High heels have a long history, dating as far back as the tenth century. The Persian cavalry, for example, wore a kind of boot with heels in order to ensure their feet stayed in the stirrups[citation needed]. Furthermore, research indicates that heels kept arrow-shooting riders, who stood up on galloping horses, safely on the horse.[2] This trend has translated into the popular 21st-century cowboy boot. Owning horses was expensive and time-consuming, so to wear heels implied the wearer had significant wealth.[3] This practical and effective use of the heel has set the standard for most horse-back riding shoes throughout history and even into the present day. Later, in the 12th century in India, heels become visible again. The image of a statue from the Ramappa Temple proves this, showing an Indian woman's foot clad in a raised shoe. Then, during the Medieval period, both men and women wore platform shoes in order to raise themselves out of the trash and excrement filled streets.[4] In 1430, chopines were 30 inches (76 cm) high, at times. Venetian law then limited the height to three inches—but this regulation was widely ignored.[5] A 17th-century law in Massachusetts announced that women would be subjected to the same treatment as witches if they lured men into marriage via the use of high-heeled shoes.[6]
Alternatively, World War II led to the popularization of pin-up girl posters, which men would often hang in their bunks while at war. Almost all of these girls were pictured wearing high heels, leading to an increase in the relationship between high heels and female sexuality.[3] The tall, skinny stiletto heel was invented in 1950, strengthening the relationship between women, sexuality, and appearance.[10] There was a weakening of the stiletto style during both the late 1960s / early 1970s and also 1990s when block heels were more prominent, followed by a revival in the 2000s.
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