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High heels make women look more attractive, study finds

Stilettos may hurt your feet, but hey, you really do look good wearing them.

By Kim Anne Jan 4, 2013 8:45PM

Photo: With Love Photography/Getty ImagesAs women, we are constantly squeezing our feet into uncomfortable heels, leading to blisters, arch pain and a host of other issues (ehem, like tripping down stairs in shoes we can’t walk in or getting our heels stuck in a subway grate, for example).

But yet we won’t give up our stilettos. At least now we can feel better about the fact that we are hobbling down the street in pain. Why? Because new research confirms that everything about the concept of wearing high heels makes us more attractive (just as we always suspected).

According to The Independent, researchers at the University of Portsmouth say heels change the way the entire body moves, including the pelvis, hips, legs, knees, feet and even the shoulders, to emphasize femininity. Therefore, if a woman is wearing a pair of heels, she’s instantly given a higher score than her flat-wearing friend when it comes to her level of attractiveness. Not that this is shocking news—we hoped we were wearing them for a reason.

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But the study, published in scientific journal Evolution and Human Behavior, explains why. "Evolution may partly explain the continuing popularity of high heels as an article of the female wardrobe. If wearing high heels emphasizes some sex-specific aspects of the female form they may make women more attractive, and one motivation, which may be conscious or unconscious, for wearing heels is that it is part of mate selection."

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The study goes on to explain why some gender-specific trends tend to stay popular, decade after decade. "Fashions by their very nature are ephemeral, but fashions that endure, such as high heels, may emphasize sex-specific aspects of the body."

Tell us: Would you ever give up your high heels?

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Photo: With Love Photography/Getty Images

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25Comments
Feb 8, 2013 8:14PM
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Yah might look great standing around in them, but, yah walk funny...
Feb 5, 2013 8:07PM
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Stay tuned for the next study: The Sun is Hot and Ice is Cold.
Feb 1, 2013 10:53PM
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I have the bunions from when I wore higher heels in my youth and even when I wore a lower heel to work the toe of the shoe was narrower so the bunions continued.  I now wear a 1 to 2 inch heel with a larger toe box and make myself beautiful with better quality clothes, makeup and hair.  I have no choice.
Jan 31, 2013 5:00PM
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I'm almost 48 now and have been wearing heels on a regular basis (work and socially) for the past 30 years.  I admit to loving the way they look on me and, in turn, the way I feel when I'm wearing them; however, I'm also realistic...over the past few years, I've noticed that I can't handle them as well as I did in my youth so the heels are getting shorter.  I own a few pair of flats but I still can't turn to them when I need to dress up...it will always be heels when dressy....well, as long as my body and feet can handle them! 
Jan 29, 2013 5:59PM
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Well research shows that wearing a nice RED top and a smile will do just the same benefits without harming the feet. Try it :)
Jan 29, 2013 5:30PM
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I would rather not have ugly feet from all those blisters. Not worth it!
Jan 26, 2013 11:40PM
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Sure they look good and they make you look good!!I've been there and done it!!I will not

go that high again.Age will tell you when to stop wearing those high heels everyday!!

Jan 25, 2013 1:45AM
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i wear heels because i feel more attractive when i do. that being said, i only wear them maybe 3 times a month, so they really aren't that hard on my body. if i had to/chose to wear them everyday i think i would have a different attitude toward them, but worn only sparingly, i enjoy the way they make me feel and the way they make my legs look.  i'm not a high maintenance woman but do enjoy getting all dolled up every now and then and high heels are definitely a part of that. plus i know my husband loves them, and the fact that he never asks me to wear them (or makes me feel bad when i don't) makes me want to wear them that much more just to stay alluring and attractive to him. i know he will always love me for who i am on the inside but who dosen't want to feel like their mate still finds them physically attractive? 
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