Women do Love Shoes
It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of shoes they are–anything from Bearpaw Boots to Jessica Simpson shoes. “On sale” seems to be a very popular feature, but beyond that it seems anything in the realm of women’s footwear will get a woman’s attention. There really is no greater testimonial to women’s love for shoes than the current economic recession. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but every statistic you read in any newspaper or publication tells you that product sales, across the board, are down. Everywhere you look, prices have risen. Everywhere, that is, except where women’s shoes are concerned. Sales in women’s shoes have actually gone up compared with where they were last year. So what is with women and their shoes? Well, since men and women have been celebrating and fighting over this issue for centuries, we probably need to turn to science for some real answers.
Shoes According to Science
It might surprise you to learn that there is a significant amount of scientific data on shoes, shoe-buying and the relationship of shoes to women. To begin simply, shoe-buying satisfies two natural human urges: the urge to have new apparel and the urge to collect things. The urge to try on new things and the urge to gather possessions are both activities that result in the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which provides a euphoric high. Just take a look in any woman’s closet and you’re very likely to see an artistic display of shoes (a lot of them), arranged as though they were being presented in a museum or high-end art gallery. That’s a lot of dopamine.
Power in High Places
But wait, there’s more. Helen Fisher, PhD, is an anthropologist at Rutgers University and she has a thing or two to say about women and their shoes, particularly high-heels. She explains that as a species we’re genetically inclined to correlate height with power, so high-heels are capable of giving a woman’s sense of status a lift. Add to that the distinctive and unmistakable sound heels make on a tiled office hallway, and you have the equivalent of a trumpet fanfare announcing the approach of royalty.
The Brain is Connected to the…
To take this a step further, everyone knows that the higher heels get the louder the statement they make, and the more difficult they are to ignore. No matter what you may pretend to think about them, stilettos are sexy, we all know it, and generally no one really cares why. But for purposes of this article let’s take a closer look. According to some scientists, it has to do with the fact that the section of the human brain that controls the genitals is located precisely next to the section of the brain that controls the feet. As with any close neighbors that don’t have fences, there is communication between them, and quite naturally when the genitals and the feet converse, footwear will get mentioned.
How High is High?
Strictly for purposes of scientific and clinical clarification, another tidbit from the esteemed Dr. Fisher bears mentioning. When a woman wears stilettos she is (according to scientists) presenting aspects of an ancient and very primal courtship pose which anthropologists refer to as “lordosis, ” a position characterized by lifted buttocks and an arched back. Let there be no mistake about it. Men and women both love to see heels on a woman because we’re hard-wired that way and there’s not a thing we can do about it… except perhaps buy another pair of really cool (and really expensive) shoes.