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Injecting yourself for high heels? Not a solution!

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Ladies, medicine's latest development deserves to be applauded. Everybody clap. Clap because Medicine is getting right to the source of the problem. By enhancing fat on painful feet to create a ‘cushion’, women may continue wearing high heels. Hooray.

High HeelsThis latest (apparently popular) craze, of preventing the need for cosmetic products (or, I don't know, Compeed blister plasters) by putting them inside the body instead, is happening in the UK, and it's happening right now. 
 
Reported on in May of this year by the Daily Mail and then Everyday Healthapparently women are 'flocking' to have collagen (a protein, but it is attached to the fatty tissue on the feet when this tissue wears down) injected every two to three months for nearly £320 per foot, at a time. Never in the history of the modern world has fat been more commended.
 
According to a patient who told ABC News about the procedure, the treatment creates 'little pillows for the feet'. She sounds like a child has just discovered what happens when you attempt to shake a roll of fat, and is now giggling about it. Putting that aside, I have two problems with the idea of this treatment.
 
Firstly, it identifies all women who cannot bear the pain of high heels as sick, necessitating knocking on the doctor's door and asking for treatment (I mean, seriously? Doctors complain about time-wasting neurotic mothers and those who panic at their first sneeze of the week. Yet heel pain -- as a result of wearing high heels -- is a perfectly acceptable 'illness' to see the doctor about?) It is the same as telling someone that they must take medication to reduce the size of their head in order to fit into the most popular brand of baseball caps, or because the fez has made a comeback and their head just doesn't look good in it. Why would anyone agree to that?
 
If my friend seemed quite upset, and had taken to sitting on a chair in a corner and rubbing her feet at a party, while her 8-inch high heels stand by, I would have no sympathy. Look at me, in my flats, I'd squeak energetically. When will you learn? 
 
It is worrying that we may be approaching the time when a woman who is swept up by fashion's excuse for torture will ask their doctor why their feet are hurting while they are wearig the heels, and he will ignore the ridiculously big, clearly unstable stilettos and head instead for the referral paperwork, recommending injections every two to three months.
 
It may seem unbelievable, but this long-term, highly expensive 'treatment' is what people are supposedly opting for over the small effort necessary to change a pair of shoes. This is my second problem with the idea: biomedicine here sees heels not as a removable object of fashion, but as a necessary part of everyday life. If women's feet are hurting it is because they are ill; their feet, presumably, are not tough enough, and they need injections. And you're telling me that these injections have no side effects? It is doubtful. 
 
If women are requesting this so-called treatment so that they can continue to wear proven bone-killers and unnecessary pain-providers, the fault is not only in biomedicine but in society. Why do women feel the need to ignore all voices of sense and approach the doctor instead of taking their shoes off? Must they wear these shoes for work-related matters? Is the peer pressure or the expectation from men when parties are occurring too high to challenge? 
 
Clearly medicine is doing its utmost to challenge notions of the 'natural'. That we are 'naturally' 'unable' to bear the pain, or the feet damage, or the skeletal damage, of high heels is, apparently, false. But by challenging that idea medicine is also reinforcing what people are hooked-up on: that wearing heels is 'natural' for women; that all women should wear them; that it is our forte, which women themselves are proud of: hey, look at me, in 9-inch heels, am I walking well! some say. Chefs apparently blame their mistakes on their tools, though I cannot think of any female chefs to whom this adage has been attached. Women, it seems, must blame their hurt on themselves, and not on the rods on their feet. Women must change themselves to fit (Wolf, 1991), and if that means spending their savings and deciding to start lifelong 'treatment', then so be it, say far too many. 
 
Amy Solomon, Senior Editor at Everyday Health, writes: 'If you could use more cushion in your shoes, there are less expensive alternatives.' I agree. STOP WEARING THEM!
 
I do also sincerely advise these women not to visit a shoe shop and ask to have their feet measured again. I imagine it will be a pain for the shoe-fitter.



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