I came across Leanie Van der Vyer’s colossal heels, conveniently called “Scary Beautiful,” after a friend posted about the towering pumps on Facebook. Yahoo ran an article expressing Van der Vyer’s intent in creating the shoes, where the stylist relays that her feelings of fashion inadequecy brought the shoes to life. Clearly, the shoes are meant as a statement, not as footwear.
But bringing these shoes to life plays exactly into the conundrum that Van der Vyer means to avoid. Yes, fashion certainly can be unattainable for the average gal, whether we’re talking price tag or wearability. And yet, some will still strive to attain the unattainable. Women worldwide wear more normal, six inch pumps to work for a lifetime and end up with bunion surgery or severally maimed feet. This is almost expected in today’s society. But, if shoes like Van der Vyer’s keep cropping up, who is to say that they won’t become the next big thing?
Yahoo’s article comes complete with a video of a model attempting to walk in the Scary Beautifuls. The lithe woman, clad in a shirt worn as too-short dress, walks the length of a room in Van der Vyer’s creation. The model, quite simply, looks prehistoric, more like an ape than a human. Her butt is stuck far out behind her body, as if the model has suffered from severe scoliosis or a hunchback. I’m not even sure that she looks “scary beautiful.”
Is this what men and women want? It’s long been said that men love women in heels because their behinds are elevated, thus enhancing the female form. And women love heels for their professional look, the height they lend, etc. But Van der Vyer’s “Scary Beautiful” shoes exaggerate those qualities to the point of the grotesque. I don’t want to see a model reduced to a waddle. I don’t want to see her knobby knees pointing out like boobs. I don’t want to think about the fact that her feet are pointed towards the floor in a pair of shoes that aren’t ballet shoes; I don’t want to have to console her bloody stumps after she removes them from the footwear.
As Van der Vyer intended, these shoes raise interesting questions about the state of fashion in our society. Will we stop at nothing to missrepresent ourselves as the image of a blatantly unattainable perfection?