A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

BIG NEWS! Big. Big! Huge.

Michele Bachmann believes that her high heels are causing her migraine headaches. This makes stiletto-clad Manhattan career girls sneer. I hear they wrote “flat-footed freak” all over her locker and someone even threw an orthopedic insert at her head in the auditorium.

In a New York Times City Room piece yesterday, women expressed their disappointment in a female candidate who can’t hack it in haute shoes. Said one young firecracker: “‘Flats are for quitters . . . If a woman can’t wear heels, can she really run the country?'”


Said another, “‘It’s already not a level playing field . . . It gives male counterparts a reason to say you’re not tough.'”

Well, of course. Everyone knows that the kiss of death for any candidate is the dreaded Choo Walk of Doom, in which presidential hopefuls must ascend, cross, and descend a stage wearing 7-inch high strappy sandals. That is why fictional character Carrie Bradshaw has historically done so well in the early straw polls. Sadly, her bullish stand on military spending always does her in for the primary.


Ladies. Can we get our priorities in order? This is simply embarrassing. How can we talk about leveling the playing field when we’re judging a woman’s ability to do a serious job based on the effects she feels from wearing bone-crushing shoes? This isn’t America’s Next Top Model, it’s a presidential election. I need someone to explain to me what exactly is empowering about wearing contortionist footwear which looks great and makes us walk as though we have neurological damage. True story: I once wore a pair of heels out dancing one night and wound up with actual nerve damage. I wound up taking off my shoes in the taxi and walking barefoot down Broadway that night, and I was limping and wincing for weeks.

Hear me roar!

Let me be clear: this really has nothing to do with my or anyone’s personal opinion of Michele Bachmann or high heels. Frankly, I don’t agree with her politics and I do admire fine shoes. I’ve even been known to buy a pair or five, in fact. But I just can’t see my way to making the correlation between political fortitude and how many inches a gal can take before her toes start to cramp and her back starts to ache and her whole body sends blinding pain signals up from the arch directly to the brain (that’s pretty much science, by the way).

I feel like that might send up some red flags regarding her decision-making skills. Perhaps that’s just me. But it seems to show more chutzpah (that’s pronounced “khoot-spa”) for a woman to throw convention to the wind and rule on high in a pair of flats.

Related: Michele Bachmann Tries Yiddish, Fails

They say that shoes make the man. But I’m fairly certain that no man has ever been made by a pair of Italian loafers that pose a physical challenge in getting from point A to point B. Hasn’t anyone ever seen “Air Force One” or “24”? Sometimes American presidents need to run and jump from airplanes and beat up terrorists with their bare fists! In times of crisis, practical footwear is key.

Let’s focus on what’s important here. We need a leader who can listen, who can think, who can make smart decisions, and who can personally save America (and the world) from the invading army of outer space squid monsters. I’d like to see our country’s chief exec tackle a rogue alien in 6-inch platforms. Ridiculous.

The Nina Archives:

Clickety Click Click I’m Never Leaving My Apartment Again

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On Verbalizing

+1 Is Now + Me

Gorillas In Our Midst Haven’t Yet Destroyed Their Natural Habitat

I’ve Got Spirit, Yes I Do! I’ve Got Spirit! ¿Y Tú?

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