“I’m not short,” Daisy muttered. “Short women are never mysterious, or elegant, or pursued by handsome men. And they’re always treated like children. I refuse to be short.”
– Lisa Kleypas, Secrets of a Summer Night
I have a blog post that I’m halfway through about an argument that I had on a recent set of night shifts. I’ve been dwelling on why the argument happened and how and why I reacted to it like I did, but I’m battling both with finding the words and with finding the time to write them and it’s not really coming together. Thinking it through, however, has made me realise that I argue a lot more with colleagues at night. A lot more. I’ve blamed it on tiredness, I’ve blamed it on horniness, I’ve blamed it on being cranky and passive aggressive after working so many hours…
All of these are probably true, but there’s an additional detail that I don’t like to acknowledge. I fight harder on nights because I feel that I have more to prove, I feel more vulnerable and less confident, I doubt the impact of my authority, I feel smaller.
And on night shifts I don’t wear heels.
Although I undoubtedly have a femme style, I’m not all that good at it. I can’t really do much with my hair – it’s curly and that’s about it. My make up is simple and based on eyeliner and mascara. I don’t wear jewellery, I don’t wear lipstick, I don’t understand contouring, I don’t wear perfume or nail varnish, but I do wear dresses and I do wear heels. Every day.
I love wearing heels because they make me feel fucking hot! Standing on those skyscraper shoes makes me taller and slimmer, just by the angles they force onto my body. My arse remains muscular and curved because of how I hold my pelvis in heels. My ankles are made more slender by the graceful lines of the boots or court shoes. I love how my back bends a little to balance, thrusting my tits forward and holding my stomach in. I know that these adjustments and contortions of my bones may come back to haunt me in a few decades when arthritis and bunions cripple me but, damn, they’re definitely worth it right now!
I love my heels, and I’m beginning to suspect that I need them. I need the confidence of my noisy, demanding stride. I need that added height to carry my authority. In flat shoes, it feels like the same people literally look down at me. I’m not short; this difference is entirely in my mind, but I feel it. And I rally against it by becoming scrappy and argumentative, or I give in and become completely the opposite; mouse-like and quiet. I don’t really like me in flat shoes if I’m honest.
I notice the difference in how I interact with my boyfriend too. Wearing heels makes me taller, in mind and body. Harder maybe. I’ll fuck him in heels and snuggle barefoot. Being bent over when wearing heels pulls at my ligaments, creating delicious tight stretches down my legs that throb when I come. Dancing in heels makes me light and graceful, qualities I struggle with on my own. We are also closer in height when I still have my shoes on. Without them, I fit snugly against his body, under his chin; my head resting against his chest and my arms around his waist while his arms enclose my shoulders and neck. I am completely encompassed by his body, safe and warm and happy. But not strong, not so confident. Without shoes I am little and need protecting. It’s an unfamiliar feeling for me but increasingly not unwelcome.
So heels aren’t really a kink but a necessity. They are the key component of my armour that helps me face everything I need to face. I can be who I am in heels, I can do everything that I didn’t think I was able to do. And I’m learning to accept who I am without them. More vulnerable, softer perhaps and less of a facade, but no less capable. No less competent. Just maybe a few inches shorter…