Killer Fashion: The health risks we choose to ignore all for the sake of looking good.

With the party season in full swing most ladies will know the pain I’m talking about when your feet have been in heels all night long. Heels are an important accessory to a party outfit, however, the lengths we go to to look good can at sometimes be painful and damaging to our bodies. Tell that to my feet after coming home from the Christmas party or even just being in the office all day!

Fashion can sometimes come at a cost and I don’t mean financially. Looking good can take its toll on your body if you over do it.

The pain of looking good ( and surprisingly – NOT, it’s the women who have suffered) has been around for centuries. All throughout history from the most primitive of cultures to the most affluent, looking good has always been an important part of society. The lengths women have gone to in order to make themselves look good will make your head spin.

In Africa tribes such as the Mende people of Sierra Leon, believed that the Neck Ring worn by their women is the epitome of beauty. Each to their own I say. Although it looks pretty, this piece of jewellery stretches the neck and causes severe damage. Yet, to the women of the Mende Tribe this was a symbol of sexuality, wealth and high status.

In China the practice of foot binding began in the 10th Century during the Tang Dynasty. Young girls from the age of six had their feet bound in bandages and broken so they couldn’t grow. This practice lasted for nearly a thousand years.

Why would you do that? Well, according to an article by Carrie Kellenberger this was done because small feet were a sign of prestige, beauty and wealth.

In today’s society women may not be as extreme in their attempts to look good, I’m not talking plastic surgery-  their have been some cringe worthy moments! I’m talking about high heels. For most women wearing heels makes us feel sexy, our legs look longer, slimmer and let’s face it they make any outfit look great (even a potato sack). Who doesn’t want to look like a glamazon straight off a runway?

Now lets be honest with each other, wearing high heeled shoes isn’t the most comfortable thing, even Lady Gaga wears joggers when she’s not performing. If it were comfortable, those fold up ballet flats wouldn’t have been invented and tucked into our hand bags.

I’m the first to say I love waring my heels.   But whilst they look good they aren’t that great for you. Long term wear- I mean wearing them all day everyday, impacts your feet, ankles, calves and hips as well as severely impacting your spine and knees.

In an article featured on the spine universe , Dr Christina Lasich wrote “the spine is very vulnerable because it has specially designed curves that evenly distribute your weight. High heels alter these curves. Eventually, this poor posture places too much uneven wear on the discs, the joints, and the ligaments of the back”

Think that’s bad? Ok well here’s what it does to your knees wearing them frequently puts extra strain on the inner sides your knees, making the wear and tear accelerate which then causes osteoarthritis.

I can go on but you get the idea. My point is that whilst we all want to look good, we should also be aware any health issues that may arise when your body is constantly put in an unnatural stance.

Don’t worry I get it , we all need to look our best especially if you’re working in a corporate environment or if you’re hitting the party scene. If you work in an office and have meetings then have the heels by your desk and ready to go but wear them only when you have to. Ballet flats come in all shades and designs and are comfy. Plus no ones going to look at what shoes you’re wearing when you’re sitting behind your desk.

So before you go taking your heels to the nearest charity bin- it’s OK, you don’t need to! Just remember to give your feet a break from time to time – that’s why we have thongs (or flip flops depending on what side of the planet you live on).


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