By Alyssa Bailey published
High heels have their share of pros (adding instant polish to an outfit) and cons (causing nasty foot injuries). But a French study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior just added an interesting new perk to the pros side: Men, apparently, are more likely be helpful and nicer to women who are wearing high heels.
In the study, researchers conducted several separate experiments to examine how women wearing three different types of shoes—black flat shoes, black medium-heeled shoes (2 inches), black high heeled shoes (3.5 inches)—were treated differently. In one of the experiments, a woman approached people on the street to complete a survey; in another, a woman pretended to accidentally drop her glove to see how many people would assist her. In both of these experiments, the same woman wore all three of the different-sized heels. And in a third experiment, a group of women wearing mixed height heels sat at a bar, while researchers tallied how often each woman was approached.
In each scenario, men were most responsive to the highest-heeled shoes, while women treated the woman asking for help no differently based on her footwear. The study's authors believe this is because of the shoe's cultural reputation: High heels themselves are portrayed as sexy in the media (see every Sex and the City episode for proof), or at least in France where the trials were conducted. And footwear that is perceived as sexy may, as The Washington Post reports, "unconsciously...make [men] more likely to notice and respond to women." But before you decide to wear only heels going forward, remember this warning from the ladies of SATC themselves: Wear in moderation for the love of your feet.
Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.
Brace Yourself: Thong Pants Are Back
Mom, can you pick me up? I'm scared.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
Heidi Klum in a Fuchsia Pantsuit Is The Ultimate Workwear Inspiration for 2022
I'm getting 'Legally Blonde' vibes.
By Iris Goldsztajn
The Creators Issue
A celebration of making, doing, innovating, iterating.
By Marie Claire Editors
Beware the Shoulder Rub
It's a gateway touch—and it's distressingly common.
By Kaitlin Menza
New Study Says Women Don't Really Care About Marriage or Baby Daddies
What even are men?
By Rebecca Gale
'Playboy' Playmates Recreate Their Iconic Covers and Prove Everything Gets Better with Age
Um, these are GORGEOUS.
By Laura Beck
This Is Why It's Better to Be Single, According to Science
Not having a Valentine suddenly seems very smart.
By Kate Storey
Why I Kept in Touch with the Person Who Abused Me
It took me two decades to finally report the man who molested me as a child. Here's why I stayed silent...except with him.
By Dani Bostick
So Uh, Marital Rape Isn't Totally Illegal in Some States
Get ready to be outraged.
By Megan Friedman
This App Could Be The New Way You Consent To Sex (Seriously)
Tap before you...well, you know.
By Diana Pearl