Although the desire to wear heels shows a young lady’s aspiration to grow into a beautiful woman, it is not something that should be rushed.
Whenever pre-teen me could (aggressively) avoid wearing heels, I did. I practically shivered at the thought of suffering through hours of toe-straining, heels-off-the-ground strides. I sat more than I stood. Me with heels on was a personified version of a newborn calf learning how to walk.
I would much rather be rolling along on Heelys.
More than Just Playing Dress-Up
First off, have you asked your daughter whether or not she actually wants to wear heels? Often times, mothers overlook how much of a strong influence they have over their children. Mothers get so excited to dress up and beautify their daughters, disregarding their maturity levels in exchange of the pressure to look good. They fail to realize they’ve unconsciously convinced them to grow up faster.
Mothers are the most influential role models for their daughters.
Playing dress up because they want to be “just like mommy” is rarely a matter of make believe anymore. If they want to play, let them. There’s a difference between dressing up and PLAYING dress up.
Unless you’re Barbie and you were born with perfect arches and invincible feet, you might as well practice the Chinese tradition of foot binding if you allow your toddlers and tweens to regularly teeter around in heels. Child’s bones are still forming most of their childhood years, so heels can cause premature deformities.
A few years ago, Harvard researchers discovered that wearing two inch heels increases the strain on the inner side of the knee by 23 percent. Heels 4.5 inches and higher are bad for back and posture. Bone malformations caused by heels are irreversible.
Walking in heels requires skills and poses risks. There is no need to impose unusual fatigue on the feet of a seven-year old during a formal event. Dressy flats will do just fine.
If your daughter strongly insists on wearing heels on special occasions (and you give in), consider the duration of the activity and the heel height. Prior to the event, make sure her shoe size is accurate and her feet don’t slide forward. Leave enough room for toe-wiggling. Bring a more comfortable spare pair for after the event.
What S(h)o(e)ciety Says
In a previous issue of Paris Vogue , pre-adolescent model, Thylane Blondeau, is pictured wearing heavy make-up, plunging necklines and high heels. In short, she looked like a mini sexy fashion model. Young girls keep being bombarded by images of the “perfect” body and outfit, so the growing trend is no surprise.
How ready is ready? Probably when they start being conscious of society’s expectations and their own personal preferences.
The media should serve as a reminder for parents to be aware about attracting the wrong attention. Rampant cases of pedophilia are on the rise, so you might want to think twice about what you allow your daughter to wear.
Heels do not define social status. World renown model Cara Delevigne has practically worn all types of designer heels on runways, but when she’s off duty, so are her heels. Her opinion? “The worst part of being a model? I hate high heels, more than anything.” Even famous stars opt for comfort rather than style.
Some mothers consider letting their daughters wear heels to boost their confidence because they are insecure about their height. Regardless of your daughter’s tolerance and confidence when wearing heels, there shouldn’t be any worries about her not reaching her desired height yet. Females don’t reach skeletal maturity until the age of 14.
Worth the Footwork?
Heels may suggest femininity, but they are not the defining factor. Trust me; the temporary three-inch addition to your height isn’t worth the aftermath of three days of blisters. I bet half of us are low-maintenance girls who aren’t really interested in walking a mile in Tyra Banks’ shoes.
They are only kids for a short time. Cherish it. They have the rest of their lives to wear red-soled Loubutins if they want to. Give them an enjoyable, comfortable and most importantly, a decent childhood.
‘You’re basically giving the green light to expediting childhood and going full speed on to womanhood,’ Dr, Shari E. Miles-Cohen says referring to the 2013 stir and little girl heels skyrocketing in the market, thanks to Suri Cruise’s fashion sense. “Childhood is over soon enough as it is,” she adds.
Dr. James W. Brodsky, a Dallas orthopedic surgeon and past president of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, advises that “healthy shoes for kids are similar to healthy shoes for adults — not too high a heel, plenty of width in the toe box, soft natural materials to conform to the shape of the foot and good support.”
Style is greater than comfort. Sneakers are in style again; especially white pairs, popularized by Adidas Stan Smiths. It looks like the (white) sneaker movement is here to stay. Since sneakers have become a popular go-to, those suffering from ankle or heel pain also have options of buying trendy shoes without compromising comfort.
The mark of a woman isn’t measured by the height of her heels. Stilettos can wait. Allow their bones to form accordingly. Putting your best foot forward does not have to mean risking falling backwards because what’s worse than having two left feet? Two damaged left feet.
Ayah Granada is currently a content writer and editor for Scoopfed.com. She is a former student journalist, part time bibliophile and TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast. You can find her on Twitter @ayahgranada.