Saturday, October 13, 2007

Standing Tall

I have seen women in the workplace put on their extra high stilettos to complete the battle gear look before going into important meetings. As the WSJ article Heelpolotik notes, these shoes are often kept by the side of the desk to be used as needed. Height and feeling powerful are correlated :

"High heels indicate power," says Stuart Weitzman, designer of many a power heel. "For some reason, it's a natural instinct for human beings."

This is partly a factor of height. At 5'9½ in bare feet, a pair of heels leaves Kristin Bentz, who runs a fashion-investment blog, towering over many men in a room. "I totally use the shoes for the intimidation factor -- for women and for men," she says.

I have learned the hard way not to wear high heels when meeting one on one with a manager who is vertically challenged - specially if they are male. You can wear ballerina flats for the rest of your life but it still won't undo the damage that happened the moment he stood up to shake hands and had to look up at you. I can easily imagine a woman standing 6'3" tall in her Ferragamos making a room full of men (and women) feeling utterly puny and inadequate.

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