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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear High Heels Anymore

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear High Heels Anymore

High heels have been a long time fashion staple in women’s closets around the world. Unfortunately, there have been numerous studies that show the negative side effects that these shoes can have on feet. Luckily, there are plenty of flat-heeled shoes that are popular alternatives that still look stylish and will not leave you with aching feet at the end of the day.

They wreak havoc on your calves and Achilles’ tendon

According to a study done at  Manchester Metropolitan University in England, wearing high heels reduces the group of muscle fibers in the calf and contributes to increased stiffness in the Achilles’ tendon that is responsible for connecting the calf muscles to the heels. This effect is responsible for reducing the range of motion in the ankle. This study was conducted on eleven women who wear heels and nine who do not. The researchers began by scanning the women’s calf muscle make-up with an MRI and noted no differences between each group of women. But in a follow up examination, they noticed that the muscle fibers of the women in high heels were 13 percent shorter and have noticeably larger Achilles’ tendons.

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They can be the cause of lower back pain

Feet are a crucial foundation on which your body relies on. Wearing shoes that do not support them well can create a lot of unnecessary pain, including lower back aches. Wearing high heels also contributes to poor posture and put added pressure on your lower spine. Try trading your 4-inch pumps for shoes with less than 1-inch heels and you will be guaranteed to see a big difference.

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They help support traditional gender ideals

Even in this modern day and age, wearing high heels can be associated with a more traditional female role. This past year in the ultra-glitzy Cannes Film Festival in France, there was controversy over the alleged banning of a group of women who chose to wear rhinestone flats instead of heels. According to the festival’s strict dress code, women are only allowed to wear heels, even if they have a medical condition like some of the women in this banned group did. This archaic view on female beauty is not only present at high-society events, but also in the workplace and every day life as well. Health reasons aside, it is important to think of the message you are sending out if you decided to wear high heels.

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They may be sending the wrong signal

Research has shown that women wearing high heels are viewed as having more sex appeal and gain more attention from both sexes. A study performed by Nicolas Gueguen (2014) showed that women who dropped a glove in high heels were more likely to be notified by a male of the misplaced object by 93 percent in comparison to only 62 percent of the time for women who were wearing flats. In some cases, more attention is not something you want. High heels are known to elongate women’s legs, thus giving them model-like illusion. If you want to be seen less as a sex symbol, maybe it is time to reconsider wearing those sky high heels and trade them in for flats.

They are known to decrease credibility in the workplace

According to an article in The Atlantic, women who are striving to climb to the top in their career should stick to flats until they have reached their desired position, especially in male-saturated industries like tech. Wearing high heels creates a greater divide between men and women in the work place and are reminders of a woman’s femininity. Therefore, it is important to remember when you are planning your work wardrobe to think twice about your footwear and what message it will be sending at the office.

Featured photo credit: Augsburg, Germany. 2013. Crossing lines. / Boris Thaser via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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