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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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