Pop Culture Pet Peeve: In a life-or-death situation? Take off your heels!

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Image Credit: Gemma La Mana

When in a life-or-death situation, I love a woman who fights back. But as a woman who would like to think she would fight back in any given scenario, I have to say: Removing my heels would be my first move. That’s if I were wearing them to begin with.

For starters, wearing heels is completely optional. It is a choice. And no matter how comfortable a pair might be, they’re never going to be as comfortable or risk-free as something like a pair of tennis shoes. That’s just life. So why is it that in movies, women are constantly running and/or fighting for their lives while wearing heels? Wouldn’t running barefoot make you faster and lessen the risk of injury? Yes, yes it would.

Now, I get that I’m talking about movies here, and in Hollywood, they’re all about the sex appeal, and at the end of the day, heels are sexy. But if a woman is fighting for her life and getting all bloody and sweaty, etc., is sex appeal really that important? And if it is, then how about you refuse to let her tie her hair up, and you have her blouse get ripped? Or perhaps she does the entire sequence in a mini-dress. Oh wait, Hollywood already does all of these things. So why is she still wearing heels?!

I always go back to Rachel McAdam’s in Red Eye. She’s sitting on a plane when a man sits next to her and starts to threaten both her life and her father’s life. When she finally gets a chance to run away from him, she ends up sprinting full-speed through an airport in some very skinny stilettos. She even runs across a moving sidewalk, which would make me fall even if I were in flats. So not only is it risky for the actress to film those scenes in heels, I find it incredibly unrealistic.

That being said, I don’t always feel like screaming at the television screen when I see a woman kicking butt in heels. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, for example, used her heels as weapons, and considering she spent more of her time delivering high kicks than sprinting, they didn’t seem to negatively affect her ability to fight crime. But she is the exception.

Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I wear heels, I’m very aware of the fact that I’m wearing heels. And if I know that there’s anything physically demanding in my future, I take them off. Although I can’t say that I’ve ever had to remove a pair of heels in a life-or-death situation, I can sort of relate. Let’s say my friends want to kick a soccer ball around, and I’m wearing just about anything other than a pair of cleats. The first thing I do is take off my shoes to play barefoot, because I know it will be easier. It’s a natural instinct.

So in honor of realism, I dare a movie to allow a woman to kick off her shoes. Also, what is the point in having her wear heels when you hardly ever show her feet? It’s basically a form of Hollywood torture, and I’m here to put an end to it … or at least talk about putting an end to it!

Also, if she takes off her heels, she can pick them up and use them as an actual weapon. The more you know!

What do you think, PopWatchers? What movies drive you crazy by making a woman run/fight in heels?


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