Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Imelda Marcos Mentality

Times Online: Nothing beats a woman's desire to show off a fresh pair of heels

It seems a lot of women have an Imelda Marcos mentality that drives them to buy more shoes than seems feasibly possible. According to a survey, the average woman over forty owns 19 pairs of shoes, but many own far more.

A lot of people, especially Christians, have this idea that consumerism is the great evil of our age. They think that people are driven by advertising to purchase more and more stuff, tearing up the environment and exploiting the Third World in the process. I believe such thinking is naieve and stems from lack of economic knowledge. Spending money, even on lots of pairs of shoes is good. It drives the economy and creates wealth. Even the problem of debt is not the great evil that some people make it out to be. The reason so many people get into debt is not because they are brainwashed by advertising, but because the consequences of debt are not as severe as they used to be. Nobody goes to debtors prison any more.

There is a downside to this shoe obsession for those who prefer shoes-off in their homes. While these ladies probably get the most satisfaction when they buy their fancy heels, they will naturally want to show them off when invited to parties and social occasions. They may not be keen to leave them at the door and spend the evening in bare or stocking feet.

The key to this problem is training and expectation. These ladies with their shoe collections know they cannot always be wearing expensive high-heeled shoes. They cannot wear them on a yacht, they cannot wear them doing yoga, and they will probably not wear them for a casual visit to somebody's home to watch a movie.

If women know in advance that they will need to remove their shoes, then they will not be disappointed about it. They can plan their outfit with slippers or barefeet in mind. If they attend a party or dinner with their Manolo Blahnik's with six inch heels, and have shoe removal sprung on them, they may be a little resentful. If they know that shoes-off is part of the evening, they can regard it as a more relaxed and casual event.

If the ladies with their Marcosite collections want to show off their shoes, they can be assured that the hostess will see them. Plus, their trophy footwear will outdo that of any other guests when left in a line by the door. Otherwise they can always show them off in restaurants or at the races.


Anonymous said...

I don't see why women who wear smart, expensive shoes should have problems in taking them off when visiting "shoes-off" homes. After all a lot of them will also spend a lot on coats but no one thinks it odd that they are removed in homes.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Is that a male or female perspective?

Please don't feel you have to answer that question. It is your privilege to be anonymous.

Discussion on the internet indicates that a lot of women feel that shoes are part of their outfit and they would feel silly without them at a party.

Of course, that may be just because they seldom attend no-shoes parties. Many of those same women go shoeless in their own homes.

I think it is down to expectation. If they know firmly that they will have to shed the shoes on arrival, they can think of the occasion as casual and relaxed.

If they dress formally and are surprised to find themselves in stocking feet, they are more likely to feel annoyed.

God Bless


Anonymous said...

I am a male

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...


I agree that most women should not have a problem taking off their shoes. But some may take time to get used to the idea.

God Bless


Redeemed said...

I love this post, Matthew. As a female, I do have a lot to say, but I will keep it short.

I love shoes. I have many pairs. Most of them are heels as I have to look professional for work and I like to look decent for church. I have, however, no problem taking them off when needs be.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, you are welcome to say more. I knew you were a shoe-lover.

In Japan, slippers are worn in many offices and probably many churches too.

God Bless


missmellifluous said...

Firstly, thank you for providing justification to buy more shoes! That kind of argument is always welcome.

You have made some very insightful observations regarding women and the removal of shoes.

I love heels but as a Drama teacher I always plan my outfit knowing it is quite likely that I will have to take my shoes off in the course of the day. I find there are a few things to consider when doing this:

1) Will this outfit make me look too short without shoes?

2) Have I painted my toe nails and exfoliated?
Not in that order!

3) Are my shoes easy to take off/put back on again?
No one wants to be caught looking like an ugly sister trying to squeeze their foot into a shoe that is to small.

4) Should I wear socks, stockings, footless tights or go bare legged?
This is a very important question as scrunching socks up in a ball and putting them in the toe of your shoe once your shoes are off can never be done very delicately, after all, we are dealing with dirty socks! Stockings without shoes snag, and footless tights may look a little...wrong - at times. This part of the planning process is quite difficult.

To overcome these problems I like to carry a few pairs of alternatives with me; some nail polish and some stockings; socks; footless tights and moisturiser.

I really must concur the key to overcoming dissapointment at having to take one's shoes off lies in expectation, training and planning - as well as a good exfoliant.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.