Foot Fetish

Five-inch heels in perforated leather with multiple=

Kokon to Zai orthopedic heels, as seen on I’M REVOLTING, photographs by Shop It Right Now. I am considering, among other things: the figure of the disabled body as a problematic metaphor; the eroticization of medical apparatus as well as the disabled body; phenomenological prosthetics that transform consciousness of self in the world; the blurring of the always precarious line between medical-surgical discourses of necessary utility and rehabilitation and “elective” aesthetics and beauty; clothing (and shoes) as armor against access and intimacy; Seoul’s pink parking spots designated for women in high heels; and finally, this quote from Rosemary Garland Thomson:

“Many parallels exist between the social meanings attributed to female bodies and those assigned to disabled bodies. Both the female body and the disabled body are cast within cultural discourse as deviant and inferior; both are excluded from full participation in public as well as economic life; both are defined in opposition to a valued norm which is assumed to possess natural corporeal superiority.”

–Rosemary Garland Thomson, 1997, “Feminist Theory, the Body, and the Disabled Figure,” The Disability Studies Reader, Ed. Lennard J. Davis (New York: Routledge, p. 279)

6 Comments

Filed under (AD)DRESSING GENDER & SEXUALITY, FASHIONING THE HUMAN, THEORY TO THINK WITH

6 responses to “Foot Fetish

  1. It reminds me strongly of Lady Gaga’s videos (Paparazzi) playing with the imagery of disability. Though I think there’s a lot of her act that’s condemnable, I appreciate her project of working to queer the pop music industry to the best of her abilities.

  2. anwa

    I’m sorry that I can’t think of anything more eloquent than this to say, but isn’t the phrase “orthopedic heels” an oxymoron? I know that if I had foot problems, I would stay away from anything that could potentially make them worse.

    • Right! I think that the label’s intention may be “playing” with the oxymoron, though to what end I don’t know. I couldn’t find the shoes in the shop, but that’s how these heels are referenced by Shop It Right Now.

    • Normally I’d suppose so but not in every case – I have foot and tendon problems that stem from childhood walking issues that mean I’m actually more comfortable/in less pain wearing heels than sensible shoes or flats. Even VERY high heels. But they’re usually poorly constructed in other ways and I think the concept of a high heel with better padding and pressure regulation is really excellent! But yeah, as I said, I think normally it’s not going to be an oxymoron…

    • *typo edit* it’s GOING to be an oxymoron, not “not going”. Sorry!

  3. looks like orthopedic chic might be a *thing* this year – vena cava’s first shoe collection is inspired by orthopedics. but i’m not sure how comfortable walking on flat blocks of inflexible wood might be.

    http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2010/09/video_the_vena_cava_ladies_fin.html

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