I hung out with a friend’s 3-year-old this weekend. She was very excited about her new princess shoes – Cinderella slippers that looked like those pictured here.
“Slippers” is a misnomer. Those are straight-up high heels for 3-year-olds. That makes me cranky.
Cinderella was going to a ball, which is, to me, a legitimate reason to put on some serious clodhoppers. When you’re dressing up, wear whatever you want, because it’s fun. But let’s be honest: high heels are basically hobbles. They impair your ability to move the way your body is designed to move.
I have a background in being cranky about little girls’ shoes. Back in the day when I was a day care teacher, little girls often showed up in adorable sandals that were utterly impractical for the playground. While their classmates ran and rode and climbed, these girls sat on the side and picked sand out of their shoes because their feet hurt.
But this blog is about women in spec fic, so let’s get to that, shall we?
It’s no secret that women in speculative fiction are often – usually? – dressed impractically. From Wonder Woman (heels and a bathing suit) to Trek-reboot Uhura (heels and a miniskirt), the majority of them do what they do in outfits I could barely do my legal secretary job in.
My general sense (and let’s not trust my general sense farther than we can throw it) is that we’re moving away from this high-heeled nonsense. Katniss doesn’t wear high heels (she passes the dressing-up exception). Hermione doesn’t. Disney’s Rapunzel doesn’t (though I would argue that traipsing through the forest barefoot is also somewhat impractical).
Oh – and even though I’m pretty sure the evil Disney reboot of Merida did wear high heels, I think we’re winning that one! (But if you haven’t signed the petition, now’s a good time.)
More good and fun reading on how we dress our female characters: