The intricate and complex history of high heels has led to a variety of cultural thoughts and lens through which people view them today. Firstly, it is very exclusively gendered in the sense that few men wear high heels in present times.[4] Secondly, magazines like Playboy, as well as other media sources portraying women in a sexual way, often do so using high heels. Paul Morris, a psychology researcher at the University of Portsmouth, argues that high heels accentuate "sex specific aspects of female gait", artificially increasing a woman's femininity.[4] Respectively, the arching of a woman's back facilitated by wearing high heels signals a woman's willingness to be courted by a man.[14][15] Keeping this sexual undercurrent in mind, heels are considered fashionable for women in most cases. It could be semi-formal with a "button down silk blouseā€¦jeans and high heels."[16] Or, it could be formal with a dress or pants suit. Finally, 20th and 21st century cultural values have dictated that high heels are the norm in professional settings for a woman. Some researchers argue that high heels have even become part of the female workplace uniform, and operate in a much larger and complex set of display rules.[4] High heels are considered to pose a dilemma to women as they bring them psychosexual benefits but are detrimental to their health.[17] The 21st century has introduced a broad spectrum and variety of styles, ranging from height and width of heel, to design and color of the shoe.
Further research reveals that another possible consequence of wearing high heels is an increase of pressure in one's veins. Experiments have proven that the higher the heel, the "higher [the] venous pressure in the leg." This means that after repeated use of high heels, varicose veins and other undesirable symptoms are much more likely to appear in the legs.[18] Other research supports these two claims when arguing that wearing high heels can lead to numerous long term effects, including accidental trauma to multiple areas of the body.[4]
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