I’ve seen this image going around, and I feel compelled to point out that it’s only half-right. It’s true that high heels were originally a masculine fashion, but they weren’t originally worn by butchers – nor for any other utilitarian purpose, for that matter.

High heels were worn by men for exactly the same reason they’re worn by women today: to display one’s legs to best effect. Until quite recently, shapely, well-toned calves and thighs were regarded as an absolute prerequisite for male attractiveness. That’s why you see so many paintings of famous men framed to show off their legs – like this one of George Washington displaying his fantastic calves:

… or this one of Louis XIV of France rocking a fabulous pair of red platform heels (check out those thighs!):

… or even this one of Charles I of England showing off his high-heeled riding boots – note, again, the visual emphasis on his well-formed calves:

In summary: were high heels originally worn by men? Yes. Were they worn to keep blood off their feet? No at all – they were worn for the same reason they’re worn today: to look fabulous.

so then how did they become a solo feminine item of attire?

A variety of reasons. In France, for example, high heels fell out out of favour in the court of Napoleon due to their association with aristocratic decadence, while in England, the more conservative fashions of the Victorian era regarded it as indecent for a man to openly display his calves.

But then, fashions come and go. The real question is why heels never came back into fashion for men – and that can be laid squarely at the feet of institutionalised homophobia. Essentially, heels for men were never revived because, by the early 20th Century, sexually provocative attire for men had come to be associated with homosexuality; the resulting moral panic ushered in an era of drab, blocky, fully concealing menswear in which a well-turned calf simply had no place – a setback from which men’s fashion has yet to fully recover.

the whole showing off the calves thing is also why an old-fashion bow has the man put his leg out front, it is like saying “i am showing respect AND ALSO MY LEGS ARE HOT, LOOK AT THEM”


I took this as challenge, so I searched for “bowing”.

I’m not sure if it gave the results you wanted, because I was distracted by google returning this blatant male objectification stock photo (in which no one is bowing):


Like, yes, if you look closely she is kneeling, but it’s obscured by cropping and highlighting, and the fact the focus character is otherwise in a power pose.

So it’s for blocking – if she was standing, you’d have to acknowledge the fact that these muscles and sexy underpants are attached to faces.

#this woman with her gang should be villains in a comic book #she invented magic armour in the shape of speedos #but the catch is you can’t wear any other clothes on your body #because #science.

There’s so much to like in this post.  An entertaining comic, great information on the history of high heels (the most commonly defended item on the bingo card) AND a great idea for a new comic and/or video game!

I mean it already comes an industry grade explanation for why the guys’ armor has too be so skimpy! It has a precedent by a AAA games company!

– wincenworks