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Rio Ziegler 2/22/13 Fashion and Media Comm. 411 Dr.

Kathy Merlock-Jackson The Loaded Accessory: The Symbolism of High Heels in Three Iconic Shoe Films Fashion has no more controversial and contradicting accessory than the high heel. When a woman steps into a pair of high heels she can be whoever she wants to be: A dynamic CEO powering down the streets of New York to get to work on time, a fashionista dressing up an outfit with the perfect pair of matching heels, or a seductress turning heads as she glides through a nightclub. High-heeled shoes send a message and reveal something about the person wearing them. The symbolic nature of the highheeled shoe is often shown in film. Film-makers use various camera angles and closeups of the high heel to draw the audiences attention to the characters footwear Maureen Turim explains in High Angles on Shoes: Cinema, Gender, and Footwear an essay from the book Footnotes On Shoes: From the once over look that begins at a womans shoes to tilt up across her body to her face (or the inverse movement) to that the close-up that uses the well-turned ankle in the high-heeled pump to signify the desirability of a woman, cinema has often looked at women through their shoes (Turim 58). There are three iconic films in which the high heel plays a significant role, The Wizard of Oz (1939), Cinderella (1950), and Sex and the City (2008). Based on L. Frank Baums best-selling childrens book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Wizard of Oz became an Academy Award-winning, American classic after its release in 1939. The films wholesome message, vivid Technicolor scenes, and imaginative creation of the Land of Oz provided an escape for audiences after the Great

Depression and before the start of World War II. Author of Red Shoes: Linking Fashion to Myth, Elaine Webster claims that Dorothys ruby-red slippers may be the most popular high heel of all time. They are now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. where visitors of the museum flock to witness this high heel fantasy. The publics fascination with the shoe is described in an article by the Los Angeles Times, titled The Ruby Slippers: A Journey to the Land of Oz, Carl Scheele, the nowretired veteran Smithsonian curator who acquired the slippers in 1979, estimates that every year upwards of 5 million people are attracted to the exhibit. The crush of people has caused the rug in front of the display to be patched many times and replaced twice (Rhys Thomas 1). The Cinderella story has been told for centuries, in multiple different versions, by several different cultures. Walt Disney Studios turned the legendary tale into a Disney animated feature film in 1950. Cinderella was the first full-length Disney animated feature film to be released since the release of Bambi in 1942. Walt Disney Studios suffered from World War II cutbacks and needed Cinderella to bring the company back on its feet. Post World War II audiences were enchanted by the underdog-love story and the release of the Disney classic was a success. The documentary God Save My Shoes emphasizes the obsession that women have with this high-heel film: Every little girl knows the Cinderella story. Its drilled into our heads-A poor girl finds love, becomes a princess, and lives happily ever after, all thanks to a glass slipper (Benasra- Go d Save My Shoes). From an early age, Cinderellas audience is sent the message that a high heel can bring happiness. Cinderellas glass slipper is still captivating audiences on Broadway. Footwear designer for Cinderella on Broadway, Stuart Weitzman,

explains the nostalgia of the glass slipper in an article by AP Top News Package, Shoe shopaholics and Carrie Bradshaw [Sex and the Citys main character] types surely have been inspired by the Cinderella fashion fantasy. How could they not? Cinderella gets the shoes flattering, delicate and powerful all at once and then gets her Prince Charming (Critchell 1). Sex and the City built a large fan base after running as an HBO series for six years from, 1998-2004. The popular television show was brought back into the lime light in 2008 when a full-length feature film was created to catch up where the television series had left off. Julia Baird describes the success of Sex and the City in a preview of the release of the film version, It is still watched, in reruns on TBS, by an average of 2.5 million viewers every day. Ten years after die show debuted, the audience is expanding, even though its sassy thirty something heroines are now in their 40s, and one is in her 50s. For many women in New York and beyond, the release of the film is a major social event. For when women watch it, they see themselves. Older, younger or imagined selves, perhaps, but themselves nonetheless. (Baird 1). These three women and their high-heeled shoes have spoken powerfully to women over a course of three generations. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks the heels of her ruby-red slippers and finds herself back in the comfort of her bedroom in Kansas, surrounded by her family and friends. In Cinderella, a young woman finds happiness when a prince searches for the woman whose tiny foot fits into the glass slipper. Finally, in Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw vows to marry Big, who leaves her at the altar, but then slides her foot into a blue Manolo Blahnik heel as a quasi-engagement ring, promising to start over. An analysis of the high heels in these three iconic films shows

