Calling Ivana, Ivanka, Melania and the Trump daughters-in-law “the female consorts of the Leader of the Free World,” Newsweek writes darkly that they “do not set foot in public without first molding their arches into the supranatural curve that Mattel toy designers once devised for Barbie’s plastic feet.”
At first, Newsweek seems to express concern for the women, quoting Former Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley saying, “As you get older in these shoes, your feet are going to have problems. I am not gonna say Melania is gonna have them soon, but sooner or later she is going have to come down off that high arch.”
More concern from Newsweeek: “Stiletto pumps demand a critical level of attention to pebbles, cobbles, sidewalk cracks, mud, grass, curbs and stairs—all while keeping head erect and shoulders back—that has sometimes eluded even the greatest public females.”
So when does the worm turn, and Newsweek get down to the business of denigrating the Trump women? Here: “So sure are they of their footing that the Trump women, rare political mountain goats, never even look down for obstacles that might break up their gait or send them sprawling.”
Mountain goats. Nice.
That’s only the beginning. Newsweek ratchets its attack up by getting to its real issue; the shoes make women look sexy. And we can’t have that:
Besides indicating athletic superiority, the stiletto pump serves another purpose, summed up in shoe designer Louboutin’s comment, “The core of my work is dedicated not to pleasing women but to pleasing men.”
Newsweek quotes British psychologist Paul Morris:
In terms of the human example, we tend to find the defining characteristics of the opposite sex attractive. High heels function in a similar way. Males respond to the characteristic way a woman walks, i.e., the movement of the female pelvis: High heels just exaggerate the femaleness of the walk. So to deconstruct why Trump women wear high heels: They are just buying into traditional binary views of male and female.
Binary views of male and female? As in, women who want to look attractive to men?
Yup. Next up: American anthropologist and author Helen Fisher:
High heels thrust out the buttocks and arch the back into a natural mammalian courting—actually, copulatory—pose called “lordosis.” Rats do it, sheep do it…lions do it, dogs do it. It is a naturally sexy posture that men immediately see as sexual readiness. [Heels] are a “come-hither” signal.
Here’s the rub, according to Fisher: “When women wear high heels at work, they send sexual signals that should be avoided if they want to be taken seriously.”
Newsweek sums up:
Feminists have long grappled with the high-heeled shoe, and whether the stiletto telegraphs power (sexual or otherwise) or self-hobbled weakness. Stiletto pumps are the ultimate test of a certain type of femininity. They signal the taut combination of power and weakness that conservative women must cultivate in order to survive among ideologues who are crafting our tax-free “Handmaid’s Tale” future.