One of the reasons I started advising people about adding height was my own experience starting around the year 2000 and the fact that I saw absolutely nothing online by way of advice. 16 years later, there still isn’t much! In common with a lot of areas about personal appearance, there is just a whole lot of rubbish masquerading as fact – fake ‘facts’ with no proof or research. The lack of proper info is a vacuum, which means that all sorts of odd folk pour in their particular bias, frantically typing away like maniacs howling abuse at anyone who does something they just don’t approve of, and making up any old rubbish to suit.
I asked one guy who had posted something completely weird where his ‘research’ or facts came from – and his response was to send me three comments made online by ‘Anon’ in some chatroom. That was it, the ‘research’ to back up his claim that some completely off the wall and plain odd comment was “A FACT, research PROVES IT’. What he was really saying was: “This is my bias, I know nothing but I have a strong view, so I will just search for something online posted by someone who thinks the way I do – ‘all elevators suck, so there, and you will have 6 years and 4 months bad luck if you even look at a pair’.
I come from a family of scientists (although not one myself) and it astonishes me the degree to which people online now just repeat unfounded rubbish as ‘fact’, just because they have read it somewhere. It is worth adding here that some of the quite virulent attacks on appearance-related issues online and indeed odd obsessions among some journalists, are more really about the person writing them – obsessions, inadequacies, jealousies and mild ‘issues’ which lead to loud and screaming views. You see the same when people post about ‘celebrities’ that they do not know – anger and fury and nasty personal attacks (they do not know the person but feel able, hiding behind a false name, to just hurl abuse and unpleasantness).
So I thought I would tackle some of these false and untested claims in a different way in my pieces here, and this is the first of a series of Mythbusters, on the effects of wearing elevators – I have been adding height now for over 16 years, made all the mistakes (there are plenty) and have learned that there ARE issues you have to deal with – but you will not be helped by looking at the online comments of people who have never worn them, never used them at all. My first myth is “elevators are bad for your feet, FACT”. Well of course it is not FACT (or even just fact) and there is not one single piece of research that they are any worse for you than flat shoes or going barefoot or eating carrots. It is an irony that this subject comes up quite often in the occasional online comment but no-one ever gives proof of research or facts. In essence they say that elevators ‘must’ be bad for your feet (usually in capital letters of course!) but give no research or back-up. And that is because there is none.
Journalist sensation & online weird
Now just have a look at this story which ‘proves’ that “flat shoes can ACTUALLY damage your feet” (the story screams that in the headline). (http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/healthandlife/yourhealth/did-you-know-that-wearing-flat-shoes-can-actually-damage-your-feet-276566.html ) Of course it proves nothing of the sort but it pretends it does. It is rarer than stories that heels are bad for you but it is the same really. It is interesting because it is the mirror image of the mad and more frequent comments made by people going on about how if you wear high heels or elevators your feet will drop off after a week. It is simply not true that any credible or long term research says that flat shoes are ‘bad for you’ or that elevators are, or in fact even that stiletto heels are. What any research on any aspect of footwear has shown is that wearing the same shoes and standing all day (whether flat or heeled or elevated or even bare foot) is probably not as good for you as having a break (duh, obvious surely) but that has been turned in this particular story by journalists seeking sensation into “flat shoes are bad for you”.
Take a break off your feet
This one is an important one because at its heart are throwaway comments attributing all sorts of potential problems to heels or elevators and the only content of any research that is proven is the one about the need to get off your feet at times and have a rest. That’s it. Oh apart from the usual – shoes must not be too tight (circulation) and you mustn’t run in certain ones. Any of the cod ‘scientific’ arguments that you see online or in newspapers about the potential dangers (usually the comments refer to heels) apply also to flat shoes and are covered in phrases and words like “experts believe” (which experts, where are their facts to back this ‘belief’?), or “foot specialists think it may…” (“may”? “think?” – that’s not a fact or research, it’s opinion backed by thin air).
They are selling something
And remember. They are also, ahem, selling something – the services of foot doctors et al. Who are only too happy to tell you that ANYTHING you are doing is wrong (as they take their fees) – tell them you have been in flat shoes all day every day and they’ll say “Ah well that’s where you have been going wrong…flat shoes are not good for arches…”. Tell them you’ve been wearing 4” elevators all day and they’ll say “Ah that’s where you have been going wrong…etc etc”.These are all new areas, with no proper study, but people are anxious to make money and journalists are anxious to make people read sensation. Here’s the plain and rather boring facts – ALL shoes should not be worn all the time/all day without a break. Everyone should take a break from their feet, specially those who work standing in one place a lot. Elevators absolutely do NOT cause any problems any different to those of any other sort of footwear unless they fit too tightly. Make sure the toes are not squeezed into anything. And do foot exercises (not just those who stand a lot, anyone). And remember if you do not read this article again, FACT, both your feet will drop off. Within 47 hours and 23 minutes, ‘studies and experts have shown’…Research PROVES IT.