any answers, just a neverending series of questions about identity and what it means to be a woman. I know nothing. I question everything. I try and act on what makes me happy, what makes me feel like my authentic self but is it wrong to want to wear high heels and look good strutting down the street?

My dad always asks me if I go to the salon to get my hair blown out. No, dad, I do not. I’d rather spend the money getting drunk off IPAs at my favorite hole-in-the-wall bar. But I have been known to get a manicure every now and again. So what does it all mean? Can I be both those girls? Intellectually, I know I can, but in my heart and in some deep part of my core, I crave what I perceive as the comfort of being firmly rooted in one camp or the other. Would that it could be so…

I’m going to wear the heels at the next event I attend. But I know how it’ll all shake out: 20 minutes into the dancing, the heels’ll come off, and I’ll be barefoot on the dance floor, the soles of my feet gathering dirt and grime–and me giving very few fucks about it.

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