Today I want to give a little insight into street fashion and what it says about our mentality.
So, what is there about Russians and fashion that is so particular? Well, I must say that the women put way too much importance into their looks. Moreover, the Russian woman will always, always, ALWAYS no matter what wear heels. I’m not kidding. When I first came to Russia, it seemed like a jungle of females in high heels. Clack clack clack… thousands of high heels pounding on the cold pavement. Glamour, fur, and the perfect make-up is the essential uniform for Russian women of all ages. Over time, I understood it’s just part of our culture.
Every time I went out of the house, I would constantly suffer for those women walking on ice in their high stilettos. However, they would do it with such ease, such art, such dexterity. I couldn’t help but imagine the horror of me walking in heels that high. I mean, I can barely walk straight on solid ground…but imagine, adding obstacles such as snow…and ice? The horror…
One time in Russia, I was trying on different winter boots with my mom at a local shoe store. There was such a variety of winter boots…my inner Russian shoe lover was in heaven. We immediately picked out the ones with no heels. The saleswoman approached my mother, “I found these…I think they would be perfect for your daughter.” And in her hands, she had a pair of high-heeled boots. My mother immediately, “No, thank you, my daughter is too tall for high heels…she doesn’t like them” Here, it is highly important to note that even if I’m considered tall in Uruguay (which is where I currently reside), in Russia I am average height. Therefore, calling me too tall is absurd. The saleswoman looked perplexed. She turned to me and inspected my so called “tallness”. Then, rolling her eyes, she turned back to my mother, and said, “She isn’t thaaat tall………….” All of this was followed by an awkward silence. After this incident I understood, that if you want to be well seen in society, you have to conform to social norms.
Interesting fact: Every year, Russia hosts perhaps the most dangerous and highly risky sporting event for women – the sprint in high-heels, which should be no less than 9 centimeters. The “High Heel Race” competition attracts close to one hundred eager participants, ready to prove that nothing is impossible. The winner is awarded with the prize of fifty thousand rubles, the others – with injuries, grazes and bruises. CRAZY.
(Scroll down for photos of the event)
I know that this isn’t unique to Russia, since women all over the world strive to be more beautiful, therefore wear heels to show elegance and style. Nevertheless, I got no doubt that the percentage of such women in Russia is higher than in any other place in the world.