I was recently asked by a journalist to comment on The Duchess of Sussex’s preference for wearing high heels through all of her pregnancy. I had my initial stylists reaction, but given I haven’t been through a pregnancy myself – I thought I should reach out to my clients. I asked one who wore heels throughout both of hers and why she didn’t switch to wearing more comfortable, less risky flat shoes. She said: “I have never worn flats. I wore heels through my both pregnancies no problem – although I didn’t wear stilettos”. Interesting, because I think I would wear heels throughout my pregnancy if I ever did decide to have a baby.
Which got me thinking about the medical implications, where perhaps maybe style shouldn’t come above your health? I discovered a piece where Dr. Laura Riley, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian in New York City spoke about this exact scenario. When asked by Good Morning America if pregnant Megan Markle should be wearing high heels when so heavily pregnant, Dr Laura Riley was quoted saying: “If she’s not having any of the symptoms, then there is no reason to change her behavior” She went on to day that “It comes down to comfort and common sense.”
And I agree. I’ve lived my whole life in heels, and I find heels comfortable and I’m also partial to a stiletto heel. The right shoe can be very tricky to find, but all of my high heels I wear are comfortable for me.
Dr. Laura Riley gave Megan some words of support saying: “Good for her and I think she looks awesome.” – and again, I agree with her.
The role of high heels
When we celebs like Victoria Beckham say they can’t concentrate in flats, it’s no surprise to me why. Heels elevate and provide the grace, power and poise, that waddling in comfy flats just can’t replicate.
Many executive women swear by their favourite pair of pumps to boost their self-confidence, keeping them proportionately above table height – and taken serious by their male counterparts. But that doesn’t mean a gal can’t wear flats from to A to B (I know I do). We all have taxi shoes and there’s a reason why. Shoes can alter the way you feel in a flash.
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” is a quote synonymous with Marilyn Monroe, we’ve all heard it – and we all recognise what heels can do for our status, outfit and overall confidence.
Should Megan be wearing flats?
And here’s the question that will divide women, should comfort and safety come before your style and confidence?
When it comes to royal presentation it’s no wonder that there’s a distinct absence of flats on display. How many pairs of flats do we see gracing the feet those in the public eye?
Let’s face it, practicality isn’t something we are looking for when observing the royals, rich and famous at play. Of course, we are all quick to comment about what we would or wouldn’t do – but when it comes to style and grace Megan ticks all the right boxes for me, so what if she prefers a stiletto heeled shoe? If she feels good and she can walk in them, then good for her.
Psychology of height and power
If height is always perceived as more powerful and confident, the role of a shoe for a women in the public eye goes beyond basic comfort. Perhaps Megan enjoys the feeling that high-heels give her, she is a member of the Royal family now. It must be a big change in status from actress to royalty.
Clinical psychologist and study leader Dr Daniel Freeman, commented on the results of a scientific study on how: Height Affects the State of Mind and Perception of a Person. He said that “The height seems to affect the feeling of social status and being tall is associated with being socially desirable,” he continued. “The height makes you feel more confident in social interactions. All of us have noticed that when we do not feel very good about ourselves or in general, we tend to slouch, while when we feel more confident, we stretch our body and feel taller”.
I think it’s fair to conclude that shoe is more than something that you put on your foot. It can be your armour, it can also be a symbol of one’s lifestyle, elegance, style and class. Love it or hate it, but we make judgments based on shoes that grace the feet of royals, celebrities and the like.
What do you think your shoes say about you?
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