Posted by: littlegirlyone | August 29, 2007

girl, watched

lately, i’ve been drawn to wearing heels.

ever since i spent a lunch hour observing the effects of high heels on women, i’ve been hyper aware of the effect of my shoes on my gait. i feel the shift in my weight, the placement of my foot, the roll from the heel to the ball to the toes; i feel my butt bounce when i walk fast enough.

i tend to like comfort; i’ve been a “hoodie and jeans with sneakers” kind of girl most of my life. so, when i started dressing for work, i bought lots and lots of flats, both because they were stylish and because they were a much easier transition from the slip-on Vans i wore most of the time.

i used to work in a shoe store, so don’t hold it against me that i have too many pairs to shoes to be able to count them accurately without looking. yet, i have so few pairs of heels that i can list them quite easily:

1. black leather pointed toe 3-inch heels.

2. black leather maryjane-style 1.5-inch heels

3. black leather maryjane-style 2 inch heels

4. brown leather maryjane-style 1-inch heels

5. black leather boots with a 3-4 inch heel (that i’ve never worn outside of the house)

6. a pair of 2 inch sandals with denim and brown leather bows.

7. navy blue pumps with a 3 inch heel.

that’s it. (i do buy a lot of maryjanes.)

so, it’s sort of a wonder that i’ve been drawn to my heels so often, in light of their limited space in my wardrobe. but i’ve been enjoying the bouncy walk they give me. i feel like i have a sort of power stride when i wear them, my hips jut forward, my head floats high. i feel so feminine in them, but powerfully so. when i wear pretty ballet flats, i feel littler, more childlike. when i wear heels, i feel like a woman.

today, i found another reason to wear them.

it all started innocently enough. i was walking back from one of my favorite lunch spots, and my route allowed for a shortcut through the park. since i’d gone to lunch before noon (because i had missed breakfast), my walk back was the beginning of most every one else’s lunch break. i strutted through the relative quiet of the park, past the homeless teenagers, past the old lady feeding the birds.

clack, clack, clack

suddenly, i noticed the sound. actually, i noticed that someone else noticed the sound of my shoes walking. he was sitting on a park bench, looking down toward the sandwich he was eating, when suddenly, his head lifted.

clack, clack, clack

he looked up! he looked at me! amused, i passed him, feeling quite sure that he was watching the sway of my hips as i did. i felt that lovely, warm thrill i get when i feel someone’s gaze on me.

clack, clack, clack

you know that sound – countless horror movies have used the lonely sound of a woman’s high heels on a hard surface to bring tension to the moment. now, in the middle of a bright sunshiny day, that hollow stepping sound was doing something else: it was bringing an entirely different type of tension.

an older woman in comfortable flats walked about 5 feet in front of me. i looked ahead of us: a cement path lined with little loveseat benches. the little benches filled with people. i didn’t count, but let’s imagine the ratio was 50/50 men to women.

i stopped, switching my weight to the right hip. i let the woman in the flat shoes walk the gauntlet first, observing how nobody looked up from their lunch, their book, their cell phone call. with a sly smile, i shift my weight and hit the same path, with a full, confident stride.

clack, clack, clack

the man on the left looked up from his take out box.

clack, clack, clack

the woman across from him didn’t move.

clack, clack, clack

the older man raised his eyes from his newspaper.

clack, clack, clack

the woman next to him didn’t move.

clack, clack, clack

the three younger men at the end of the row were already looking, so they don’t count. i was glad i had sunglasses on, so i could watch them watch me.

testing my hypothetical, i walked closer to the women, and farther from the men. 9 out of 10 men looked up. not one woman gave me more than a glance.

what is so interesting to me is that high heels lend a gender description to walking. wearing flats, or sneakers, or other quiet shoes, i’m pretty much agreeing to blend in. men, women, they all sound alike in quiet shoes. but heels! heels give the sound of walking a gender. heels are the town crier of femininity: “hear ye! hear ye! a female approaches!”

what a wondrous power. what a totally devious thing to discover . . .

ohhh, yes! the little girl who loves to be watched has found another audience, and it’s one she can conjure with the clack of a well-chosen heel.


  1. Loved the post! 5 months ago i didn’t own a single pair of heels. Then i became my Master’s property, and now i own seven!It’s been a pretty profound transition in oh-so-many ways!My heels are one of the markers of my submission. When i walk in them, i am to hear the clack-clack-clack as slut-slut-slut – a constant reminder as i walk of what i am and who i belong to.

  2. maybe because i’m already so tall, i *hate* calling attention to myself with clacking heels. i think if i had been in your situation i would have been likely to apologize to the people who looked up. i love being watched, but i hate feeling like i’m asking to be watched, if that distinction makes any sense at all. i am SO grateful that my owners don’t make me wear heels. i like wearing them, but only if they don’t make me stick out (i.e. if i’m walking with the protection of someone taller than me).this was a really cute entry. i could completely picture your sassy smile as you confidently walked the catwalk. the people on the benches would be looking up in rhythm, like some 1980’s music video. i so envy you your confidence and charisma. 🙂

  3. loved this! I do not usually wear heels either…I might just have to try!

  4. sub lyn,welcome, and thank you for sharing! i will not be able to wear heels again without thinking of the noise as “slut, slut, slut!” what a nice present!persephone,it’s so interesting to me how your height changes your desire to wear heels. i always think tall girls look incredible in heels because they are so willowy and beautiful. but i can relate to feeling like some things just aren’t sexy due to physical characteristics (i’ve banned mini-skirts because i hate calling attention to my short legs. lol!)i totally understand the distinction between wanting to be watched and not wanting to look like you’re asking to be watched. that is one thing about heels, though – they’re such acceptable professional attire that i can wear them and just look well dressed, despite the effect they seem to have on gentlemen in the park near my office.pixie,try it! i swear, they are not as comfy as tennis shoes, but they are worth it (and this from the girl who went home wednesday night after this walk-a-thon with a huge blister).still worth it, though.thanks everyone for commenting! this was a really fun discovery.

  5. Its great to see more women discovering the joys of wearing heels!! As a man, I *love* to see women wearing heels. As a crossdresser, I love to wear them. And I certainly love the attention they bring when I do!

  6. I love women in heels, and I do in fact find that heels are a submissive statement. I know that some women feel empowered by them, but the signal I get from them is that the wearer:1. Is happy with her femininity.2. Likes to be constantly reminded of her femininity.3. Values being pleasing above her own comfort.Heels may be bad for your feet, but they are very healthy for your state of mind.

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