‘I’m tired of be­ing scared of stairs, and spend­ing ev­ery im­por­tant event I go to worried I’ll fall over’

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FIRST PERSON -

You could boldly wear train­ers, like Lily Allen in 2005, but that seems too con­trary. You’re not try­ing to make a mas­sive style state­ment. You just want to look nor­mal, and nice. Ap­pro­pri­ate.

And so you put on the blis­ter pads, and the heels, and the dress, and pay the taxi fare, and don’t dance, and grad­u­ally slump in pain, and then – if you’re me – fall down a ight of stairs and break three ribs, and think, You know what. Fuck this. I’m tired of be­ing scared of stairs, and spend­ing ev­ery im­por­tant event I go to worried I’ll fall over and show my knick­ers. I’m go­ing to do what men do.

For when men go to evening events, they can run up stairs, and dance, and get the Un­der­ground there and back, thus sav­ing R500. They wear a suit, and some nice shoes, which they might have pol­ished; but that is pretty much the ex­tent of their primp­ing. They are safe and com­fort­able and hap­pier and bet­ter o , sim­ply be­cause they are not wear­ing a short, tight dress and a pair of heels. And they can wear the same suit over and over – they would be ut­terly con­fused by the com­mon fe­male panic of fret­ting that we can­not wear a dress, or a pair of shoes, ‘be­cause I wore it last time’.

Men spend no more than 10 min­utes think­ing about how they will look at a black-tie event. Women start think­ing about it weeks in ad­vance.

Re­cently, I have started think­ing that the an­swer to most of my fem­i­nist ques­tions is: Just do what the men do. All that shit they do re­ally seems to be work­ing for them. And so I have. At the last two events I went to, I did as men do. I wore a suit. A tuxedo jacket, shorts, a silk blouse, and at shoes: at green and gold brogues from Marni, that I can walk in, and dance in, and stand in with per­fect pos­ture, en­joy­ing my evening. And it felt amaz­ing – to be able to walk around with my hands in my pock­ets, whistling. To feel at ease. To know I need never feel anx­ious about what to wear to a posh event again. I’ve got my out t, and my shoes, and I don’t re­ally need to think about them again for the next ve years – un­less it’s to go wild, and buy a new blouse. I felt like I’d dis­cov­ered an as­ton­ish­ing se­cret. Women kept com­ing up to me, and go­ing, ‘I wish I was wear­ing what you’re wear­ing. I’m go­ing to have to take these shoes o in a minute.’ And at the end of the evening, they all got into taxis, to go home. I, mean­while, walked to the pub with the men, and stayed out un­til 3am – spend­ing my taxi money on cham­pagne, and danc­ing. So, yes. I have nally given up heels. And it is just jim-dandy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.