Open-toed boots, Stilettos and Oprah


Jimmy Choo Jedd Ankle Boot

Open-toed boots.  Seems like an oxymoron to me.  This pair of Jimmy Choo boots will set you back $1250 at Saks .

This afternoon I caught Oprah’s big shoe episode and I just had this expectation that Oprah would call someone out on the silliness of the open-toed boots.  She lives in Chicago after all.  But no, not a word.  They were trotted out as one of the big trends of the season.  In fact, the expert pointed out that these could be “age-appropriate” as she showed them on a woman in her 50s.  Of course she was wearing dark toe nail polish–it’s open-toed after all.

You might think it’s twenty degrees outside, I’m wearing boots–so I could put on a pair of tights, no?  NO.  Open-toed means just that–of course you’re also suppose to wear leggings (no matter what your legs look like) but you have to be sure that they are toe-less leggings so that your dark colored toe nail polish can be seen.

I really love many things about this show.  Oprah has made it really cool to read and discuss books– think about the number of people who have done that. She’s made a whole host of taboo topics – speakable (domestic violence, bodily functions, incest, bra fittings).

So I was disappointed today.  The only “true that”  remark was that many of the shoes being shown required a cab or car service.   Oprah looked somewhat embarrassed by the doctor giving walking lessons in stiletto heels.  It was really odd.  (I know we all like Mad Men, but I thought these types of womanly lessons were behind us.)  And Oprah did own up to the fact that she carries her high heels  down to the studio. Anyone watching lately  knows that she is a sitting ad for Christian Louboutin (we can see their signature red heels when she crosses her legs).  Her admission today explains why the red looks unblemished!

In interest of full disclosure, I have my own collection of tv shoes.  Katie Couric led the way on the Today Show for wearing really sexy shoes.   There are articles dedicated to her great legs and shoes.  In some ways she made it acceptable for smart women to wear sexy footwear on air.  I can’t remember one pair of Jane Pauley’s shoes, can you?

I walk through many of these shoe departments now and just laugh.   I keep waiting for some group of women to scream “We won’t take it anymore!” I love high heels as much as the next shoe-obsessed American woman, but  have we gone too far? We talk about encouraging positive body images with our girls (e.g. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty), but somehow that all goes out the window when we get to the shoe department. The higher the better.  (After all, SITC’s Carrie Bradshaw really can’t kiss Mr. Big without her signature Manolo Blanik.) All of our advances at the work place, for equal pay, breaking the glass ceiling…have no sway in this department.  Maybe we think we need the spikes to break the ceiling.

I wonder who designs the “guaranteed bunyon-producing, can’t-walk-to-the-car,  five inch heel stilettos”  anyway?  Could  he be related to the person who designed the mammogram machine?


One Response to Open-toed boots, Stilettos and Oprah

  1. Aari says:

    Ok, that’s not a boot, that’s a gladiator stilletto with a partial leather sock. And now I’ve seen everything.

    When I tuned in & I saw Katie in over the knee stilletto boots on the show years ago I was aghast, and my respect for her plummeted. I found it completely inapproproate & distracting from whatever she was talking about. This in-studio wearing of fetish footwear by serious women over 40: I really don’t think this is a good path. It’s not having it all, it’s somehow apologizing for having reached a position of power. It’s like having your voice go up at the end of a question. There is such a thing as seriously gorgeous footwear that doesn’t hobble you.

    To give young women the message you can be taken seriously in a workplace in 4 inch heels is ludicrous. I think Oprah should know better too. Yes, those shoes are insanely seductive to handle & buy & own, and a lot of fun to wear if you don’t actually have to walk farther than across a room. And Katie & Oprah are just making their workday more fun. But they are literally crippling real-life women.

    Whatever happened to special occasions?

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