Open-toed boots, Stilettos and Oprah


Jimmy Choo Jedd Ankle Boot

Open-toed boots.  Seems like an oxymoron to me.  This pair of Jimmy Choo boots will set you back $1250 at Saks .

This afternoon I caught Oprah’s big shoe episode and I just had this expectation that Oprah would call someone out on the silliness of the open-toed boots.  She lives in Chicago after all.  But no, not a word.  They were trotted out as one of the big trends of the season.  In fact, the expert pointed out that these could be “age-appropriate” as she showed them on a woman in her 50s.  Of course she was wearing dark toe nail polish–it’s open-toed after all.

You might think it’s twenty degrees outside, I’m wearing boots–so I could put on a pair of tights, no?  NO.  Open-toed means just that–of course you’re also suppose to wear leggings (no matter what your legs look like) but you have to be sure that they are toe-less leggings so that your dark colored toe nail polish can be seen.

I really love many things about this show.  Oprah has made it really cool to read and discuss books– think about the number of people who have done that. She’s made a whole host of taboo topics – speakable (domestic violence, bodily functions, incest, bra fittings).

So I was disappointed today.  The only “true that”  remark was that many of the shoes being shown required a cab or car service.   Oprah looked somewhat embarrassed by the doctor giving walking lessons in stiletto heels.  It was really odd.  (I know we all like Mad Men, but I thought these types of womanly lessons were behind us.)  And Oprah did own up to the fact that she carries her high heels  down to the studio. Anyone watching lately  knows that she is a sitting ad for Christian Louboutin (we can see their signature red heels when she crosses her legs).  Her admission today explains why the red looks unblemished!

In interest of full disclosure, I have my own collection of tv shoes.  Katie Couric led the way on the Today Show for wearing really sexy shoes.   There are articles dedicated to her great legs and shoes.  In some ways she made it acceptable for smart women to wear sexy footwear on air.  I can’t remember one pair of Jane Pauley’s shoes, can you?

I walk through many of these shoe departments now and just laugh.   I keep waiting for some group of women to scream “We won’t take it anymore!” I love high heels as much as the next shoe-obsessed American woman, but  have we gone too far? We talk about encouraging positive body images with our girls (e.g. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty), but somehow that all goes out the window when we get to the shoe department. The higher the better.  (After all, SITC’s Carrie Bradshaw really can’t kiss Mr. Big without her signature Manolo Blanik.) All of our advances at the work place, for equal pay, breaking the glass ceiling…have no sway in this department.  Maybe we think we need the spikes to break the ceiling.

I wonder who designs the “guaranteed bunyon-producing, can’t-walk-to-the-car,  five inch heel stilettos”  anyway?  Could  he be related to the person who designed the mammogram machine?

Maria Shriver, Oprah, Chris Rock and Hair…oh my!

I admire Maria Shriver – let’s start there.  While I’m not sure why she had to stop doing broadcast media when she became the First Lady of California, I knew that she would make her own path in that capacity even though the title of First Lady rubbed my feminist sensibilities the wrong way.  She took all of that energy and star power and redirected it to help families in her state with a call to community service.  The Women’s Conference she leads gives women’s issue an important platform.  And this week she is a special correspondent to NBC about women called a Woman’s Nation.  I also have to say that when I sent her our Read It! Play It! book, I got a beautiful letter from her which meant a great deal to me.

images-2So this morning I was looking forward to watching Maria as she kicked off her week long series with an appearance on Meet the Press. And as hard I was trying to listen to her–I got completely transfixed by her hair.  Her hair is extremely long, has gotten lighter (seriously beautiful highlights) and just big loopy curls on a substantial mane that was positioned on both sides of her chest.  My husband, not big on such comments, said without prompt–“What’s with the hair?”

The big “fantasy” hair just doesn’t match with the serious message and discussion Maria is hoping we’ll have as a nation. Maria is not alone.  Her friend Oprah Winfrey is also wearing her hair very long with bouncy curls.  Oprah made the point of establishing that her long locks are her’s and not a weave or a wig.  She acknowledges that her hair is possible because of the staff of professionals that work on her hair for her show.  To her credit, she showed a picture of what her hair looks like beforehand. Oprah’s show on hair was inspired by Chris Rock’s documentary on Good  Hair.

When I turned 40 I cut my hair relatively short–thinking this is what older women do.  I didn’t want to look silly with long hair.  Of course almost as soon as I cut my hair, I realized that this was a carry over from another generation.  I was making myself look older than I needed to (or felt) and I started growing it out almost at once.  Although I haven’t gone blond yet, I do spend a ridiculous sum of money making sure it has all the color and luster that I remember it having when I was about 12.

If 50 is the new 30, I guess Maria and Oprah are just fine with their long locks. I just wonder if anyone else was distracted by them?