Don’t judge a book by it’s heels.

Today I decided to wear heels to work. Nothing too fancy, just some wedges with a knee length dress. But in the office, it spurred quite the debate. It started by me walking in the door, and a female co-worker recognizing them and stating her approval, but then quickly rebuddled by “Why do women even wear heels?” by a certain male who was witnessing the footwear appraisal. “Well”, I said, “They’re fun.” And, being that guy, had to poke farther.. more for pushing my buttons then actual curiosity. “Why are they fun?” I thought for a minute, wondering what it was that actually enticed me into wearing these blister giving beauties. “Because they make you feel feminine and powerful.” “Powerful, huh?”, came from one of the back offices. I, along with the other participants in this shoe debate followed this inquiry back to the office of an older man that works in our department. Once I got to the door, I replied, “Yes. They make you taller and walk with a certain confidence.” The man (who I’ve had talks with before in which is referenced a few months back about the stairwell conversation) mused over my reply for a little while before he said, “Do you feel any different without those on? If you were to wear tennis shoes, would you still walk with your head high?” Well that stopped me in my tracks. “I mean.. yes.. I just like wearing heels every once in a while.” Well, he said, “Everyone’s motivation for something is the perceived perception of what others think. Again.. the perceived perception of what other people think.” Unaware of how to respond, I stood there trying to understand. Recognizing my confusion, he continued to tell me about a woman that we both know. Homely, slightly over-weight, and socially awkward at times, but loves fiercely. “Now that woman is beautiful. When she smiles, the substance of her heart almost spills out.”  At this point, the other males who were interested in picking on me and my style had left the office now that the conversation had been turned to something gushy, but I was captivated by his depth of the conversation, as I always am when he has an opinion about something. I nodded my head. “Yes, her heart is beautiful.” I genuinely replied. “Well, those are some nice shoes, and they may turn a head, but then you have to blink.” I gave him a look to continue. “You know”, said the balding man,”I should get a toupee to make myself feel powerful.” I got his point, and we both knew it. Being defensive as I am, “Well, it’s not like heels define me.” He nodded his head, as if he already saw that coming, and says, “Right. But you must always know what does. Don’t let the pretty things of this world distract you.” Well, gosh, you got Emerson over here telling me to recognize and indulge my life in what is beautiful, and then you have these men over here telling me that I can’t pluck my eyebrows or I’m destined to be a stripper. Exaggeration, I realize, but in that moment I was very conflicted. Lately, I have been so concerned with trying to follow my dreams in art and creating and capturing beautiful things that, while I’m so intoxicated by the creativity I’ve been tapping into, I have muddled the clarity of what is in my heart. At the end of the day, I don’t want “beautiful” to define me unless it is in reference to how I make someone feel inside. I began to ask him questions on this matter.. the familiar emotional turmoil that he pulls out of me about what life is all about, and what truly matters. In the middle of a question, he stops me and says, “Just read your Bible. You’ll see the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that’s what you’re constantly dealing with. If you are faithful and pure in all that you do, people will see that. It will ooz out of your conversations and shine through your walk. Now, I’m just an old man, but I can tell you that I see your beauty through the way that you love the people around you, and do everything in your power to keep everyone encouraged, not in the way you try to keep your balance in those things.” I sat there for a minute thinking about everything, thanked him, and left. It really hit me though. What defines me? Being a student? A pair of heels? Being a white middle class adult? I do need be faithful and pure, and love the people around me like crazy. I know that God wouldn’t care if I came to the golden gates in heels or a burlap sack, as long as I lived a life that was about loving people in the way that He equipped me to do. Even though I bet He’d appreciate my balance 4 inches off the ground. 😉

2 thoughts on “Don’t judge a book by it’s heels.

  1. Reasons for wearing high heels, which are almost exclusively aesthetic, include:

    They change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves.
    They change the wearer’s posture, requiring a more upright carriage and altering the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion.
    They make the wearer appear taller.
    They make the legs appear longer.
    They make the foot appear smaller.
    They make the toes appear shorter.
    They make the arches of the feet higher and better defined.
    They make the lower leg muscles more defined.
    They make the gluteus maximus more defined.
    They may improve the tone of a woman’s pelvic floor.

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