God Save My Shoes


What is with women and their footwear? That’s the question that Julie Benasra’s documentary God Save My Shoes sets out to answer via interviews with designers, psychologists, and heel lovers of all kinds (or at least of the beautiful and wealthy kind). The answers the film comes up with—emotional attachment, the chance to try on different identities—are simple enough, but what’s galling is the movie’s uncritical attitude toward the fetishization of shoes and its assumption that all women share it. The female narrator’s use of the word “we” implies that not only can no woman resist the lure of five-inch stilettos, but also that despite the uncomfortableness of that particular form of footwear, there’s no reason why they should want to. Claims made by certain talking heads that sexy shoes are empowering ring false, but they’re still preferable to the unmitigated fawning by the likes of singer Kelly Rowland, who refers to her collection as her children. Although a late film consideration of the shoe as an object of male fetish temporarily complicates the picture, there’s no escaping the fact that Benasra’s doc does little more than perpetuate the myth of women—all women—as vapid materialists worshipping at the altar of Manolo Blahnik.

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