Suffering for style
Platform shoes from John Galliano 's autumn/winter 09/10 collection.
Many of us have suffered at the mercy of our skinny jeans. There’s the muffin-top complex. The tight fit which acts more or less like a gastric band during teatime. The eternal pants struggle which sometimes ensues when we’re feeling particularly bloated. Our skinny jeans are the source of much emotional trauma, but who knew they could cause physical trauma as well?
As ABC News reports, skinny jeans can lead to permanent nerve damage through a disorder called meralgia paresthetica. According to Dr. Karen Boyle, the disorder is caused by nerve compression along the outer thigh and manifests itself in symptoms such as tingling, numbness and pain, which some sufferers liken to a “floating sensation”.
The only thing worse than wearing skinny jeans? Wearing your J Brand Super Skinnies with heels. As Dr. Boyle says, "When you wear high heels the axis of your pelvis changes and what happens is your pelvis tilts and your buttocks kind of kick out a little bit and your legs are longer looking. This is why women like to wear stilettos. But because the pelvis tilts some, it further accentuates the pressure that's caused on those nerves. It can make the symptoms worse."
Daphne Guiness, no stranger to fashion pain. Photo: Getty Images
Tell that to Dr. Ali Sadrieh who has made a name for himself performing the Cinderella Procedure, shaving off bone to make the foot narrower and more able to squeeze into glass slippers. And that’s not the only foot-fixing surgery around, spurred on by the proliferation of particularly cruel seven-inch Louboutins. A bunch of crazy Brits have gotten dermal filler injections in their toes, heels and balls of their feet to create a “pillow” effect and cushion the blow of wearing fetish-like skyscraper heels.
There’s been a slew of painful fashion in the news of late, and we’re not just talking about these babies. The most disturbing report we’ve heard? That lung-hugging, air-dispelling, organ-shifting corsets may actually be making a comeback! Ahhh! The permanent physical toll fashion can have on our bodies is downright disturbing, but many of us continue to endure the discomfort (and defy our podiatrists) nevertheless.
How much are we willing to suffer for fashion? If the time my friend got an eye infection from wearing coloured contact lenses (and continued to wear them) or the time my sister caught bird lice from trying on vintage clothes in Brooklyn is anything to go by, quite a lot methinks. Vogue’s Health Initiative has garnered a lot of attention lately, but what about those other health hazards they continue to promote? The skinny jeans! The high-heels! The oversized totes! The corsetry! How do you weigh the price of looking good? And what’s the most pain you’ve withstood in pursuit of a trend?