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'Scientists prove high heels really ARE sexy'


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The Mail on Sunday (UK) today included the following article under the above heading.   It was apparently culled from a respectable professional journal, but make of it what you will.

'They have divided fashionistas and feminists for generations, but scientists now claim to have proof that high heels are sexy.

Researchers recruited 52 female university students aged 18 to 24 and shot videos of them walking in flat shoes and in their own high heels, varying in height from 8cm to 10cm.

Editing software was used to erase their feet so that only the women’s body movements could be assessed – and all had been instructed to wear similar dark, tight-fitting T-shirts, with jeans or leggings and have their hair tied back to ensure uniformity.

Scientists have decided heels really are sexy after research involving more than 150 men and women and computer software

The videos were then shown to more than 100 male and female volunteers who were asked to rate the women on a scale of attractiveness from one to ten. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of heels.

‘Irrespective of raters’ gender, higher attractiveness ratings were assigned to models in the high heels condition than in the flats condition,’ the scientists said.

The findings apparently endorse the opinion of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe, who once said: ‘I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.

And high heels were a feature of the hit television series Sex And The City, with its lead character Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, obsessed by shoes.

Her favourite designer, Manolo Blahnik, once said: ‘People walk differently in high heels. Your body sways to a different kind of tempo.’ According to the scientists from the University of Pecs, in Hungary, the main reason high heels make women sexy is the effect wearing them has on ‘lumbar curvature’ – the way the back curves during motion.

They claim that if a woman’s spine curves in a certain way, the shape can send a positive subconscious signal that she is at a lower risk of being infertile.

The scientists explained that wearing high heels brought about ‘lumbar wedging’, which seemingly increased the length of a woman’s tail bone.

An extended tail bone, they say, indicates a lower likelihood of back injuries and increase in the capability to have multiple births.

The study is thought to be the first to use video to show the link between high heels and attractiveness.

And while the wearing of them could spark ‘intra-sexual rivalry’, it did not stop women finding other females more attractive in high heels, the scientists added.

The Mail on Sunday’s You magazine fashion editor Sophie Dearden said: ‘I’m not surprised women were perceived as more attractive when wearing heels. I personally feel way more confident when in heels. They elevate your look and the way you hold yourself. Confidence is very attractive.’

The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.'

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This may have been the first to use actual video, but prior studies have come to the same conclusions.  I doubt this will change much of anything in terms of what women want to wear - or men for that matter.

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8 hours ago, RonC said:

This may have been the first to use actual video, but prior studies have come to the same conclusions.  I doubt this will change much of anything in terms of what women want to wear - or men for that matter.

I'm sure you are right that the study will have little influence on what is worn.   There are 250+ comments on the article to date - almost all (even more than normal for such an article) are trivial or sarcastic.   A few are (predictably) condemnatory of high-heel wearing but most are along the lines of laughing at the article for stating the obvious or for giving pervy professors some pleasurable research!

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It is sort of a meaningless study when you think about it. I suspect most of the women who wear high heels as a regular thing do so primarily because they like the feeling of being in heels and the sense of empowerment they bring, not because they want to attract men. They might enjoy the attention (or might not give a damn one eway or the other), but I suspect either way their reasons for wearing heels are selfish (in a good way) and personal. 

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I agree with Shyheels - with the addition that women often wear heels because they want (or think they need) extra height.   That may be empowerment but just as likely to be a form of preservation of stature or status.   In other words - to keep up with (most) men rather than specifically to surpass them.

At the end of the day (or other suitable cliche), who really knows what goes on in a woman's mind?   I'm not sure that they usually know either! 

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9 minutes ago, Puffer said:

I agree with Shyheels - with the addition that women often wear heels because they want (or think they need) extra height.   That may be empowerment but just as likely to be a form of preservation of stature or status.   In other words - to keep up with (most) men rather than specifically to surpass them.

At the end of the day (or other suitable cliche), who really knows what goes on in a woman's mind?   I'm not sure that they usually know either! 

Who really knows what goes on in anyone’s mind? My own is full of contradictions I can barely keep track of

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This research, at your expense of course, was brought to you by the Open Door University. 'We confirm what you already know!'

1 hour ago, Puffer said:

I agree with Shyheels - with the addition that women often wear heels because they want (or think they need) extra height.   That may be empowerment but just as likely to be a form of preservation of stature or status.   In other words - to keep up with (most) men rather than specifically to surpass them.

