Articles tagged with "Normalisation"
Do you ever get weird looks from people when you're wearing heels?
I do get looks and people's expressions are often puzzled, but then they are seeing something that they are not used to seeing so that is going to take some thought to process how they feel about it. You are breaking social stereotypes and to a lot of people this will be something new and can feel threatening to them.
If you are different, and let's face it, it's not hard to be different when you're a man wearing high heeled shoes or boots, then you are going to stand out from the crowd a little and attract some attention. The vast majority of men wearing heels don't actually want any attention, we just want to live authentically and wear the clothes and shoes which we like.
The key here is confidence. When you feel good about what you are wearing before you go out, that will show through. Express yourself authentically and you will have the rock solid belief in what you are doing. Go about your business as normal and remember that you are not responsible for the version of you that is in someone else's head - that's on them.
Think about the times when you've seen something out of the ordinary when you've been out and about. Do you look longer at it? Does your face express your confusion about what you're seeing? It's not unusual to process new things in this way.
In the countless times I've worn heels in public, I have yet to have anyone make a negative comment about them, but yes I do get people looking at them. From many other men who wear heels, the comments they receive are almost always positive. In any case, I want them to look, we need them to look, we need this to be normalised for any men who want to wear heels. That needs every one of us to be wearing heels in public every day that we can.
If you're struggling for the confidence to wear higher heels more than you would normally do in public, use some of the strategies I've provided in these Q&A posts to help. Start out with Cuban/block heels and work your way up. Once higher Cuban/block heels are more commonplace, heels for men will get slimmer and taller and before long we may well see a day when men in stilettos won't seem so unusual at all.
Posted: 3 January 2023
How can we make it normal for men to wear high heels or long boots?
1. Be visible
The single most effective thing each and every one of us can do is to be visible. The more people see men in heels, the more it will be normalised.
Every time you venture out you have an opportunity to educate more people and give them a different perspective on how they look at men in what they would normally consider women's clothes. Many people are still unaware of gender issues. Some may find it un-settling at first as we're challenging the status quo... Be kind.
2. Socialise your visibility
Being active regularly on social media is helpful in getting our message about men in heels to "cross-over" into mainstream life. YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook can all be effective and it's often possible to repurpose content created for one platform on another. Learn about hashtags and use them properly - they are vital to getting noticed. Make hashtags relevant to your post and make them unique to each post. Keep your content focused and on-topic, make it predominantly about your style in heels. Creating a new heels-focussed account is often a good idea if you have pictures of your pet/holidays/what you ate for dinner on your account now. Focus drives follower engagement and retention. If you're not getting (and keeping) the followers you want, make sure you're only posting about topics relevant to their interest.
We can all play our part in social media and in addition to going out there and doing it every day, our community needs us to share our shoe collections, our outfits, our public experiences with whatever level of personal expression we feel comfortable with. Being visible, loud and proud on social media is the key to effecting real change. Resist the temptation to make critical comments when your own profile is empty or has very little content - your voice will be heard louder iand more objectively if you can clearly demonstrate that you walk your talk.
3. Blog it!
Creating a blog website to blog about wearing heels and boots will reach a wider audience than Instagram alone. It can also funnel traffic to your other social media accounts.
You'll probably already have a great deal of content from your social media account (your photos etc), all you need is a little narrative to tell a good story and your website will work well in attracting visitors. Regularly promote your blog on social media.
Some great blogs on high heels and boots can be found at:
4. Ally, don't alienate
Support and ally with other minority groups. Align yourself alongside LGBTQIA+, Feminists and anyone actively gender bending and de-gendering fashion.
5. Support the community
Support each other by making positive, constructive comments on social media, cross-posting and promoting other people's posts and profiles. We'll all achieve more, faster by pulling together as a community.
6. Be gender aware
Be alert to gender-labelling of non-gendered items and call people out on it! The less gendered our world becomes, the better it will be for everyone, us heeled shoe wearers included.
7. Know your history
Educate yourself on men's heel history, fashion and gender issues, it will give you more confidence in yourself and help you develop your style.
