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3:44 pm | 29 September 2003 | shoe fly don't bother me

I've noticed a real backlash against pointy-toed shoes. I do not speak of, you know, those used for costumey purposes; no, I don't think anyone is actively boycotting those merry elven numbers you see on mall employees from october-december, except perhaps the elves. No, i mean regular shoes, pumps boots & flats, sported by Fashioney Everywoman on the street.

I don't know what the big-ass deal is. To paraphrase Joyce: Modus mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis: fashions change and we change with them. I'm confused as to what the detractors expect. Did you think the reign of the platform would last forever? Do you really want to see more of those goosebumpingly-awful three-inch-thick black foam flip-flops dangling clompily from the tiny feet of highschoolers? I am increasingly grown-up, too, and I can't really rock the Hot Topic shoebox-sized flame-emblazoned clods anymore. Or, rather, I could if i wanted to, but I just don't. I'm not a pontoon in need of anchoring; if the sweetly jangly sounds of "Let's Go to Bed" ring out through the smoke-blued air of Club Foot, I just can't dance the Oiseau Sauvage with its necessary flair if i have cinderblocks strapped to my ankles. And anyway, Jimmy Hoffa chic is so 1993.

It's not a health-related aversion, either. I don't see anyone going "I hate those girls in the pointy-toed shoes, because they are totally jeopardizing their podiatric health." Oh hell no. It's all, "I can't stand Charlotte. And gawd, would you look at her turnippy pumps? Bitch." It's some weird stereotype-association thing and I, for one, don't get it. I think it's the apparent resistance to change that baffles me most. The maligners seem to be fairly firmly in the "alternative" crowd: a crowd that once burgeoned based on its very resistance to the dominant paradigm. Now, like a huddled pack of second-string Goths smoking frantically in the corner of a new club until a familiar Joy Division* track comes on, they are unwilling to embrace the nouveau, or even to try it. To those people, I say: If you're so enamored of the "look" of 1995, I double-dog dare you to break out the flannel. Just as flared pants were a refreshing (and flattering) change in the late '90s, so are pointy shoes a piquant, flirty change from the deep-sea-diving boots we all wore for 15 years. And what's it to you, beotches? For reals. The pointed toes are no more painful than any other shoe. You just buy them a half-size up. And don't talk to me about pain-for-fashion, little Miss Tacky Vinyl corset. I can see those fishnets bisecting your torso. These are not the pointy shoes of yore; they're longer, meaner, sleeker, and more, um, hoof-like, sort of. No, really. They make me feel like i have little hooves.

I am crazy, of course. I don't think most girls who wear pointy-toed shoes do so for the inexpressible delight of a hoofy sensation (this, btw, is the same reason i wear legwarmers in winter). They just like the way the points look. And, in the end, isn't that something totally trivial? If you're going to rage against a fashion trend, rage against visible (even decorated!) thong-backs bisecting the plump booty of America. Rage against the manufactured irony of fake-vintage souvenir tees and trucker caps, and the non-message they send. Rage, for heaven's sake, against Paris Hilton. But leave the shoes alone. LEAVE ME AND MY HOOVES ALONE! clm.


*Not intended as criticism of Joy Division. OH FUNNY ANECDOTE: we were in the car this weekend listening to a mix cd, and my sister is all, "Ooh, we HAVE to listen to track 13: Love Will Tear Us Apart!" and I'm all [sounding confused/awestricken, like whuuuuuuht?] "you like JOY DIVISION?" and she's all, "Duh," and, well, it was about the last thing I expected to happen. Until later Sunday, when my mom flashed me as I pulled out of the driveway. THAT was the last thing I WANTED to see. Ew!


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