Confession: I cannot wear them. I have tried multiple times in multiple ways and the answer is always no. On the rare occasions when I've worn them to parties and stood around for a few hours, my back has screamed at me for days and even weeks.
I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I would certainly let her try them out as a teen, hoping her back was stronger than mine. Not sure I'd encourage an 11-year-old, though, and certainly not someone younger.
But I'd also want to caution a daughter (or young friend) about how closely connected your feet are to the rest of you, and make sure she had plenty of tennis shoes, running shoes and boots without heels too. When I was a teenager I more or less rebelled against fashion and followed role models who didn't care about it either.
Some of my anti-heel sentiments came from watching my mother, who wore killer heels since forever and who fell weekly once she reached her 60s. I vowed never to wear any shoes that would trip me up like that--and I've stuck to it ever since.
As for role models, one of my favorite old-time movies was The Barefoot Contessa with Ava Gardner, who said she always wanted to feel the earth beneath her feet. I always thought there was something impossibly romantic about that and wanted to live my life in a place where I could mostly be barefoot, too. (Go figure, I wound up in Minnesota).
But my husband loves high heels and there are days when I wish I could wear them. Maybe I'll have to buy a pair I can wear to a restaurant and spend most of the time sitting down. Then again, what's the point if you can't walk in them? Isn't that what you're supposed to be doing when you wear high heels?
The other thing I can't figure out is how dancers manage to dance in them. One of life's mysteries, I guess, or maybe they're just in such great shape they don't mind? Or else, they're so used to hurting everywhere they don't really care?
Do you wear heels? Would you want or not want your daughter to wear them, and why? You can comment here or send me a note via jennazark.com - I'd love to know.
In the meantime, here's what I found on the subject:
How Old, How High: My Guide to High Heels: Project Inspired
Little Girls and Heels: What to Expect
What Age Should Daughters Start to Wear Heels:Circle of Moms