When I came across this in my facebook feed, I thought surely this is a joke. Clearly this is some sort of Onion-esque wry statement on the deep link between fitness and soft porn. Alas I was wrong. Apparently there are exercise classes out there designed to be done by women in high-heeled shoes.
I’m not kidding. There are exercise classes available here in Los Angeles designed to be done in high heeled shoes. Why, you ask? Well one of the websites (that I refuse to provide links for) features a buff fitness instructor in some strappy stilettos saying that this workout is for women who want to have it all. And since far to many of us have become resigned to the fact that beauty equals pain, she’s going to help us with this workout designed to help us wear and walk in high heels the right way. She says we can work out and feel sexy. She says we can wear high heels without being in agony. Which leads me to a few questions…
Naturally, the video promos on these sites feature slinky women, undulating around to soft porn sound tracks. But somehow I can’t envision myself feeling sexy in that class. I imagine myself calling 911. And while it’s possible that I would meet a super sexy EMT in the back of the ambulance, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it because of the you know, agonizing pain of whatever foot, ankle, knee, hip or shoulder (choose your point in the kinetic chain) injury I was sporting. And even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to take any more of those super high-heeled sexy classes after settling my massive insurance co-pay. Look, I’m for whatever makes you feel hot in the bedroom, but I have to admit Ben Gay, crutches, splints, braces, and the like don’t work for me as aphrodisiacs. I’ve experienced all of the above apparatus, and I can tell you, regardless of how much I glittered and bedazzled, they did not work for me as sex toys.
I wonder, why does working out have to be like a low-budget soft-porn production anyways? Can’t I just dance and swim and lift and sweat? I was reminded of this question by this excellent blog post from Caitlin on Fit and Feminist. She talks about the reasons that personal trainer Nia Shanks gives for not feeling the need to post pictures of herself in a bikini. Here’s some hints: 1) There are videos on Nia’s site showing her sumo deadlifting 300 lbs. over three times in a row and 2) You’re kidding, you don’t really need a second reason do you? I don’t think I need to ask either Caitlin or Nia how they would feel about working out in 4-inch high heeled shoes, do you?
Look, a big part of the reason I call myself The Fat Chick is that I’ve had just about enough of the fallacy that if you work out regularly, you will look like a super celebrity, red carpet-ready, porn star rock singer. Now, I don’t have anything against anybody who looks like that. But that look is simply unattainable for a great many of us. As Danielle Prohom Olson points out in her terrific blog post on the subject, yoga is not necessarily going to lead to what we’ve come to accept as the “yoga body”. And I think the notion that working out a few hours per week is going to give everybody the exact same body with thin muscular arms, flat and prominent six-pack or eight-pack abs, a round perky butt and thin muscular legs with no visible cellulite is patently ridiculous. And equally ridiculous is the notion that we all need to look like that to be considered successful or even acceptable. Bull cookies! Work out because it feels good while you’re doing it. Work out because it feels good after you’re done doing it. In my opinion, at all times before, during and after exercise, lipstick is freaking optional! As I’ve previously mentioned, one of the major selling points in turning my career towards fitness is the fact that I can wear sweat pants, sports bras and athletic shoes to work nearly every single day. If I have to wear spike heels with my spandex pants I am out of here!
But I before I leave, I have to ask just one more question. If wearing high heels causes agonizing pain, couldn’t you simply choose not to wear them? I mean, maybe I’m being completely unreasonable here, but doesn’t that seem a little simpler than sumo lifting in spike heels? I guess not (sigh…) Better dim the lights, cue up the oom chicka mow mow music, and pass the body oil; I’m gonna go work out.
The Fat Chick.
By the way, if you want to work out with me at home wearing whatever you darn well please, there are a few options. You can pick up a copy of my DVD, “The Fat Chick Works Out!” which features a safe, easy and fun workout for beginners or you can join me for my FREE live streaming classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:30 AM PST. Workout in sweats, jammies or even totally nude, I don’t care! Just join us and have fun!
Yep, you don’t have to ask, but I’ll tell you anyway – I find it appalling. I once read something where Sarah Jessica Parker was talking about how her achilles tendon was permanently shortened from wearing heels so much. Sounds…great?
I will say that I do have moments when I feel sexy while working out, but that’s usually because I’m lifting something and catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and seeing all my muscles. I know this is rather narcissistic, but I also think it’s interesting that I have found myself feeling more pleased with my body the stronger it gets, and ironically the more it deviates from what we are told a “good” female body is supposed to look like. If that makes any sense. (It might not. I’m tired.)
BTW, great post, and I am happy to have found your blog!
Thanks Caitlin and Welcome!!!
Somehow I personally do not equate working out with feeling sexy. While the stray sexual thought may pass through my mind on occasion, I tend to feel more like being energetic and having fun in general than trying to get a man into bed with me when I’m working out. Of course I’m kind of a crabby old bat who gave up on the whole “sexy” thing years ago, but nevertheless…does everything really have to be about sex? There are other things in life. Really, really.
Duly noted! :o)
Oh crud, that was supposed to go under wickedbelle’s comment. Welcome to you the Real Cie! I agree that I don’t feel particularly sexy when I work out, at least not in that objectified soft porn kinda way. But good exercise and good sex have a lot in common in my mind. Both are joyful, natural, not self conscious and fun! :o) Jeanette
I much prefer “brown chicken brown cow” music. As opposed to “oom chicka mow mow.” Just sayin’. 😉