Opinion: Choosing what you wear


Joyce Ng is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Joyce Ng

It’s that time of the year again. The weather is finally warming up and many university departments are hosting awards ceremonies to recognize the work that students have done throughout the school year. This means that many girls are breaking out their dresses, sandals and high heels. This past week, I’ve seen many females walking around campus slowly, and obviously uncomfortably, due to the restrictions that their short dresses and heels have placed upon their bodies.     

High heels are popular because they make the wearer more aesthetically pleasing, according to common standards of beauty. The wearer’s calves are accentuated, her legs look longer and she is forced to stand in a more upright position with her chest sticking out. However, these aesthetic perks come at a cost.

Dr. Natalie Nevins, an osteopathic physician, stated in an article on the American Osteopathic Association website that wearing high heels forces the wearer’s foot into an unnatural position and causes her to redistribute her weight incorrectly. This redistribution creates a posture that strains the knees, hips and lower back.

Many women are aware of the health problems that prolonged high heel wearing causes but still continue to do so. I am not opposed to wearing high heels, but like anything else, I think it needs to be done in moderation and with careful consideration. It is important to dress in what makes you comfortable. Save heels for special occasions, and pick heels that don’t distort your feet completely.

It is unfortunate that a woman’s beauty should come at the cost of her comfort and health — a cost that is not worth it. No woman should ever feel pressured into wearing anything simply because it is the perceived standard of beauty.

While short dresses and stilettos might make the wearer look attractive and seductive, they force her into a walking posture that I find hard to not laugh at. Short dresses and high heels forces the woman to keep her legs close together and makes it hard for her to bend her legs. This posture reminds me of baby giraffes — it is humorous and looks unnatural for human beings.

Women, the next time you’re planning your outfit for a dressy event, remember that there are other options apart from clothes and shoes that force you to keep your legs close together all the time. Style and beauty do not have to come at the cost of comfort. Apart from the comfort and health factors, it is important for women, and everyone else for that matter, to feel free to wear what makes them feel most physically comfortable.

We are also responsible for ensuring that we create environments that allow everyone to feel emotionally safe regardless of what they wear — that means wearing the clothes that you wear because you want to and not just because everyone is doing it too.