that they function symbolically communicating fantasy, power, and sexuality all at once. In order to understand the meaning of the shoes in these films, it is useful to consider the history of the high-heeled shoe. The high-heeled shoe has captured the attention of society as early as the seventeenth century when the ancient Greeks put platforms onto the bottom of their actors sandals to suggest that the performer was an important character. Louis XIV of France was also known to parade his royal status by wearing high-heeled shoes. The seventeenth century was a time period of fashion excess. Those with power were known for wearing elaborate clothing like heels, thus establishing a noticeable class difference among citizens who could not afford to dress as elaborately. High heels continue to create controversy as a fashion item that can cause damage to a womans health and to how society views her. Feminists criticize the heel for sexualizing women and preventing them from doing much of anything other than look sexy. Nancy MacDonnell Smith describes in The Classic Ten, To some feminists, high heels are a symbol of patriarchal power. They argue that high heels keep a woman subordinate because they restrict movement (MacDonnell Smith 109). The medical field disapproves of high heels for causing women to walk in an unbalanced state, creating knee and back problems. Nancy Rexford explains in Womens Shoes in America 1795-1930, Calf muscles may shorten to such a degree that not only does it become uncomfortable to wear flat shoes, but knee or foot problems may also result hyperlordosis can aggravate lower back problems and is the reason doctors today recommend against choosing high heels for common wear (Rexford 65). Despite the fact that high heels sexualize a woman, damage her feet, cause her discomfort, and

constrict her from moving freely, women have embraced this fashion trend for many centuries. What it is about high heels that cause them to be a perpetual fashion trend? Why do women not only wear, but collect and obsess over a shoe that provides them with such discomfort? What is it about the high heel that captures the female audience, and why has it been a staple of femininity over time? William A. Rossi, author of High Heels: Agony and Ecstasy, explains societys captivation with the accessory. To the clothing historians and clothing psychologists (yes, there is such a breed), the high heel is one of the most curious and persistent articles of apparel ever the and for worn by humans...but to the vast majority of men and women, the high heel is greatest invention since the wheel a major social, psychological, emotional, psychosexual uplift to human society which explains its unflagging popularity the last 400 years, and its promising future for at least the same span of time. (Rossi 1) In addition to the history behind the high-heeled shoe, it is also essential to understand the reasons why an audience associates high heels with fantasy, power, and sexuality and how each film reinforces these themes. Fantasy High heels have a way of transporting their owners into a fantasy world. Many owners of high heel shoe collections have an obsession with accumulating high heels and admit that their addiction is used as a form of release. The documentary, God Save My Shoes takes a look inside the closets of women who admit to excessive high heel purchasing habits. Various women in the documentary confess their love for

shopping for high heels and the happiness that buying a new pair gives them. Beth Shak, a woman with a high-heel obsession explains, I definitely went through a period in my life that I was really really unhappy, and the only thing that made me happy was buying a pair of shoesit sounds crazy but that was my happiness. According to How High? in the journal Pediatrics, Last year [2011], women in the U.S. spent more than $20 billion on shoes with heels of at least three inches (Pediatrics WVR, MD 82). Wearing high heels also transforms a womans persona allowing her to play different roles in different types of shoes. A woman can fantasize about being someone else when she puts on her high heels. This fantasy theme is reflected in each of the three iconic high heel films, beginning with the Wizard of Oz. At the start of the film, Dorothy feels the need to run away from her home in Kansas to protect her dog, Toto, from being taken and killed by her nasty neighbor. Dorothys care-taker, Auntie Em, advises Dorothy to stay away from places where she will get into trouble. Dorothy tries to dream of a place where this would be possible, a place you cant get to by train, behind the moon, behind the rain... and breaks into song singing the famous, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. When a tornado transports her to the Land of Oz she believes she has made it over the rainbow. Dorothy is greeted by witches, talking animals and plants, dancing munchkins, horses of a different color, and many more dream-like characters during her journey. However, when Dorothys fantasy world starts to make her homesick, she searches for a way to get back to Kansas. When Dorothy learns the importance of her visit to Oz, to find out that there is No place like home, she discovers that the ruby-red slippers have the power to take her home. The ruby-red slippers communicate the message that shoes can take you

