Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Ok, now. Twice in the past
week I’ve encountered girls under the age of ten wearing high heeled sandals. The first time, I was entering the
subway and I saw (from behind) a person under four feet tall wearing perhaps a
two-inch acrylic-heeled sandal. It
startled me, but after a moment of staring at the incongruous sight, I assumed
she must be a little person. However, when I passed her, I saw that, no, it wasn’t an adult of any stature, it was
a girl no older than perhaps nine.

Then, this afternoon, it
happened again. A child no older than seven this time, walking with a lady who
looked to be her grandmother. Again, wearing sandals with a low but noticeable
acrylic heel of over an inch in height.

Toddler High Heels.jpg

And I felt just so, so sad.  

We women have a lot of
reasons for wearing heels. We do it to make our legs look sexy, to get a height
advantage, and, because, well, in a lot of careers, it’s de rigueur. 

On the one hand, I get where
little girls like to play dress-up. I loved to play dress-up myself when I was
a kid (back then I wished my mom
owned heels to swan around in, but she was too practical to own shoes that hurt
her feet). Yet dress-up is different from daily wear. And these kids weren’t
wearing their tutus and tiaras. No, they were sporting heels like they were a
part of daily life.

I felt, somewhere deep, deep
in my soul, that there was something vastly wrong with this. Not only does it
seem to sexualize little girls (
JonBenét Ramsey and that whole heinous pageant circle comes
to mind), it asks them to stop running free. It hobbles them, literally. If I
were a mom (and I’m nobody’s mom, so perhaps it’s unethical of me to throw
stones) I would not want to see my daughter wearing high heels until she was at
least in junior high — more probably college. Or possibly never.

Do you think I’m nuts, or is there something creepy
about little ladies in tall shoes? Is it wrong for moms to let their daughters
wear them before, say, puberty? Take our poll and then share your thoughts in
the comments field below!


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