At the end of the day (or other suitable cliche), who really knows what goes on in a woman's mind?   I'm not sure that they usually know either! 

You'd be surprised what men have actually learned, once they realize they could pool their knowledge together via the internet. As men often do when confronted with a major problem, we pool knowledge and do research. I reckon by now men know women better then they know themselves. Of course the results aren't flattering, so they're being kinda repressed.

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5 hours ago, Chorlini said:

This research, at your expense of course, was brought to you by the Open Door University. 'We confirm what you already know!'

You'd be surprised what men have actually learned, once they realize they could pool their knowledge together via the internet. As men often do when confronted with a major problem, we pool knowledge and do research. I reckon by now men know women better then they know themselves. Of course the results aren't flattering, so they're being kinda repressed.

Well said!   But I do wonder whether our collective knowledge (plus our undoubted wisdom - not the same thing) has truly allowed us to reach firm conclusions on this contentious subject.

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As a husband and a father, having raised a son and two daughters, I’ve been there, done that.  While teaching our son how to be a man, the upbringing of the girls rested mainly with my wife.  My wife was, to me, the most feminine female person ever to walk the earth.  Mannerisms, attitude, beauty creams, clothing, colors, fashions and accessories, jewelry, etc.  the whole nine yards.  A true “Southern Belle.  She knew it all.  And, she thoroughly taught our girls everything very well.  Shoes were a fashion accessory or be coordinated with the handbag and dress. The dresses must be appropriate for the function/occasion for which it is worn.  There were even rules about heel heights and which height was to be worn according to the occasion, time of day, etc. Complicated.  One thing she never could understand about me was my love of woman’s shoes and heels.  Her puzzlement was why I wanted to wear heels when, as a man,I didn’t have to?  I guess that one of the main reasons we were so happy together is that after a couple of years we stopped trying to figure each other out and were content to let us just be ourselves.  

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Being mentally comfortable in your own mind is the key to wearing heels in public.

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@Bubba136, after that description, I am jealous.  While my wife was a heel wearer, I doubt that would have been the case if not for my desire to see her in them.  She did dress nicely, but not with the dedication to fashion you described for your wife.  She can no longer wear a heel of any type thanks to bad feet and spinal stenosis, and since she no longer works and isn't out and about in the world too often, her fashion sense has waned considerably.  I find it amazing that she was ok with you wearing heels.  Not trying to be nosy, but you used the past tense several times when talking about your wife.  Hope all is ok.

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22 hours ago, Shyheels said:

It is sort of a meaningless study when you think about it. I suspect most of the women who wear high heels as a regular thing do so primarily because they like the feeling of being in heels and the sense of empowerment they bring, not because they want to attract men. They might enjoy the attention (or might not give a damn one eway or the other), but I suspect either way their reasons for wearing heels are selfish (in a good way) and personal. 

As one writer once said, Nancy Pelosi was not trying to attract any man while wearing stilettos during her 8 hour speech on the House floor on DACA.   

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20 hours ago, RonC said:

@Bubba136, after that description, I am jealous.  While my wife was a heel wearer, I doubt that would have been the case if not for my desire to see her in them.  She did dress nicely, but not with the dedication to fashion you described for your wife.  She can no longer wear a heel of any type thanks to bad feet and spinal stenosis, and since she no longer works and isn't out and about in the world too often, her fashion sense has waned considerably.  I find it amazing that she was ok with you wearing heels.  Not trying to be nosy, but you used the past tense several times when talking about your wife.  Hope all is ok.

Our story is well documented in the early pages in the archives of this site. Long story, short.  I met my wife on our first day in college.  I confessed my heeling habit as soon as it became apparent that we were going to  more than just a college romance and that she deserved to know what she was getting.  After a couple of months reflecting upon the issue, she decided that she could live with it.  We both were 19 years old at that time and got married the following July, at the end of our Freshman year.  She passed away a couple of years ago leaving a giant empty space in my (our) lives.

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Being mentally comfortable in your own mind is the key to wearing heels in public.

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22 hours ago, RonC said:

Sorry I missed that part @Bubba136  And very sorry you lost her.  You were a lucky man.

Thanks!  You have no idea just how fortunate I am.

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Being mentally comfortable in your own mind is the key to wearing heels in public.

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