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Brought to Heel

When, final month, a girl in Canada common a photo on social media of her bloodied feet after a work change in heels as a waitress, it triggered a wave of condemnation in the West.

In Russia, the post had small impact. But a glance around a central Moscow selling core is all it needs to conclude that many Russian women contingency be personally pity her pain. In a duration of 15 mins watchful at the Yevropeisky selling center, 8 women travel by in stiletto heels of 8 centimeters or higher.

Irina, 31, an attractive, slim blonde, is visibly in a rush. But she stops in her marks when asked to show off her shoes. Out comes the right foot, showcasing a towering 10-centimeter crowd sandal — it is solemnly rotated right, afterwards left. Then, she kicks her leg back, as if in a Marilyn Monroe-style print shoot. And suddenly she’s off again, darting divided like a modern-day Cinderella.

Russian women are famously skilful at wearing sky-high heels — by sunshine, sleet and thick snow. No consternation а  Russian lady binds the world record for tightrope walking in high heels.

And they’re not indifferent for special occasions, or Friday nights.

When stopped on a executive Moscow travel in the mid-afternoon, a girl wearing beige stilettos at least 9 centimeters high apologizes for not carrying the time to speak. “I’m on my proceed to work,” she says.

Shoe DNA

High heels are executive to beauty and femininity in Russia, says Tatyana Maximova, editor of Russia’s Cosmopolitan Shopping magazine, herself in medium-height retard heels.

“They widen your legs and improve your posture,” she says. “So if a girl wants to look feminine, she’s improved off wearing heels.” (She pleasantly looks past the sneakers ragged by this The Moscow Times reporter.)

According to Alla Verber, Russian women’s adore for heels is in their DNA. A former Soviet émigré, Verber is one of Russia’s many famous sell moguls and was instrumental in transforming what used to be the gray TsUM Soviet dialect store into a selling stadium for the Russian chosen of the post 1990s.

Even during Soviet times, Verber says, Russian women had a penchant for shoes. “At that time, many women didn’t even know their shoe stretch and there was roughly zero available, so they bought what they could. But everybody still attempted to look good. Well-looked after boots were seen as a sign of intelligence,” she says.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, however, boots took core stage.

“People were inspired for beautiful things,” says Verber. “No one ever wore prosaic shoes. No one. The general arrogance was that a woman though heels was not beautiful,” And, loyal to the Russian convictions of that time — “more is more” — women reached for the top heels available, at 9 or 10 centimeters.

The image of Russian women in sky-high heels became a stereotype, says Verber. “Russian women were mocked abroad. People said: ‘They’ll wear heels even at the airport, or when going for a walk. Always, wherever.'”

A music video from the renouned rope “Leningrad.” The Russian lady prepares herself to meet Prince Charming by painting the soles of her heels red with spike gloss to fake the iconic red soles of the Louboutin shoe brand.

Flat Revolution

But times are changing. New conform dictates some-more and more women are selecting sneakers over heels, at least during the daytime. There is also a growing open bid to wean women off their heels for the consequence of their health.

In 2014, Russian lawmaker Oleg Mikheyev due introducing restrictions on high-heeled shoes, claiming that they led to various deformities. According to Mikheyev, 40 percent of Russian adults humour from flat feet, and heels are partly to blame. “Our women shouldn’t have to suffer pain since they’re walking in the wrong footwear,” he told The Moscow Times. Mikheyev’s offer got a cold accepting — it was mostly ridiculed and trashed.

Other initiatives have taken a softer, and perhaps some-more successful, proceed to nudge shoe lovers to go low. Orthopedists in white coats make visit appearances on television shows to describe the cumulative health effects of a life in heels on wearers’ backs, legs and feet.

Several years ago, Russian state radio Channel One also started broadcasting a daily conform recommendation shred patrician “Without Heels” during their morning show. More than about fashion, the segment is educational and targets women’s psychology.

“We wish to show women they can be pleasing though heels, that wearing heels in an inapt conditions is some-more of a minus, than a plus,” says Marina Izvarina, who runs the “Dobroye Utro” show.

But the key to getting women to switch their boots competence not distortion with them, though in the hands of the conflicting sex. “In the first place, women wear heels for men,” says Cosmopolitan’s Maximova.

In a nation where women outnumber group by almost 11 million, according to Russia’s state statistics service, looking good at all times is some-more prerequisite than whim. A bright pinkish announcement on a website charity courses on how to walk in heels announces: “Seventy-five percent of men cite women in heels.” No reason is given for the statistic, though it positively reflects what many Russian women take as true.

“Flat boots were seen as unsexy, uninteresting,” says Verber. And Cosmopolitan’s Maximova says: “If we go on a date, afterwards heels are a must.”

Circus performer Oxana Seroshtan set the world record for the longest tightrope travel in high heels. She walked 15 meters in stilettos, doubling the previous record distance.

Lost Irony

While changing conform is gradually harsh down at the ubiquity of heels, Russians are also training to laugh at themselves.

One of the country’s many renouned stone groups “Leningrad” recently done a video in which a girl receives an invite from Prince Charming to go see a Van Gogh exhibit.

With hours to go until deadline and spurred on by fantasies of marriage, the girl sets out on a waggish query to mask her healthy coming underneath feign eyelashes, styled hair and painted nails. Of course, no outfit is finish though “F*cking overwhelming pants and Louboutins,” according to the familiar chorus.

The girl can frequency means the iconic red-soled French shoes, so opts for fakes instead, portrayal the soles of cheap knock-off heels red with spike polish. Suffice to say, it ends in disaster.

If there was a lesson to be learnt from the video, not everybody got it. Inspired by the hit, a prominent Moscow complicated art space launched a special St. Valentine’s Day debate extenuation women giveaway entrance to its possess Van Gogh exhibit. The dress code: Stilettos — Louboutins, or otherwise.

It was positively successful: The museum’s caller numbers peaked. Meanwhile, hundreds of women wobbled uncomfortably in heels measuring 10 centimeters.

It was an exhibit that roughly rivaled Van Gogh.

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/572701.html

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