anywhere you want to go. Nikki Schiro, an artist interviewed in God Save My Shoes, states, Shoes are an object I am going to step into that takes me somewhere else (Benasra- God Save My Shoes). Cinderella, perhaps the most well-known high heel story, also portrays a fantasy women know all too well, a woman finds a prince charming that will sweep her off her feet and take her to a better life. If fantasy allows an audience to escape to a better state of being, then Cinderellas glass slipper is a symbol of her escape from her wicked stepmothers slave-like treatment. After Cinderellas chances of attending the ball are destroyed by her step-mother, Cinderellas fairy godmother gives her the tools she needs to be the Belle of the Ball including a pumpkin carriage, horses, a coachman, a gown, and the glass slippers. When the clock strikes midnight, the fairy godmothers spell is broken and Cinderella is left with only one of her granted accessories, the glass slipper. When the prince determines that he will not marry any woman, but the one that fits the glass slipper, the duke is sent on a quest to have every woman in the kingdom try on the glass slipper Cinderella left behind. It is hard to imagine that the glass slipper would only fit one womans foot in an entire kingdom, or that the duke could even visit that many women. Cinderellas only escape from her day-to-day monotony and mistreatment is to make the most out of her housework by singing with her animal friends. Once Cinderellas fairy godmother gives Cinderella the glass slippers, her world begins to change. No longer is she sweeping floors, but she is granted a night away from her familys wicked ways to be the Belle of the Ball. Sex and the City, has a similar Cinderella theme which presents a fantasy love story. The film even references Disneys Cinderella in two scenes. Carrie reads the fairy

tale to Charlottes daughter Lilly and explains, You know this is just a fairy tale right sweetheart? Things dont always happen like this in real life. I just think you should know that now. Carrie then receives a Cinderella Valentines Day card from Lilly the first Valentines Day after Big left Carrie at the altar. Sex and the Citys main character, Carrie Bradshaw, focuses on her long awaited engagement to her fianc, nicknamed Big. While preparing for the wedding, Carrie buys a pair of blue Manolo Blahniks as a wedding gift to herself. The shoes are placed in the walk-in closet of the new apartment Carrie and Big purchase together. When Big leaves Carrie at the altar, the shoes remain as the only item left in the empty apartment. As Carrie rushes back to get the shoes before the apartment is sold, she finds her former fianc in the closet picking up the shoes to return to her. Big knew that Carrie loved the shoes enough to want them back, and he used the shoes as a way to reconnect with her again. Once the shoes bring Carrie and Big back into each others life, the couple finally addresses the reason for the wedding cancelation. Big uses the designer shoe in place of a wedding ring by slipping it on Carries foot while asking her to be his wife again. This film sends the message that despite being left at the altar, a high-heel shoe could be the solution to the many deep-seeded issues between Carrie and her fianc. The high heel represents the chance to start over and forget about the problems of the past. According to God Save My Shoes, shoe sales increased right before the release of the Sex and the City film. Women were wearing the designer heels to the movies to emulate the films stars. Wearing similar high heel shoes, allows the women connect with the characters, and fantasize about what it is like to be in Sex and the City.

The three films encourage their audiences to believe that a high heel shoe can be a solution to finding happiness. This notion reinforces societys view of high heels as an accessory that allows its owner to escape to a fantasy world where a simple pair of shoes can transform your love life, social status, or ability to travel to another place in time. Power The high-heel shoe also symbolizes power, giving the woman wearing them a sense of self confidence. Not only have high heels been associated with royalty, but also with high society and white-collar business women. OKeeffe explains, in her book, Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers, and More, Women may wear slippers, put on sneakers, and slip into loafers, but they dress in high heels Psychologically, high heels permit them to lead rather than to follow (OKeeffe 72.) In the business world, high heels are a staple of professional dress. This ideal is reinforced by the concept of Dress for Success standards established by John T. Molloys manuals titled Dress for Success and Women: Dress for Success. A non-profit organization named Dress for Success provides less-fortunate women with the proper clothing they need to prepare for a job interview. This non-profit organization invites volunteers to host high heel drives to collect large donations of high-heel shoes to complete a womans professional look. According to OKeeffe, a woman cannot cower in high heels because of the way they push her to stand upright. Women interviewed in God Save My Shoes explained how powerful they felt in heels by stating, I demand respect, I am that kind of woman!

