I am not a shopper (Gene Wolfe once called me a "closet man" because of my dislike of shopping for clothes). My children are grown, and they were boys, so I'm out of touch with fashions for little girls. They just don't enter my consciousness -- until now.
A pair of mothers have started a business that makes high heels for female babies and toddlers. There are six styles, each looking like something Carrie Bradshaw might have worn on Sex and the City. The heels are "squishy," which means they retract if a child actually tries to walk on them. Each pair cost $35. You can view them at www.heelarious.com.
Now, I am a feminist but not a radical feminist. When I gave my GOH speech at Wiscon, I wore lipstick and a pink dress. About four times a year I put on high heels (the Nebulas, the Hugos, the odd party or wedding), much in the same spirit that I might wear a bustier or a sword or a floor-length cape (which I actually own one of): fun, flirty, not real life. Nonetheless, the idea of inculcating -- and that's what it is -- tiny girls with the idea that they are born to wear high heels makes my stomach turn. In heels, you are effectively handicapped. You can't run, you can't lift anything heavy. At the end of the evening, your feet hurt. At the end of lifetime, they're deformed. Is this really the message we want to send to girls?
What are these maternal entrepreneurs -- and their customers -- thinking of?