Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'll get you my pretty...and your Louboutins too!

My name is Sara, and I’m a shoe-aholic.

I do know that most girls are addicted to their shoes. But I also know that I’m worse than most girls. I don’t know exactly how many pairs I have because I stopped counting at 150. Pairs, not individual shoes. And I hadn’t gotten to the flipflops or sneakers yet. And I’ve bought more since then.

Every guy reading this (if there are any left) is now asking, “WHY? In the name of God, how could anyone need THAT many pairs of shoes? What’s wrong with you?”

There’s nothing wrong with me. Shoes are awesome.

However, after careful study of the situation, I think that I’ve discovered the source of female shoe addiction.

Young girls are introduced to shoe propaganda at a very early age. In many cases, it’s one of the first non-animated stories that we are exposed to.


I'm talking about The Wizard of Oz.

Think about it. What’s The Wizard of Oz about?

If you said the capitalistic values of the Industrial Revolution versus the desire to return to a simpler time, you’re dead wrong.

It’s about shoes.

The awesome, magical power of pretty, pretty shoes.

Plain and simple. Those sparkly red shoes. Dorothy gets them by defeating the Wicked Witch of the East, and spends the rest of the movie trying to protect them from a different evil witch who wants to steal them. Is there any worse villain in cinema history? I mean, she’s trying to steal Dorothy’s SHOES. And pretty shoes at that! Not an old pair of sneakers or a boring pair of black ballet flats. If there was ever a crime deserving of the death penalty, I think the Wicked Witch of the West is committing it.

My first trip to a museum was when I was three and my dad took me to see the Ruby Slippers at the Museum of American History. I don’t remember anything else from the museum that day. But I remember those shoes. (And the dead rat we saw outside the Metro. But that was gross. And not NEARLY as memorable as the Ruby Slippers.)

What girl DIDN’T want those shoes? Dorothy is still one of the most popular Halloween costumes of all time (although as we get older, it turns into Slutty Dorothy, usually with thigh-his and ruby stilettos, but the idea is the same).

Now, they sell knockoff ruby slippers in all different sizes at every toy store. But when I was a kid, we didn’t have those. So my mom, a former art teacher, created the Ruby Keds for me. She painted a pair of Keds red, then covered them in glitter and sequins. I was the envy of every little girl in the whole neighborhood. (And it was quite a struggle on her part to keep me from wearing those every day until I grew out of them. They’re still in my parents’ basement. Just in case I become exceptionally famous someday and my parents can donate them to put on display at the Smithsonian next to the REAL Ruby Slippers.)

Think about it though, that’s where our love of shoes begins. From childhood, we learn that shoes have magical powers and can turn evil witches green with envy. Is it really so different from seeing someone today walking down the street in a pair of Louboutins in your size? Hell, I could probably be convinced to kidnap someone’s dog for the right pair of shoes. (But girls, stay away from my puppy because while I may have some pretty awesome shoes, none of them are THAT expensive!)

So yes, it’s propaganda and it destroys young women for boring shoes for the rest of their lives. But I still love that movie. Not to mention the Ruby Slippers.

Here’s my only question: if you had to choose between magical shoes and going home to Kansas, would anyone REALLY pick Kansas? I mean, come on. I’m sure Auntie Em and Uncle Henry were great, but magical, sparkly red shoes? Peace out, Kansas. I’d fight a witch any day for the right pair of shoes!


  1. You're so lucky! I only wish I could have a shoe addiction. Unfortunately, I was gifted with the physique of an Amazon..and the giant feet to go with it. They simply don't make a lot of shoes in my size. Most of the shoes they do make are hideous - the sorts of things no self-respecting woman would be caught dead in. And the tiny amount of beautiful, gorgeous, cute shoes that actually fit on my feet are prohibitively expensive. So I can count the number of pairs of shoes I own (including boots and flip flops) on my fingers.

    I do have to say, however, that should I ever find myself in the sort of financial situation that allows for the purchase of expensive shoes, I know exactly what I want: I am now and will forever be a Louboutin girl. Why? Because Christian Louboutin is the only really high-profile shoe designed that I know of whose shoes come in my size. Not all of them, true. But some of them. And some is enough. I would be thrilled to even own one pair of his gorgeous, fabulous shoes. And I'd probably wear them to death, just because I could.

    In the meantime, however, I guess I'll have to stick to my EcoSneaks and the gillies I bought at the Ren Faire last year (currently my favorite pair of shoes..I'd been looking for these shoes for over 2 decades), and just fantasize about all the beautiful shoes I could have, if only I was rich or my feet were smaller.

  2. You've definitely got my sympathy!!! Although as a teacher, I'm NEVER going to be able to afford Louboutins (unless my book gets published)... but hey, a girl's gotta have a dream, right?

    And is it bad that by the dream, I meant the shoes, not the book? :-p