or I am making a statement. I am strong and powerful. Even the sound that a high heel makes is powerful. When a woman walks down a hallway she commands attention with the sound of her footsteps. When a person hears the sound of a high heel they expect to see a woman walking their way. An example of the power of the sound of high heels is shown in a scene from the Sex and the City film. Big waits at the hospital where Charlotte, one of Carries best friends, has just had her baby, in hopes that he will run into his former fianc. Harry, Charlottes husband, mentions how pathetic Big looked every time he heard the sound of high-heels down the hallway. OKeefe writes, Because the working class couldnt afford to wear such impractical shoes, heels became a sign of privilege (OKeefe 74). Not much has changed today considering the popularity of designer heels. Famous designer shoes suggest status because of their cost. A pair of Manolo Blahniks typically begins at a hefty price tag of $400 dollars. In God Save My Shoes, a former Vogue senior accessories editor states, These days a woman will aspire to owning her first pair of Manolo Blahniks (Benasra-God Save My Shoes). Designer heels have invented a new age view of high heels as a status symbol for todays royal class including: celebrities, female politicians, and white-collar business women whom are never modest about flaunting a $400-$1,000 pair of high-heel shoes. Women that cannot afford designer brands will go to great lengths to get their hands on knock-offs or imitation versions of the designer heels. The power trip that comes with a pair of heels can be very contradicting. The sense of power that high heels can give a woman stems from the sexual connotation that the shoes symbolize. High heels boost a womans confidence level enhancing her

appearance and persona, as mentioned in the New York Times article A Womans Power Tool: High Heels, Sexual appeal is power because it is a way to get people to do what you want, said Valerie Steele, chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who wrote Shoes: A Lexicon of Style (Brockman 1). According to Brockman, high heels are the prime symbol of erotic femininity and are considered a gender indicator. While high heels provide women with a sense of power, they objectify the woman as a sexual object. Due to the fact that high heels are associated with females and foreign for men, it is hard to argue that the shoe doesnt make women vulnerable. As explained by a shoe curator at Bata Shoe Museum, If high heels are just being worn for women to achieve power or for women to achieve height equity with men, men would be as eager to embrace those things as women. It has more to do with sexual femininity than it does with power femininity (Benasera, God Save My Shoes). Although, heels make women feel powerful, the feeling is a false sense of true feminine power. Each of the films communicates the message that a high heel gives a woman power. Dorothy and Cinderella gain power through ownership of a high heel, and the characters of Sex and the City wear designer heels to communicate the power of wealth and status that comes with living in New York high society lifestyle. The ruby slippers are symbolic of Dorothys power. Glinda the good witch gives Dorothy the ruby-red slippers to protect her from the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wicked Witch of the West desires the shoes because she is aware of their magical powers. As Elaine Webster explains in Red Shoes: Linking Fashion to Myth, The

ruby slippers are (naturally) coveted by the Wicked Witch of the West, not because they look fantastic, but for their great power. Plotting to take the shoes, the witch finds she cannot remove them but must kill Dorothy first: they have become so integral to Dorothy they cannot be taken off (Webster 170). The shoes were previously owned by the Wicked Witch of the East until they were passed on to Dorothy after the Wicked Witch of the East died accidently at the hands of Dorothy. The owner of the shoes is associated with the power in the Land of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West states, When I obtain those ruby slippers my power will be the greatest in Oz. The ruby-red slippers transform Dorothy into a figure of power. As Webster observes, Transformed from powerless and threatened she is suddenly famous and heroic (Webster 170). Cinderellas power is granted by ownership of the glass slipper. Her character goes from being the unacknowledged step sister to the object of a princes desire. When the duke drops and shatters the glass slipper Cinderella left behind at the ball, it seems as if all hope is lost for verifying that Cinderella is the owner of the glass slipper. Luckily, Cinderella has the matching slipper. This slipper gives Cinderella the power to prove that she is the woman they were searching for. One could say that without the glass slipper, Cinderella would have never left the home of her evil stepmother to become a princess. Not only does the glass slipper make it possible for the prince to find Cinderella, but the glass slipper makes it possible for Cinderella to marry into royalty, elevating Cinderellas social status. The designer high-heeled shoe brands in Sex and the City were a symbol of power and status to the characters and audience of women who aspired to have the life that these women were living. The television and film versions of Sex and the City,

