High heels are a feminist issue: Let Julia Roberts’ bare footsteps guide the flat-sole revolution – MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

Bye bye Manolos, hello Easy Spirit—Roberts thumbs her nose at Cannes fashion rules as more women fight the height VIDEO

High heels are a feminist issue: Let Julia Roberts' bare footsteps guide the flat-sole revolution

Ladies, it’s turned out to be a very empowering week for our fight to assert our right to bodily autonomy. And in case you hadn’t noticed — feet are a feminist issue.

Earlier in the week, 27 year-old Londoner Nicola Thorp shared her tale of arriving for a temp assignment at finance company PwC in what she believed was professional attire — including “smart flat shoes.” But as she told BBC Radio, she was quickly sized up and told to go out and get a pair of shoes with “2 to 4 inch heel.” And when she refused, she was sent home unpaid. Her temp firm Portico seemed to stand by the choice, explaining that she “signed the appearance guidelines” when she joined the agency.

Recalling the incident to the BBC, she Thorp said, “I said ‘If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough,’ but they couldn’t. I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms. I said, ‘I just won’t be able to do that in heels.’” And she said that when she asked if a male worker would be expected to perform the same job in heels, she was laughed at. But after she posted about her experience on Facebook, she wound up organizing a petition to change UK law — which currently allows different dress codes for men and women — so that women cannot be forced to wear high heels at work. And she now argues, “I think dress codes should reflect society and nowadays women can be smart and formal and wear flat shoes. Aside from the debilitating factor, it’s the sexism issue. I think companies shouldn’t be forcing that on their female employees.”

Unsurprisingly, there are some — including professional troll Katie Hopkins, who disagree with push to make heels optional. Writing in the Mail, she declared, “The feminazis love fighting and are always looking for the next scrap on their vagenda.” But ever since the story broke, other women have chimed in with their own experiences. On the BBC’s Facebook page, female commenters have weighed in with their own workplace experiences of being expected to toddle around in heels — even when they were several months pregnant, when they were suffering arthritis or plantar fasciitis. 

As it turns out, the planets have kept aligning for us to keep the shoe-centric dialogue going. Writing in the New Yorker, the eternally great Mary Karr presents her case against high heels, tracing her life trajectory from a brief stint as a foot model to the “beleaguered and bunioned” woman she is today. She cites the once sky-high Victoria Beckham, who this past winter admitted, “I just can’t do heels any more.” And ultimately, she calls for a revolution, rallying with the cry, “Oh, womenfolk, as we once burned our bras could we not torch the footwear crucifying us?”

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‘Chilling out’ at an egg freezing party – By Regan Morris BBC News, Los Angeles 16 March 2015 Last updated at 19:44 ET

The timing of having a child has always been complicated for working women, but egg freezing parties hope to capture their attention by promoting advances in technology alongside cocktails and mingling.

EggBanxx at Crosby Hotel in September

Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and learning about egg vitrification

This swanky cocktail party at the Beverly Wilshire is packed with women. It’s the very hotel where Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman told Richard Gere’s character she wouldn’t settle for being a mistress – that she wanted the fairy tale.

While it’s no longer a Hollywood film set, the young women here also want it all – and they are refusing to settle when it comes to their fertility.

These women are at a “Let’s Chill” cocktail party to learn about egg freezing, this one sponsored by a firm that provides the service.

Aside from cocktails and some fancy hors d’oeuvres, the party includes a presentation from a company representative, personal testimony from women who’ve frozen their eggs, a panel with top fertility doctors, as well a question and answer session and time to mingle.

“It’s pretty casual. We hope it’s fun and more laid back than being in a waiting room,” says Jay Palumbo, the vice president of patient care at EggBanxx, which is hosting the party.

EggBanxx at Harvard Club in October

Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and learning about egg vitrification

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BEST & WORST DRESSED | by The Fashion Beast Team

Best and Worst Dressed

The Daily Beast


Michelle Obama dons winter whites to celebrate Christmas in Washington, Julia Roberts perfects the menswear trend, and Juliette Lewis takes the tacky prom look too far. Plus, more best and worst dressed of the week.

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