Spike Heels — Feminist? Feminine? Or Both?

Spike heels. Photo by barbara Newhall

Spike heels and bling. Photo by barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Let’s face it. Spike heels aren’t much good for doing what real women do most days — drive an SUV, stand in line at the check-out counter, empty the dishwasher, clear the gunk from between the planks in the decking. You’d think stilettos would have passed into history long ago — along with garter belts and nylons with seams up the back.

Preschooler at the barre, she loved feminine pink, but did not grow up to find spike heels feminine. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Christina at the barre — in pink. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The same goes for the inch-long fingernail. Now that women are keyboarding and texting all the day long, you’d think that we’d all be wearing our nails tidy and short.

But no. Seventeen years into the new millennium, spikes and fingernails are still with us. What gives?

Check out this post — “A Case of the Human Condition: Feminine, Feminist Pink” — written for the Oakland Tribune when the twenty-first century still seemed impossibly far in the future.

At the time I wrote this piece, I was sure that spike heels and inch-long fingernails would be so last century by now. But here we are, with a toe hold in the 21st century, and fingernails and spike heels are as long — and scary — as ever.

Whatever happened to pink, btw? The pink so adored by little girls, but by grown, stiletto-heeled women, not so much? Read all about it at “A Case of the Human Condition: Feminine, Feminist Pink” 



A Case of the Human Condition: Feminine, Feminist Pink


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