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High Heel Power

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"Roll out the red carpets."
"I'm 5ft 3in and need every inch of my Christian Louboutin heels to look my male colleagues in the eye. If high heels were banned in Westminster, no-one would be able to find me."
Mrs. Nadine Dorries, MP (Tory)
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Out of all types of shoes, high heels are perhaps the ones most associated with women, and as a result, are often seen as symbols of femininity. However, this does not always mean that this translates into Women Are Delicate. In fact, sometimes it can imply the opposite. A woman in heels can wear heels and still be badass, competent, and in charge. Whether she's an Action Girl, a competent Girl Friday, someone's boss, a lawyer, or any combination of the above, chances are good that when she comes walking in, it will be in a pair of high heels.

There could be a multitude of reasons why this is the case. One is that by putting on heels a woman becomes taller, and therefore, more authoritative. Another is that the stride created by high heels, when done at a quick pace, can go beyond being just a Sexy Walk and actually look very commanding but in a distinctly feminine way. A third reason may stem from the fact that heels are often accepted feminine footwear in most professional settings, especially when paired with a pencil skirt or other business attire, which results in a lot of women in positions of authority wearing them in the workplace (making it varying Truth in Television).

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Often part of a Feet-First Introduction, along with She's Got Legs. Sibling trope to Combat Stilettos, though for this trope the woman doesn't have to be an Action Girl to be displaying High Heel Power. She can simply be good at what she does or be in some position of authority. A must for a Lady in a Power Suit.

In other words, she (this trope being Always Female) doesn't think High Heels Hurt.

Compare Nice Shoes.

Tread carefully when adding examples that doesn't violate the No Lewdness, No Prudishness policy, as high heels are prone to Fanservice.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kill la Kill: There are several close-ups on Satsuki Kiryuin's heels clicking before she makes a speech or does something badass. Same goes for her mother, Ragyo.
  • Aggressive Retsuko: Washimi has this in spades. She wears high heels, and easily dominates her boss, the company president (not sexually: she just shuts down his foolish ideas).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion takes the idea to its most bizarre application in Hato Higashikata's Stand Walking Heart, which makes her high heels her actual power.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jurassic World as Claire able to make it through the events of the film in heels. On top of being an Action Survivor, she is also the head of the entire park and therefore the highest ranking member of the company we see beneath Simon Masrani.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: Lydia is always seen wearing a pair of blue or black pumps. They receive a lot of focus when she's walking through the New Mexico desert or tiptoeing around dead bodies, showing how at odds her OCD businesswoman side is with the more brutal side of her business.
  • Lucifer (2016): Charlotte Richards is seen wearing high heels at all times. She ends up towering over almost every other member of the cast which, combined with her no-nonsense attitude, makes her appear both formidable and intimidating.
  • Castle: Detective Kate Beckett typically wears 4-inch heels at work, which have more than once been described as "brutal" and "impractical". She admits to wearing them in order to appear more physically imposing to her (mostly male) co-workers; it's easier for her to be taken seriously when she's literally looking down at them.

    Music 
  • The topic of Beyoncé's song "6 Inch", which introduces a strong working woman first through the sheer height of her shoes.
    Six-inch heels, she walked in the club like nobody's business.
    Goddamn, she murdered everybody and I was her witness.

     Music Videos 
  • The Music Video for Panic by Lucy stars a giantess in a pair of scarlet stilettos and a matching minidress. All throughout the video she asserts her dominance over the love-struck lead singer by toying with him as he tries to serenade her. By the end she seems to come around after he gives her a ring and seemingly getting engaged to her. Only for her to assert her final act of dominance over him by licking her lips and eating him right then and there. Followed by yanking his guitar out of her mouth and burping loudly.

     Other 
  • A common sight on Stock Photo websites when searching for images related to power dynamics. Expect to find a lot of images of a Giant Woman about to crush a cowering guy under her high heels.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • Ada Wong of the Resident Evil series is ever the Femme Fatale while casually fighting (or avoiding) genetically engineered monsters, jumping around rooftops with the aid of her Grappling-Hook Gun, infiltrating labs (in order to sell their research to the highest bidder) and always in high heels.
  • Several female characters in Mortal Kombat wear high heels (like princesses Kitana and Mileena), which seem strangely practical in combat.
  • Samus Aran of Metroid fame's Zero Suit incorporates high heels in its design starting with Metroid: Other M. Super Smash Bros. takes it even further, starting in the fourth instalment, by upgrading her to rocket heels.
  • 2B, as well as every other YoRHa android in NieR: Automata, wear stilettos to accentuate their design. It certainly gives them a sense of power that they can use them in any terrain.
  • Bayonetta is essentially High Heel Power: The Video Game. The titular anti-heroine is a gun-slinging Witch in high heels, that accessorizes her favorite shoes with a pair of matching pistols. Always strutting through her adventures like they were a fashion runway, Bayonetta is a woman that enjoys crushing her foes beneath her heels — sometimes literally, when she stomp-shoots them or summons a giant high-heeled foot to crush enemies. The game's very first images focused on a Feet-First Introduction, showing a stomping high heel with a smoking gun attached to it.

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe has White Diamond, who wears extremely stylish high heels upon her Feet-First Introduction, and she asserts her dominance over Steven, or in her mind, Pink Diamond, by sending him to Pink's room before he can even barely speak. It's a thing that all gemkind, especially the bosslike Yellow, fear White Diamond.

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