Pumped Up Kicks

Virginia Postrel on shoes:

How do we understand life in a commercial, consumer-oriented society? Academic traditionalists and hard- headed advocates of “practical” research often dismiss scholarship on material culture, including shoes, as frivolous nonsense. So they leave thinking about questions like why people buy shoes and what they mean in people’s lives to Marxists, Freudians and others who decry commercial culture, treat consumers as powerless dupes or, at best, reduce every “unnecessary” purchase to some form of status competition.

The result is a desiccated understanding of history and culture.

Someday, an article like this will be written without needing to reference Sex and the City, but that day has not yet come.

You all look beautiful (although Postrel did write a fascinating piece a few years ago on how most of us aren’t actually beautiful), but how can you wear heels? Are they not so extraordinarily painful that you suspect you must be doing something wrong, like Kramer with his forty-five minute showers?

If you know about attractive, grown-up shoes you can wear without reenacting early Germanic versions of the Cinderella story, please let us know.

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