Thursday, November 6, 2008

Women in heels

High heels + bare legged... Respect!

I hold great respect for Chinese women in heels. What they can do in heels I can barely do in flats. Take working out at a step machine at the gym for instance. Add pumps, and you'll get a bum-lift + a bum-workout at once. Impressive. Me, on the other hand, have never been the good looking-girl-at-the-gym. I prefer au natural and comfortable over pumps and looking good (besides, I think my precious ankles, who have been sprained too many times through my basket-ball-dominated-childhood and then broken once because of ice on the ground in Finland, would have cracked under pressure). But nothing wrong with being inspired right? To be able to look good when working out is quite an achievement to me (take this for someone who still hasn't managed) but obviously the Chinese women's style awareness stretches far beyond the gym. Yesterday I was sitting down with a cup of coffee and 60 new Chinese words to learn at a cafe, when two gorgeous Chinese women walked in and sat down at the table next to mine. I couldn't help but starring. They were just so... beautiful, from top to toe. From their faces I could tell they weren't that young (tonnes of make-up can't hide your true number -I guess their over-doing of make-up would have been my only complaint) but they still dressed very chic (one was in shorts, a funky pair of stockings, a long, oversized shirt and pumps -it looked great on her) and then there were the shoes... ahhhh.... those shoes... -with a spiky, high heel that they walked on with such grace that any supermodel would have been jealous.

I wonder if it is part of growing up in China (as a girl) to learn how to walk well in heels. Sure, there are always exceptions, but overall, I think Chinese women are masters when it comes to walking well in high heels. They even run to the bus in them! Due to the fact that my height qualifies me as a 'tall person' in China, I don't often wear heels over here as it just makes me feel more giant-like when I am two heads taller (and a fair bit wider...) than my petite Chinese female friends. But when I sat at the cafe yesterday, dressed as a result of being both lazy and late that very morning (sneakers, jeans, and a comfy sweater) and watched those women, I felt an instant urge to run home and change into something less 'I couldn't be bothered to make an effort' and more feminine and lady like...

As you all might have guessed I am definitely putting on my highest heels today. I just wish I could walk in them as well as the woman outside my window, who is right now chasing after her... son (?) even thought she's wearing what looks like at least a 3-inch heel.

Wow.

10 comments:

t said...

This is so true! I notice this every time I'm in Shanghai! Coming from Australia, where most people are in thongs (flip flops) or flats every day, I find it amazing how women in Shanghai are in heels all the time! Especially since the footpaths can be quite uneven and bumpy, it would be a nightmare to wear heels on a daily basis. I don't know how they do it! Anyone who knows the secret would make a lot of money hehe...

WoAi said...

You're absolutely spot on, especially in Shanghai (less so in Beijing, MUCH less). The girls here seem determined to look outstanding even if buying milk in a convenience store they will dress up first. It's hilarious but as a guy it's also agony to see so many "distractions" on the street every day. Now winter is coming it's tiny skirts with knee high high heeled boots which is a look I LOVE.

Why do you think I called my blog "I LOVE CHINA"!

Jonna Wibelius said...

t -I know. Impressive is almost an understatement!

...although I've got to say that I loved the 'thong atmosphere' when I lived in Australia too... :)

Woai -hehe, yeah I understand u r in paradise in heel-loving-shanghai.. U know, when I met fashion designer Lu Kun at the beginning of this year and he explained to me why (according to him) Shanghai women are the hottest women in the world, the first reason he mentioned was: 'they are always in heels. And what woman doesn't look great in heels?!' He had a point! (I was in flats when I met him. I felt deeeply ashamed of myself)

Tripfriend said...

I haven't seen many women in heels yet, but I've seen plenty in boots. It's probably a little bit colder here than where you are.

Anonymous said...

I once tried to catch a bus in stilettos in China and ended up with a sprained ankle for a month, after which I was dragged by a well meaning relative to weekly traditional suction cup treatments...moral: that ability is definitely nurture, not nature.

sarah said...

Girls in Beijing wear high heels "MUCH less" than they do in Shanghai!? Holy crap, I can't imagine what it is like in Shanghai then since it is noticeable here in Beijing too!

Anonymous said...

Think of bunion and other foot problems that these ladies will face
in a few years. A great future here for podiatrists.

shopgirl shanghai said...

yeah, but compared to other cities such as Tokyo and taipei I think shanghainese girls in general are less interested to look good when walking out on the streets.

come on jonna, you're not THAT tall, neither big. You would look great with a pair of high heels walking in Shanghai! Im only 164 so I have to wear high heels almost everyday. You are just lucky that you are taller than everyone else. Be proud!

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Desiree Teacher said...

I'm an English teacher in South Korea, about to visit China for the first time next week (so excited!), the women here wear high heels for everything here as well. I see them walking on sheets of ice, up and down polished granite staircases (with no traction), walking on the beach, and hiking mountains, all in high heels, and often mini skirts as well.