8. The fine line between fashion & fetish
Be mindful of sexualisation - don't confuse fashion and fetish. If you have a fetish for anything, that is fine, but keep it private and keep it separate from anything fashion related.
Some things that would also be helpful, but are largely out of our control are
Seeing more men in heels in mass-media Movies, TV series, newspapers and magazines and not just because they are wearing heels, but as matter of fact every day fashion. It's time to change-up the narrative from men in heels being there for shits-and-giggles, because frankly that's getting boring.
Older generations appreciating that the norms that they live by are not the norms that WE live by. We're going to break your norms because they don't have the same value to us as they did for you.
Comments from our readers
We had some great comments on this question posted on our Instagram page for previous posts of this Q&A issue, from both men and women...
"I feel the only way to that is to bring back Cuban heels to mainstream men’s fashion like skinny jeans. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unless we start with mainstream Cuban heels, high heels will have no chance in men’s mainstream fashion."
"Sadly society have stereotypes about this and wants to quietly shame us for this." ...and we say "Thanks, but we say to hell with gender stereotypes! they are just an out-dated product of the patriarchal society that we live in. The shame is on the people who perpetuate them!!"
"Lead by example. I live in a small town, but still wear heels and/or boots - and dresses or skirts - almost every day. And reactions are almost only positive! ❤️ Even the few, that gave me strange looks, in the beginning are now used to it, and see it as a natural thing, that I dress the way I prefer! 🙏"
"Be confident. And be visible. That makes it fit the norm."
"The more men wear them, the more normal it becomes!"
"Same as guys wearing any formerly masculine style that got appropriated by women...guys just have to get out in them as men, even if "looking" feminine. Clothing does not change one's sex."
"You just do it. I make it normal for myself"
"It will take companies to start making more larger sizes. And market, market, market to men too. Just like Birkenstock big buckle sandals. They stop at size 11. They need to at least go up to 16. I would love to get several of them but no size 14. I wear a size 12 in men's. So that's what it's going to take. We can't wear drag heels and boots all the time. 'Even though I love them' 🙂"
"Normal is majority... more the merrier scenario. Acceptance will return if retail label some high heels as MEN'S. It will take the major retailers to sell them and then the men with the balls to wear them. It will become normal again. If the mullet haircut can return... anything is possible if enough embrace the trend and the trend is marketed"
"As far as I’m concerned it already is, I do it and I consider myself to be normal lol 😂"
"Honestly try to avoid anger when people make comments or laugh. We have to stand tall shoulders back and be proud. No matter what and where your background is."
"You never will, what is normal to one person will not be to the next. You just have to do what feels right for you and if it doesn't please some people that's their problem and if they get over it then that's up to them. You can't truly define normal."
"The behaviour and style of the mainstream is the 'normal'. But minority groups with a goal have the chance for change something. For example women in trousers. For men in skirts, heels, leggings or anything else of female clothing it's the same. We have the right to wear it and we can do. Without Instagram or other platforms in the web, every man in 'wrong' clothes was the only person who do this. With the visibility in the web, every man can see there are any other man doing the same. And the mainstream also see that there more men doing this. And while these men doing and connecting, the trend hunter of the big companies seeing it too. For an example, three years ago ASOS didn't sell swim thongs for men. Actually the do and not only normal thongs, tie side thongs and bikinis for men. Buy what you want, wear what you want with confidence and write reviews at the retailer websites. If the companies see the communication from the customer, they think about developing and offer products for men. ASOS started to sell their shoes in the women department in bigger sizes. They well spotted the trend. It's a crosslinked evolutions starting with our steps which need a little bit self-confidence: 1. Buy the item, with the mindset "it's normal what I'm doing here." 2. Wear/use the item with the mindset "It's normal what I'm doing here." 3. React to weird views or dumb comments/question with the attitude and mindset "I really don't understand you because it's normal what I'm doing here." 4. Ask the employees in the store for assistance when you need and act normal when trying on with the attitude/mindset "It's normal what I'm doing here, so why should I not or should I hide." Sounds easier than it is, but it works and brings you in a positive mood/vibes. Let us start it."
Posted: 7 December 2022