LONDON / KARACHI: Women who wear high heels to look more appealing to the opposite sex could be just wasting their time because, researchers say, men don’t even notice.
Research shows that men cannot even tell if a woman is wearing high heels when they walk, said experts at Northumbria University, who studied the reactions of men to women who walk in high heels and to others who didn’t wear heels.
This is part of a wider research project into attraction and the signal sent out by movements like walking and dancing, reports the Telegraph.
The study, led by evolutionary psychologist Nick De Neave at Northumbria, and researcher Kristofor McCarty, looked at women between 18 and 35 years and what signals are sent out when they walk with and without heels.
But male observers in the experiment could not tell which figures were wearing heels. De Neave said, “Women are spending money on high heels, which can be dangerous, presumably to make themselves look good and add to what nature has given them.”
As Steve (played by Jack Davenport) in “Coupling” said in an episode of the show: “Shoes! Shoes everywhere! Why do they have so many shoes? Do they have extra feet we don’t know about? Do they sprout rows of additional feet while we’re asleep and gallop around the streets at night shouting ‘Where are you going? Where are you going? Where are you going?’”
The study is probing if the change in body posture brought about by wearing heels, such as the illusion of longer legs, tilting torso and more prominent rear, sends a signal which has an impact on men.
High heels are a staple in every woman’s shoe closet. Shoe designer Samia Shahzada says women should own heels in at least four basic colours — gold, silver, black and tan. High heels are a favourite for occasions such as Eid and weddings, while low heels are bought by women to wear to work.
Doctors and podiatrists caution against wearing high heels too often, stating problems such as bunions and corns. Rajesh Malhotra, professor of orthopaedics told IANS about the pressure high heels put on one’s feet. “The height of the heel also changes the amount of weight on the forefoot. A one-inch heel will increase the pressure by 22 per cent, a two-inch heel by 57 per cent and a three-inch heel by 76 per cent.”
However, according to the research, starting relationships definitely went beyond footwear. De Neave said, “Everybody is attracted to somebody else and making relationships is very important to humans. Making key relationships and having children are some of the most important decisions people will make.” ians
Pakistani men differed on whether they notice women who wear high heels.
“I don’t really look at shoes at first glance and it really doesn’t add to the attractiveness of a girl if she’s wearing high heels or flats.”
Ali, HR representative
“I notice when a girl is wearing high heels because her walk changes but wearing heels doesn’t make her more attractive. If she’s not exceptionally short then there’s no need because it’s more about her face and attitude.”
Bilal, business executive
“I think boys might notice it when a girl is wearing heels because the girl herself feels different. However, I’ve never found a girl attractive because of her shoes – high or not.”
“I do notice when a girl is wearing high heels, and yes at time it can make her more attractive.”
Akber, business analyst
“I notice when a girl wears heels because it’s usually when she has made more of an effort with her outfit. It’s a whole package!”
Kamran, advertising executive
With additional information by the News Desk
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2010.