paid homage to designers like Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. Nancy MacDonell Smith, author of The Essential Ten, mentions this when describing the popularity of famous shoe designer Manolo Blahnik: On the aptly named Sex and the City, Blahnik is mentioned so often that the casual viewer could be forgiven for thinking he is the fifth member of the cast (MacDonell-Smith107). The television shows were basically thirty-minute commercials for designer shoe brands. Shoes: What Every Woman Should Know, credits the show-turned-feature film with the rising popularity of designer shoes: Even before checking out what Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte were wearing on the rest of their bodies, we ogled their footwear. The shows producers, realizing this, created shoe-centric episodes, such as the episode A Womans Right to Shoes (Penderson 110). The women in this television show are also associated with living the single life in New York while working high profile jobs (writer, publicist, lawyer, and art gallery representative) and supporting themselves well enough to live in New York City apartments, enjoy New York high society, and wear designer clothes. The characters represented the single independent woman of the 90s. Women were inspired by the characters to achieve the designer labels that represented the single independent woman as portrayed in the show. During the film, the characters continue to represent the television shows focus on the high-heeled shoe in various scenes of the film. For example, When Charlotte and Carries wedding planner see that Carrie has picked out a plain white suit lacking a designer label, she defends her choice by stating, Oh you know Im going to merchandise it up and style it with some shoes. The designer heels are mentioned again in reference to Carries wedding when Charlotte reads the announcement of her

wedding on page six of the newspaper described as, Carrie Bradshaw will be married in Manolos to John James Preston... The obsession with designer heels is also referenced when Carries assistant, Louise asks, What would happen if these shoes were to magically disappear, while holding up a pair, surrounded by Carries massive collection. Carrie quickly tells her assistant that she knows where she lives and would come find them. Louise responds, For a pair like these, I could move. Other characters in Sex and the City also share their love for designer heels during the film. Samantha carefully selects a pair of heels for her Sushi inspired Valentines Day surprise for her boyfriend. She lies completely naked on a table, covered in Sushi, and wearing a pair of stilettos that have the outline of a fishbone as the front strap of the heel that connects the sole of the shoe to the ankle strap. Another interesting high-heel encounter, happens when Charlotte is seen wearing stilettos in the scene right before she gives birth. Charlotte chooses to wear heels despite the fact that she is nine months pregnant. All in all, the characters of the television series and film stress the importance of owning and wearing designer heels, and in order for the Sex and the City fans to obtain the powerful image associated with these famous characters, wearing high heels is an essential part of the look. The last, and arguably the most prominent form of symbolism associated with high heel is sexuality. The heel is infamous for being an object of sexual desire as a staple of femininity, a tool to enhance the female physique, and an erotic, sexually satisfying fetish. Sexuality

From birth, women are molded into understanding what is considered feminine. They watch their mothers wear high heels and emulate what they see. Who can forget the popular photo mothers have of their toddler daughters standing in their mothers shoes that are noticeably five sizes too large for the little girls tiny feet? There are tutorials, classes, and even fitness exercises specialized for helping women learn to walk in high heels. According to Shoes: What Every Woman Should Know, after World War II, women started to be more concerned with keeping up their appearance. One of the ways they managed to maintain this appearance was to learn how to walk in high heels explains Pendersen, Forties pin-up stars spent most of their time in heels and soon learnt how to stand and walk in order to show off their assets. Follow in their footsteps: walk in a straight line, legs close together, with one foot slightly overlapping the other with each small step you take (Pendersen 61). Around the same time that these women were learning how to walk in heels and obsessing over their appearance, the specific high heel shoe that is most synonymous with sex was introduced, the stiletto. The stiletto high heel made its debut in 1952 and named after the stiletto knife for its sharp metal spigot that brings the heel to a very sharp point. Stilettos were known for damaging floors and were banned from some airplanes and public buildings. Linda OKeeffe, in Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers, and More, elaborates on the sexual connotation of the stiletto: Seen as symbols of aggression, heightened sexuality, and playful defiance, stiletto heels became the trademark of the naughty girl. Jayne Mansfield, who played the part to the hilt, owned 200 pairs (OKeefe 122). High heels are rarely worn by men unless they are trying to portray themselves as women. Drag queens are famous for wearing skyscraper heels to add

the ultimate touch of femininity to their alter ego. In fact, a scene from the Sex in the City film shows an example of a man wearing high heels to signify his femininity. When Carrie is interviewing for a personal assistant position, she asks a male interviewee why he thinks he is best qualified for the job. He responds by glancing down at his feet which are adorned with designer pink pumps.

