Oleg Mikheyev, a lawmaker with pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party, has proposed a ban on a most beloved fashion item: the high heel. Oleg feels that sky-high heels, as well as trainers, ballet flats, and men’s loafers, are bad for people’s health and it’s time to do something about it. Therefore, he has proposed an outright ban on these “dangerous” footwear items. The ban would go into effect for Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
According to The Times of India, the ban is on any shoes containing a heel greater than two inches. The proposal was sent to the Customs Union. Essentially the ban would make it illegal to import shoe items that were deemed “unhealthy” based on the new proposal.
Mikheyev sites extreme health concerns as his reason for proposing the import amendment. He notes that 40 percent of adults in Russia suffer from flat feet and other health concerns associated with wearing stiletto heels. The Moscow Times quoted Mikheyev saying:
“In the past, it tended to be women who suffered from uncomfortable shoes because the lion’s share of complications was caused by high stiletto heels. But now the at-risk group also includes men. Fashionable canvas sneakers, loafers, moccasins without heels are also dangerous to health.”
An orthopedic surgeon, Vladimir Khoroshev, also agrees with the ban. He concurred that high heels or flats could cause health problems, running down a list of the potential dangers posed by heels higher than two inches including memory loss, skeletal problems, and uterine prolapse.
However, the women of Russia are not thrilled about the proposal. Mikheyev said his female coworkers are not even speaking to him. Some Russian women also note that they feel like the proposal is an infringement on their personal liberties and freedom.
Fortunately for the fashionistas of Russia, it appears the ban is nothing more than a ploy to bring awareness to footwear issues. Mikheyev said that he did bring the proposal to the attention of the Customs Union, though he does not think the proposal would ever be accepted. Instead, he told the Russian AFP that the proposal was simply a measure to bring awareness to an important health issue, not to ban high heels outright.
Russia is no newbie to limiting women’s import items. Lacy panties were recently a topic of debate in Russia when a ban went into effect that limited the amount of cotton required in clothing coming into contact with the skin. The regulation required that all clothing making contact with skin to contain at least 6 percent cotton. In turn, this essentially banned lace panties. Women rebelled and were seen in the streets wearing lacy panties on their head yelling “Freedom to panties!”
In other Russian news, the United States Air Force recently intercepted Russian bombers just 50 miles off the California coast.
What do you think about Mikheyev’s proposal? Are high heel and lacy panty bans the way to a healthier community?