Let’s face it. A woman can’t have too many pairs of shoes. Flats. Wedges. Sneakers. Stilettos. Platforms. Mules. Slides. Sandals. Boots. Pumps.Slip-ons. Loafers. Clogs. Espadrilles. Loafers. Galoshes. Mary Janes. Skimmers. Moccasins. Oxfords. Mukluks. Slingbacks. Slippers. The right pair of shoes can make a woman feel invincible, sensual, fierce, sweet, sexy, and downright docile. The cobblers of past and present have inspired artists such as New Jersey Artist Willie Cole who creates sculptures out of women’s shoes or Marina Dempster whose shoes are transformed into living plants and animals. And when Andy Warhol was an advertising illustrator, he spent countless hours sketching women’s shoes for the fashion industry. Where is Andy when we need him most?
But just as the iconic shape and form of the female shoe has inspired visual artists, they also have been the focal point of both literature and film. Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale The Red Shoes was made into the haunting 1948 film starring Moira Shearer where obsession competes with balance. Of course Frank Baum’s silver shoes became the iconic ruby slippers in the film version of The Wizard of Oz, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s version of Cinderella made the glass slipper not only real, but musical. Tom Hanks gives a fair shake to the male contingent with his comic performance in The Man With One Red Shoe, and the list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the television series The Red Shoes Diaries. Eudora Welty’s only children’s book The Shoe Bird is about a parrot who works in a shoe store, of course.
Shoes have been the muse to poets and musicians alike. One of my favorite poems, New Shoes by Honor Moore, captures the sexual allure of a new pair of shoes, and poet Charles Bukowski’s witty poem Shoes comments on the perspective that age delivers. Musicians have also used shoes as their inspiration. The dance floor would never be complete without Elvis’s Blue Suede Shoes or KC and the Sunshine Band’s Boogie Shoes, and even the goofy Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant. And I would have to beg forgiveness if I forgot to mention Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Were Made for Walking. A woman in never complete without a good pair of boots.
So, need a new look, an attitude adjustment, or just an excuse to go shopping? Slip on your favorite pair of shoes and let the rest take care of itself. Afterall, they say if the shoe fits, wear it. It might just become your muse.