One of the main reasons heels are associated with feminine sexuality has to do with the way they accentuate the female body. MacDonell gives a detailed description of how a high heel enhances a womans appearance in her book, The Essential Ten: High heels tilt the pelvis, causing the breasts to jut forward and the buttocks to protrude. They visually elongate the leg, which draws the eye upward, to the genitals. By tightening the lower leg muscles, high-heel shoes slim the calves and ankles. A high heel makes the foot look smaller by positioning it at an extreme angle, which also exaggerates the arch of the instep (MacDonell 108). The high heel also changes how a woman walks. As the height of the shoe sets her off balance, she takes smaller steps and moves her hips in a swaying manner that makes her appear as if she is shaking her bottom as she walks. As mentioned in the MacDonell quote above, the high heel makes a womans foot appear smaller. Small feet have been a symbol of sexuality in many countries especially in Japanese culture where women have a beauty ritual called foot binding. The process of foot binding involves wrapping the feet tightly to bend the toes under the foot to make it appear smaller. Pendersen explains, The ideal female foot was four inches long. In the early 1900s, narrow feet were considered a sign of female grace and good breeding... (Penderson 11).

Another reason for the sexual connotation of shoes is linked with shoe fetishism and the use of the shoe as a sexual pleasure item. Foot fetishism causes a person to view a high heel in the same way that a man without a foot fetish would view lingerie on a womans body. The high heel decorates the womans foot. Pendersen explains how a person with this kind of fetishism reacts to shoes, people who view shoes as a sexual turn-on, be it by rubbing them, or just being turned on by seeing a women in certain styles of shoe! (Pendersen 12). The material of shoes can also be a sexual turn on. Some shoe fetishists may be drawn to the feel of rubber, PVC, silk, or leather textures of shoes. Some shoe fetish comes from the view of heels as weapons. Men fantasize women in heels as dominating as explained in Shoes: Fashion and Fantasy, Allen Jones gives his maitresse spiky heels because he knows that men who associate sexual pleasure with punishment see such heels as symbols of cruelty and pain (Patrick 78). High heels also position the foot at a high arch which emulates the curling of the feet that women experience while having an orgasm. The documentary God Save My Shoes also points out that the action of a foot entering a shoe can be visualized as a penis entering a vagina. Not only are men turned on by the sexual connotation of shoes, but women are physically turned on by the effects that wearing heels gives their brains. Research has proven that high heels can sexually arouse women. As explained in God Save My Shoes, In the cerebral cortex of the brain, the sensory receptor sites corresponding to both feet and the genitals sit right next to each other; often these two areas of the brain communicate with the other and when a short circuiting take place the shoe high is exhilarated (Benasera-God Save My Shoes). The Essential Ten explains that

women equate shoes to penis envy because the heel reminds them of the shape of a male penis, the bigger the heel the bigger the penis. Certain high-heel shoes have been given nicknames to describe their representation of sex; these shoes are known as Fuck Me Shoes. Sexuality is often the most important reason why a film-maker would select high heels as a costume choice either to enhance a characters femininity or to give the character a sexual persona. Examples of this theme are shown in various ways in the Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, and Sex and the City. The Wizard of Oz doesnt necessarily portray Dorothy sexually; however, it is important to notice that the magical shoes were designed to be high heels. It is interesting that Dorothys character is constantly dancing, skipping, and even running throughout the film. Despite the active movement, the costume designer had a purpose for picking a high-heel shoe. The slippers were meant to be appealing to the eye and to show off the beauty of the woman wearing them in the film. Dorothy literally sparkles in the ruby-red slippers and her femininity is established by the costume choice. According to the 50th anniversary documentary, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic, script writer, Noel Langley changed the color of the shoes from silver to red to take advantage of the films Technicolor technology. When Dorothy receives the ruby-red slippers the camera moves into several close-up shots of the actresses feet. As Dorothy looks down at the ruby slippers, she tilts her foot to the left and right showing off the sparkle of the shoe. The intense lighting required for Technicolor, made the light reflect off of the ruby-red slippers which made the shoes appear as if they were shimmering.

