Tuesday 18 February 2014

The self-deception of high heels - and status


As very high heeled shoes are back in fashion yet again I reflect on the short termist, self-harming, self-deceptive attitudes which they reveal.


High heels often accomplish the short-termist goal of attracting more attention to a woman - because they give an illusion of longer and perhaps shapelier legs, and tilt the pelvis and create a compensatory  back extension in a way that will emphasize breasts and buttocks - extreme styles of high heels also advertize (whether or not she intends it consciously) a woman's sexual interest and availability, which also naturally attracts attention.


The disadvantage is that high heels make women believe they are taller than they really are; and since women strongly prefer men to be taller than themselves, from the woman's perspective high heels reduce the proportion of attractive men.

Men who would have been attractive without high heels, are rendered unattractive by the wearing of high heels.

(Obviously this effect of reducing the proportion of attractive men gets stronger as the woman wearing the high heels gets taller.)

Having artificially raised their internal standards of attractiveness by creating the illusion of height, high heel wearing women are then 'forced' to lower those selective standards by getting drunk.


High heels are thus rather similar to high status.

Women who undergo prolonged education and attain higher occupational status, by doing so reduce the proportion of men whom they find attractive - because just as women want men to be taller then themselves, so women want men to be of higher status than themselves.


Height and status are both comparative. A higher status woman finds fewer men attractive than a low status woman; a very high status woman finds very few men attractive.

Furthermore, a prolonged education or prolonged occupational training and serial promotion (which are typically what leads to high status) necessarily makes a women older and therefore on average less attractive - especially as a marriage partner and mother.


So as her education prolongs, her promotions accumulate, and as her status increases; on average a women finds that a smaller and smaller proportion of men are attractive to her - and at the same time she herself is getting less and less attractive. So this group of educated and high status women has the lowest rate of marriage and the lowest fertility from the combination of being more selective and less attractive.

And, in order to overcome her own paralysingly-selective attitude towards men, high status women often have to get themselves drunk in order to subvert their own, self-created, inhibitions.

So the net evaluative process at work in choosing a partner is some combination of status (and height) hyper-selectivity and its wreckage by intoxication.


(Also, self-intoxication in a woman is off-putting for a man looking for a long term, loyal, wife. So the kind of man a hyper-selective/ but intoxicated women ends-up-with is a biased in the direction of the kind of man who is, for whatever reason, attracted-by - or at least un-bothered by - habitual drunkenness in his sexual partner/s.) 


The whole thing is a real (and self-reinforcing) tragedy for so many people and in so many ways. People underestimate the ill-effects of their own psychological self-manipulations such as high heels and higher education... well they don't just underestimate them, they deny them altogether! But there is a mass of statistical evidence and logic - as well as personal observation - to confirm this stuff.



David said...

That's the last time I wear high heels on the weekend then ;-)

Bruce B. said...

I’ve noticed in the workplace that it’s the women who are taller than average (close to the average male height) that tend to wear high-heels most frequently. I’ve assume this is because they want to be as tall or taller than many of the men and that short women can’t do achieve this with high heels so they don’t bother.

Bruce B. said...

I’ve also noticed a lot of the women now wear leather boots (“go-go boots??”). These seem to advertise sexual availability too although I don’t understand how.

Steve Moxon said...

Hi Bruce
As I point out in the book you were instrumental in getting published (The Woman Racket), isn't it a misnomer to consider that females have status when status is a measure of specifically male mate-value? [Female mate-value is fertility -- youth/beauty.] Women compete to ape men in the male style sociality of the workplace so that they can better place themselves in the path of high-status men. The trouble is that they might have been better just getting a job sitting on reception -- not just for the reasons you give, that serial promotion takes away their youth, but also that male executives would fear her having extra-pair sex with fellow executives!

Bruce Charlton said...

Hi Steve - I was recommending your book again just last week (despite its unChristian perspective!).

Well, I defer to your analysis in a strict biological sense, but 'status' in women seems to work as an explanatory variable in the situation I describe here.

Can you think of a better and more accurate term? Delusional status?