We're all in need of some physical and emotional lifting from time to time and if all it takes is buying a pair of shoes then hell, I'm all for it! Cheaper than the average hourly rate for a psychiatrist and you have something to show for your money.
Imelda Marcos had a lot to show for her money. Back in the 80's she amassed the kind of collection that the average shoe-loving woman would die for - 3000 pairs give or take a few, every style, colour and design under the sun. When officials were investigating Imelda and her husband for racketeering she insisted her fancy footwear was her saving grace:
"Because when they went through my closets looking for skeletons, all they found were shoes."
I'm no Imelda Marcos but I do own my fair share of shoes. And then some. My collection has built up over the years and currently totals 80 pairs (85 up until last week, had a mini cull) including boots, heels, wedges, flats and footwear of the sporting variety. I didn't think that this was a particularly abnormal amount until I came upon an article in the Daily Mail which stated that the average British woman owns 20 pairs of shoes. Really? Not the average woman I know! Maybe I surround myself with shoe-shopping addicts in an attempt to assuage the guilt I feel for my apparent excess...
In any case, it cannot be denied that women have been seduced by footwear since time immemorial. A New York antiquities collector had in his possession over 1500 cuneiform tablets which offered startling insight into the life of a certain Princess Simat-Ishtaran who lived in Southern Iraq in 2010 BC. The tablets are, in effect, a financial record of the Princess and her staff, similar to the modern day credit card receipt. One particular receipt indicates that Simat-Ishtaran had quite the collection of shoes!
Could it be that we women have an in-built fondness and affection for that which we place on our feet? Are we genetically engineered for shoe lust?? Highly unlikely. But surely there is some explanation as to why these tootsie-vessels bring unbridled joy to the female sex.
Fashion critic Holly Brubach offers one possible explanation when she suggests that a pair of new shoes:
"might not cure a broken heart or soothe a tension headache, but they will relieve the symptoms and chase away the blues."
So shoes make us happy. I concur: every time I purchase a pair I break into a satisfied grin, my heart soars and my mood is invariably lightened, as is my wallet. But for me, personally, this explanation falls short: it reveals HOW we feel when buying shoes - elated and euphoric - yet it does not expound upon WHY we feel this way.
From a scientific point of view it would all come down to Dopamine, the hedonistic brain chemical, which, when released, produces a (legal) feel-good high. Forgive me Warriors, but I am going to forego the scientific postulations, as interesting and factual as they may be, because I already know that buying shoes makes me feel deliriously happy and I, for one, have no intention of analysing any happiness that comes into my life lest it vamoose!
For me it is far more rudimentary: it all boils down to confidence. When we don a great pair of shoes, high heels in particular, we are both figuratively and literally lifted, just like the great Mr Louboutin said. When you're getting ready to go out of an evening there is nothing more satisfying than finishing off that perfect ensemble with a pair of killer heels (and matching handbag of course, don't get me started on the handbags!!) - the fact that you may not be able to walk in them is entirely irrelevant and inconsequential since beauty is pain.
I'm hoping that no long term injuries will occur as a result of my penchant for lofty footwear but I'm willing to run the risk. Why? Because I'm in too deep: too deeply in love with the vast array of designs, styles, colours and fabrics and too deeply caught up in my harmless and inoffensive addiction.
Ginger Warrior, over and out.
P.S. Are you a fellow shoe addict? Tell me about your favourite pair! How many pairs do you have? How do you go about choosing your footwear? Is it based on colour/price/comfort/practicality/all of the above? I would SHOE-RLY be so grateful if you'd be willing to share!
Some fun little shoe quotes for your perusal.
"It is the flagrant lack of practicality that makes high heels so fascinating." - Stephen Bayley
"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe
"A woman with good shoes is never ugly." - Coco Chanel
"I'm not afraid of heights. Have you seen my shoes?" - Carrie Bradshaw
"A woman carries her clothes. But the shoe carries the woman." - Christian Louboutin
"Stiletto, I look at it more as an attitude as opposed to a high-heeled shoe." - Lita Ford
"It's great to be known for your shoes, it's even better to be known for your sole." - Kenneth Cole
And my personal favourite: