September 25, 2016

Dated: The Platform Shoe

Who will ever forget the scene in the movie I’m Gonna Get You Sucka when Doodlebug, sharp as a razor blade, descends a staircase wearing shoes that house aquariums in the platforms? Of course, the platforms burst before he got halfway down the block, spewing fish tank gravel and plastic aquarium plants all over the sidewalk.  Those shoes have been replicated but never duplicated since the release of that movie and that scene is a classic.

Doodlebug’s fate is indicative of how I feel about platform shoes to this day. They first made their debut in my lifetime back in the 60’s in the form of hard wooden soles, round toes and about four inches of extra height. I lost count of how many times my ankle would twist and I tipped over. Didn’t stop me from wearing them though. My favorites were caramel colored leather clogs with pink, yellow and red inset hearts and flowers on the sides.

Styles come and go. But the platform has re-emerged with a vengeance. Some have two and a half inch platforms adorned with six and a half inch skinny heels.  The price tag is another outrageous story. Fortunately for me, I abandoned high heel shoes about 10 years ago when my knees, back and legs joined in a chorus of “Not Today, Never Again.” Everytime I see a young woman prancing around in them I know two things. One, she won’t have them on for long because her feet hurt. And, two, when she turns 50, she’s going to regret ever having put them on in the first place. Especially when her knees, back and legs join in a chorus of “Not Today, Never Again.”

Oh the follies of my youth! I don’t think the young people of today could endure even half of them. It seems my generation was made of much sturdier stock. We walked. Not for exercise but to get from point A to point B. We drank whiskey. Not Mojitos or Mimosas. Old Crow, straight up no chaser. We partied from Friday night to Sunday morning. No naps, lattés or expressos.

The old adage says, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” The current iteration of platform shoes will eventually fade. Time can only tell how they will look the next time around.