The Sole of Sex Appeal

by Janelle Harris

There’s something instantaneously empowering and uplifting about sliding into a pair of stilettos. Flats are cute. Sneakers are hot. And may the good Lord rain a heap of special blessings upon the comfort-minded geniuses who invented flip-flops. But don’t nothing but nothing accentuate our natural, inborn, get ‘em girl sex appeal like a pair of sky-high skinnies. Slide a foot into them and they offer up an effortless boost of confidence and, unless you haven’t yet mastered the balancing act of remaining vertically upright and walking in them, a stroll that commands attention.

I am admittedly a shoe fiend. I love them across the gamut—except Crocs, clogs, and Uggs or any knockoff derivative thereof—but my heart percolates over heels. And guys love us in stilettos, which I don’t mind because I love stilettos, too. For different reasons, of course. I’m in awe of the colors, the little details, the designs that make them distinctively fabulous. They, on the other hand, are in awe simply by watching a woman delicately balance herself on a 4, 5, sometimes–if she’s real bad–6 or 7-inch stem hoisting her up off the ground. (Bonus points for those of us who can run for cabs and chase after children in them.)

Men can wear flats and sneakers themselves, but they’re mesmerized by the sexy sway of a woman in high heels. I know the staunchly feminist crowd argues against the importance of that, but I’m single and still fairly young, so it still has a modicum of importance to me. As an added bonus, through someone’s dogged and very important research, I’ve heard that heels not only make our legs look longer and sleeker, but they make our butts look like they’re sitting up higher and—this just in—they increase projection up to 25 percent. Even if you’re struggling to have some booty action, heels will plump and perk your backside.

Sans the validation of any dude or superficial physical accouterments, however, I love the way heels make me feel. I am a tower of power whenever I put them on.

Thirty minutes before a lunch meeting with a new client, I stood in front of my mirror checking and rechecking and checking some more for any egregious flaws that could possibly take center stage during the course of the conversation. You know how hard it is to stay focused on what somebody’s saying when they have a renegade eyebrow hair or some anonymous particle floating free on their tooth, so I was taking care not to become the unfortunate subject of somebody’s Facebook post or Twitter wisecrack. The woman I was meeting up with was looking for an editor for her first novel, and even though I’ve knocked out my fair share of similar projects, I was feeling a bit flustered. Then, like a magical ruby red slipper—except they were red microsuede—the heels I stepped into gave me a boost of can-do that sent me into that lunch hour with a sashay in my step and a conversation piece to break the ice with.

I don’t know what kind of shoes make you feel all drenched in your womanhood, and maybe shoes aren’t your thing at all, but I had to pause and celebrate the almighty towering stiletto.

  • African Mami

    I loveeeeee flats. quirky, military, African you name it….heels make my small toe cry and have me singing the blues! No thanks.

  • Ocean Blue

    Heels are cool, but I do not wear them often. In fact, I currently own just two pairs. I do not own a vehicle, the closest bus stop to my house is a mile away and I walk a lot, so I am pretty much always in flat shoes at the disappointment of others.

    Now, I live in a state that experiences all kinds of weather conditions, so I am always shaking my head when a woman comes up to the bus stop in heels when there is snow and ice on the ground. Some women are so afraid of not appearing or being labeled feminine that they will wear heels no matter the weather or even if their choice of clothing for the day does not work well with heels.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    so some fool has convinced some women that shoes that are unhealthy and stupid looking is what they want to spend their money on.

    newsflash : men been looking at women before heels and will continue to do so after heels.

    sisters, wake up……

  • Jocy

    I completely agree with the writer’s take. Nothing says “girl power” louder than a hot pair of shoes. I feel different when I put on heels. Now to save my feet, legs, ankles from stress, I wear flats or sneakers until I get to my destination.

  • MyPriceisRight

    i’m glad i’m tall and got long legs already

  • Dalili

    Love the shoes in the picture! I love stilettos though I don’t wear them as much as I used to, they only come out on the grandest of occasions. I’m more into wedges and flats these days.

  • nnaattaayy

    Lol. Its funny cause just today my professor said “Thank goodness there are only smart women in my class” because none of us were wearing heels. -______-

  • nnaattaayy

    Its funny cause just today my professor said “Thank goodness there are only smart women in my class” because none of us were wearing heels. -______-

  • Gina

    I think dresses give me that feeling. When I’m going out I do feel sexier obviously in a pair of comfortable heels (I love platforms with really thick soles. I can’t walk in super slim soles) But in a dress, something that is unanimously feminine, I feel like a goddess. Especially if its light and flowly. Plus, I always get more doors help open for me in dresses then if I just wore the usually jean and t.

  • Miss J

    I love love stilletos, i wear them all the time when i go out clubbing , for dinner with my friends, on a date… i just feel sexy in them . For work I sometimes wear them depending what i’m wearing . I feel comfortable in heels because before I wear a new pairs of heels I make them stretch

  • Tonton Michel

    I dare this website to talk about men and sneakers again, yall hear?! Same something else up in this joint about some Jordans…..tear this place down…….

  • Dalili


  • Socially Maladjusted

    nah -

    stilleto calfs, stick out booty, above the knee fitted tube dress wrapped around the woman jelly.

    Doesn’t get more woman than that.

    doesn’t get more dirty but hot than that.


  • binks

    For me it’s a great shade of lipstick whenever i wear lipstick i feel sexy, confident and ready to take on the world. I am kind of over the sky kigh heels fad as of late i mean can a sistah get a sexy pair of 3 or 4 inch heel not the 5, 6 or 7 inch i am not trying to be on a pole…lol

  • Kiki

    I hate when people equate femininity, sexiness or a love of fashion with stupidity.

  • So Over This Ish

    Lucky you! That is the only downside to being petite…I’m only 5’1. I wish I had the mile-long legs that most tall girls seem to have.

    High heels are a short girl’s best friend, but they hurt like a mofo!

  • So Over This Ish

    @ Kiki…I completely agree w/you. A woman can be both smart AND sexy!

  • African Mami

    Jordans are the devil!!!!

  • Alexandra

    Here, here twin! Legs for days, months, years….
    I’m not much of a fan of heels. Can’t even wear ‘em longer than an hour.

  • Ocean Blue

    It’s ‘Hear, hear’, not ‘here, here’.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    The way this author feels about shoes is the same way I feel about lingerie. And im not even in a relationship either. I LOVE victoria’s secret.

  • Hushpuppies

    Heels? Not so much. But I feel amazing when I wear a pair of flattering jeans. Good denim = worth the price. Perhaps this is weird but I also have this original MJ tour t-shirt that I love; it’s so soft and comfortable, and gets me tons of compliments!

  • So Over This Ish

    Me too! I’m obsessed with VS. I know some people think it’s just expensive crap, but I love their stuff.

  • Candy 1

    I am all about practicality, and heels are not practical to me. I like them, but they are so uncomfortable and I am a creature of comfort. But I do wear dresses a lot, especially in the summer. Dresses make me feel so feminine. I do sometimes wear wedges because of the support. Heels are limited to Sundays for me.

  • Ocean Blue

    I agree that heels aren’t practical either and like you, and I would rather be comfortable than sexy.

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