Most men find high heels sexy, and women continue to wear them even though they can be painful sometimes, and inherently dangerous for their health.
High heels appear everywhere, from shopping catalogs, online shoe websites like this one, fashion magazines, cheer leading squads, to the most conservative workplaces, popular film industries, and the perfectly polished toes of stars on the red carpet. So, what makes high heels so universally appealing?
Firstly, high heels visually lengthen legs. There is a biological reason why men like long shapely legs on a woman. Males and females have relatively similar leg lengths during childhood. However, during puberty, under the influence of sex hormones, a girl’s legs will undergo rapid lengthening as the hormone estrogen floods her body, changing her into a woman. It is precisely this feature that diverges in males and females during puberty that can prove to be a turn-on for men.
Additionally, behavioral conditioning may be a factor as to why most men find high heels sexually appealing. In this day and age, it is unusual for men to don high heels. In fact, we hardly see men putting on high heels unless they are doing it on a dare, or for fun on a Bucks’ night. Asking men to put on high heels can be a highly embarrassing situation and one that most men would not partake in. For women on the other hand, wearing high heels can be a symbol of her femininity, womanliness and sexuality. Because high heels are the opposite of what men would wear, they are highly intriguing to men and highlight the differences between masculinity and femininity.
Wearing heels can also be a good indicator of how strong a woman’s pelvic muscles are, which are important for reproductive success. If she can stay all day in heels without toppling over, she must have very strong pelvic muscles indeed. Heels also push a woman’s body into a seductive “courting pose”, where the buttocks stick out and the lower back (a highly sensual area) arches inwards. As primates used to mate from behind, the pronounced convexity of the buttocks can be a signal of a woman’s fertility and sexual disposition. Wearing high heels can also make a woman appear more vulnerable, which can trigger a man’s natural protective instincts and increase the man’s feeling of masculinity towards her (important in a relationship!).
High heels can also make women’s feet appear smaller, and smaller feet are attractive on a woman as women generally have smaller feet than men and smaller feet also make a woman appear more delicate and dainty.
Apart from improving your posture, high heels emphasize the movement of hips swaying when women walk. The wiggle of hips is a very seductive movement, which is why most music videos show women dancing with their hips gyrating from side to side. Women with shapely hips, also known as ‘child-bearing hips’ have the most chances of reproductive success, which is why men find them extremely attractive. Women wearing heels will involuntarily swing their hips more than women walking barefoot.
Now that you have all this knowledge in your arsenal, why not pop on a pair of heels the next time you go out? Just remember to practice walking in them beforehand.
The ‘Why Women Wear High Heels’ article was brought to by Jenny Hu from the Deakin Science Communication Blog – Learn more about her and the references used for this article here.