In Cinderella, is made known that Cinderellas appearance is an important character trait, which instantly sexualizes Cinderellas character. The narrator states that her step-mothers hatred stems from jealously of Cinderellas beauty and charm. It is also obvious that Cinderellas character was drawn to out shine the beauty of her stepsisters. The prince is instantly captivated by Cinderella and falls madly in love with her after only dancing with her for a night. The prince does not fall in love with Cinderella for her kind heart or pleasing personality, but he falls in love with a first impression of her beauty. Cinderellas glass slippers also play a role in sexualizing her character. When Cinderellas step-sisters try on the glass slipper, they can barely get the tiny shoe over their toes. However, the slippers fit Cinderellas dainty feet eloquently making the future princess appear smaller and more feminine than her large-footed step-sisters. The prince searches the kingdom to find the woman whose foot could fit the tiny glass slipper, and no other woman in the kingdom is as desirable or worthy of his love. This theory of Cinderellas small feet being linked with the sexualization of the character is described by Shari Benstock and Suzanne Ferriss in their book, Footnotes on Shoes: The glass slippers small size also speaks volumes about cultural definitions of femininity. The prince was really looking for ...the woman with the smallest feet in the kingdom...It wasnt her sparkling conversation, fashion sense, or dancing skills that deemed Cinderella queenly and desirable, it was her teeny-weeny, eensy-beensy little feet (Benstock and Ferriss 12).

As the title of Sex and the City illustrates, the film showcases the sex lives of its characters. The TV show and film are famous for bringing the single womens sexual lifestyle into the limelight as explained in Girls Gone Mild, It revolutionized the way we conceptualized and visualized sex, the way we discussed it with our friends and set our expectations in the dating world. Sex suddenly became an acceptable brunch-time conversation, and it brought our discussions of it out in the open. It made it OK to play the field, and to talk and laugh about doing so. And witnessing one orgasm after another went a long way toward making us believe we were entitled to good sex and that we could demand it (Baird 1). Much like the high-heel, the television show-turned-film took womens sexuality to new heights. Women associate these characters with living the single life in New York, and being sexual. It just so happens that the characters never leave the house without a pair of high heels and surely incorporate wear them in the bedroom. The show links the sexuality of these characters with the designer shoes they obsess over. All in all, shoes are a sexual power tool that allows women to be vulnerable yet sexually controlling and powerful-a true representation of the mixed message. The high-heel has become an iconic representation of a females go-to accessory. The shoe sparks controversy, captivates societys attention, and remains timeless in an evolving fashion world. Films are inspired by the symbolic nature of the shoe and use that symbolism it to convey a message to the audience. It is hard to imagine what the three iconic shoe films would have been like without the high-heel as a driving force of its plot. Without their famous heels, Cinderella would have never become the iconic princess we know of today, Dorothy would still be searching for a way home from the

Land of Oz, and Carrie would still be on her quest to find true love with Big. Due to the fact that fashion and media both reflect the values and beliefs of our society, the symbolism of high-heel shoes is much more than meets the eye. Whether a woman uses a high-heeled shoe to fantasize about being a certain type of person, embraces them for an ego boost, or adds them to her wardrobe to express her femininity, the high heel shoe proves itself to be much more than a fashionable form of footwear.

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(1990). Print.Pendersen, Stephanie. Shoes: What Every Woman Should Know. Cincinnati: F&W Publications, Inc, 2005. Print. Rexford, Nancy E. Women's Shoes in America, 1795-1930. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2000. Print. Riello, Giorgio, and Peter McNeil. "Footprints Of History." History Today 57.3 (2007): 30-36. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 22 Feb. 2013. Rossi, W A. "High Heels. The Agony And The Ecstasy." American Podiatry Association. Journal 71.12 (1981): 698-699. Women's Studies International. Web. 20 Feb. Riparbelli, Laura. High-Heels Allegedly Used to Kill Georgia Man. ABC News. 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2013 Sex and the City: The Movie. Dir. Michael Patrick King. Revolution. 2008. DVD Steele, Valerie. The Berg Companion to Fashion. New York: Berg, 2010. Print. The Wizard of Oz. Dir. Mervin LeRoy and Victor Fleming. MGM. 1939. DVD. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic. Dir. Jack Haley. MGM. 1989. DVD.

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