Stephani E. D. McDow

Stephani E. D. McDow

Water Cooler Convo: Kindred Five Inch Beauties and Graceful Steps

Woman Around Town | May 4th, 2011 | Visit the original article online

What drew us all together was our unquenchable thirst for fabulous shoes: There were five of us gathered together in a colleague’s cubicle exchanging information about our favorite shoe shopping websites, devising our sandal shoe game for the summer, and sharing where we keep our secret shoe stash from our significant others. I supposed this would be the equivalent of a water cooler conversation with flair.

Then, the conversation took a turn. It graduated from the shoes on our feet to why we wear them and want them so. Why we work to insure that our shoe game is complimentary to the outfits we choose, the styling of our hair, the fresh face — the work we put in for our overall beauty. It’s the feel good. The self-confidence. That outward reflection of an esteem that we were either born with or worked hard to regain. And with the same enormity as the diversity in women’s personal style lies a great respect for the kindred. We recognize the beauty and sexy, the truth and reality within each other whether we opt to acknowledge it or not.

“There are so many beautiful, educated women in this building who are sexy in their own way,” said Michelle, one of my colleagues in the conversation (her shoes, above), in reference to our place of business and who guestimates that over 75% of the personnel in our building are said women. And she’s right — the National Center for Higher Education boasts some of the DC area’s most amazingly intelligent and fashionable women. I’m sure our building is like many others in any city across the country. From receptionists to directors to presidents, each of the women in this building command a power all her own complete with poise and/or idiosyncratic charm. From flats to 5” heels, each stepping with purpose and grace regardless of stride, strut or shuffle. And in considering my own history and some details in the lives of my colleagues, family and friends, one can’t help but wonder what each of these women had to step out of, over, under or through in order to step into her current regality.

Through our outward appearance we are presenting the women that we’ve come to be. We’ve gift wrapped our experiences into a package for our own pleasure or that which is expected by others. Regardless of why or for whom, there’s always a story. And more than likely, that story bears in it some adversity. I know no woman who has not had some struggle or life-changing event of some degree. And to each, her experience is only measured by the totality of her experiences, not those of others — therefore, we shouldn’t judge nor compare. Frankly, it’s none of our business unless she chooses to share. What should happen is a simple appreciation, an acknowledgement, a nod, a compliment. An understanding.

Though expression of individual truths is limitless, it may be odd to some that a victory might manifest itself in a stiletto or sandal. And contrary to popular belief and the truths perhaps found in the purses of those more fortunate, this shoe thing that we have isn’t just a material pointlessness. It feeds some part of us that has earned them, deserves them and steps gracefully in them. Bottom line, it’s justified! So, Honey, visit one of the websites below, slide on your shoes and WALK!