Walk a mile in another woman's shoes ...
I've heard of tall stories but the tale about the woman fired for wearing flats instead of high heels is completely ridiculous.
The saying goes that you shouldn’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
Well apparently, if you’re a London receptionist, the shoes in question need to have a heel of between two and four inches.
There’s been public outcry and much debate following the story about temp worker Nicola Thorp who was sent home after refusing to wear heels.
She told bosses she would struggle to work a full day in heels and asked to wear her smart flat shoes, but was told to go and buy a pair of shoes with heels.
When she questioned if men would be treated the same way, bosses told her that was ridiculous and laughed in her face.
Now anyone who knows me will appreciate that I love my heels and wouldn’t be without them but I am absolutely incredulous at this Medieval fashion dictation of what footwear women should wear.
Women – and men – are entitled to wear what they want and while workplaces have the right to expect a reasonable dress code and for people to look smart, forced footwear is downright discrimination.
It seems many people feel the same way as an online petition demanding a change in workplace rules has already topped 100,000 signatures proving that people just aren’t prepared to get walked all over – in heels or not.
School children are understandably governed by uniform policies and pupils often grumble at the strict rules.
I myself remember my own school days with stringent guidelines stipulating only small stud earrings, no make-up or nail varnish and no wacky hair colours or styles.
Hubby is still indignant about having once being told off for wearing socks which were in the correct school colour … only had little helicopters on them.
While I agree schools should have uniform policies that all pupils should adhere to, once we’re grown up, surely we’ve earned the right to individuality in the fashion stakes?
Unless your workplace has an actual uniform that staff have to wear, I personally believe people should be able to wear what they want as long as it is appropriate and smart.
Common sense and reason has to come in it of course. After all, if we all rocked into work in Darth Vader costumes or tiger onesies there’d be a few raised eyebrows … although colleagues in our advertising department frequently turn up to work in such attire on “theme” days.
At 5ft one-and-half inches small, I consider heels to be a necessity rather than a luxury and I’m so used to wearing them, my feet feel strange without them.
Indeed, on our recent family holiday, I spent a fortnight in flats and my feet ached with discomfort at the abnormality of it.
There are occasions when wearing heels might not be the best idea... such as when jumping on a bouncy castle, taking part in the adults race at school sports day or when hiking in the Lakes.
But if someone tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to wear my high heels to work, I would draw myself up to my full height (or lack of it) bristling with indignation and rage.
In the same way as I’m entitled to my heels, I respect the views of women who always wear flats.
Whether it’s because they find them uncomfortable, struggle to totter in them, think they’re already tall enough without them or simply because they prefer flats, that is their choice.
Why should any woman be forced to toe the line of those who think they’d look better in heels?
I adore heels not only because of the added height but for how they look and make me feel.
But one size doesn’t fit all.
Flats can be just as smart as heels in formal wear so why should those women who find heels unnatural be made to force their feet into something that doesn’t fit their personal choice?
While I am determined to carry on wearing high heels till my zimmer frame days, fashion sexism has no place in today’s society.
Everyone should have the right to wear what they want.
Let’s all fight for the right to gain height.