Interview with the makers of “Heelarious” high heels for babies

Remember “Heelarious” high-heeled shoes for babies?

There’s an interview with the makers, on MSNBC.


[Shot of baby crawling along in shiny hot-pink high heeled shoes.]

Voiceover: Little Olivia can’t even walk yet, but she’s already taking her first steps towards becoming a fashionista.

[Olivia pulls up to stand, holding onto a woman. So much for these being purely crib shoes, as was originally used in their defence. The heels squash, but the shape of the sole is throwing her badly into pronation; it looks a very un-ergonomic posture.]

Voiceover: She’s a model for some tiny crib shoes that could very well be the smallest stilettoes ever

“Janelle Kulaas, Mother”: Oh. Yeah, it draws attention, people see them and like, ‘Those are hilarious!’ [laughs]

Voiceover: The shoes are the brainchild of Britta… who thought up the idea, and the brand name Heelarious, on her daughter’s fourth birthday.

Britta Bacon : It was kind of all I could think about at her birthday party, and came home, and registered the website, and called Hayden.

Voiceover: Hayden Porter is Britta’s childhood friend, her current partner, and an admitted high-heel addict.

Hayden Porter: I wish I had an adult version for when I’m, you know, put on all my Sex and the City re-runs, and I can just sit back on the couch, and y’know be in the most comfortable shoes ever.

Voiceover: The shoes are only made for infants up to six months old, and the heel is squishy for safety reasons.

[another shot of a baby on her feet, the shoes throwing her weight right onto the inner borders of her feet]

Voiceover: The women sold their first pair just fourteen weeks ago, and since then have sent orders all over the East Coast and Europe. The women admit some have criticised them, saying heels, even fake ones, are inappropriate for babies. But they insist it’s all meant to be in good fun.

Britta Bacon: Fashion, fun, just – creating an experience, um… a keepsake…

Voiceover: To get the word out about their product, the women have been sending these shoes to celebrities who’ve just had baby girls. And they also are getting ready to ship these boxes to the Emmys, where they’ll be included in gift bags for the nominees. With six styles of shoes now gaining traction, the women say they may try to tackle boys’ shoes next, although they’re coy on what they’ll look like.

Hayden Porter: You just never know! [laughs]

[via Sociological Images.]

Categories: gender & feminism, health


22 replies

  1. GAH
    I just don’t get heels. I watched a housemistress at my boarding school have to wear high-heeled slippers in the evenings because her tendons were too tight to go barefoot or wear flat shoes. It was the most pathetic sight, and I’ve never gone near them.
    That sentiment about wanting to have an adult pair is just as pathetic. Why can’t you wear a pair of pink sequinned slippers if the urge to be girlie is that overwhelming?

  2. That has to be one of the most ridiculous and pathetic things I have ever seen. No way in hell I would be letting my baby wear something that inappropriate.
    If Britta really wants to make it big she better polish up her media presence or get a spokesperson because she really doesn’t come across all that well…

  3. Tis a shame the interviewer didn’t feel the need to ask why they were promoting any shoes for an age group where they are not recommended. As much as possible (ie. when it’s not freezing cold, when they should be wearing socks or something very soft and foot-shaped) babies should be barefoot so their toes can wriggle.

  4. It was the word ‘traction’ that caught my eye. That may indeed be where those children will end up.

  5. This is appalling. And yeah, it struck me that one of the women ‘wished she had a pair’ for watching television in. Does she normally wear her Manolo Blahniks to watch Sex in the City reruns? Because…wow.

  6. rainne: really. And, if your shoes hurt when you’re lounging around on the couch? You don’t need those shoes.

  7. All I can think of besides cursing is this.
    And then these women wonder why no one takes them seriously. Because you squished your baby’s feet into tiny heels and think it’s FUNNY and CUTE, and see nothing wrong with not only hurting their feet but buying into sexism and commercialism from nearly day one.

  8. I honestly think people in the future will look back on heels the way we look back on (a) corsets and ‘tight-lacing’, and (b) foot binding.
    Clearly they are a tool of the patriarchy to make women less able to run away.

  9. Aside from all the above sentiments that I agree with, how the hell can they think these things are funny and cute when they are so obviously bad for the little baby ankles attached to those feet?!? When the bub puts her feet down her ankles roll almost immediately when the heel folds, how is that ever going to be good? Gah! My ankles ache in sympathy and they were thankfully never exposed to that particular form of idiocy.

  10. This is wrong on so many levels. I am thankful that they only make them up to 6 months so that the child will at least be unaware of the way in which she is being genderized. Heals for babies are ridiculous and far from cute.

  11. I thought at that age parents would be trying to make it easier for the little ones to walk.

  12. I didn’t really understand all the criticism of these shoes until I saw this video, which shows, well, what Ness said.
    They’re not “crib shoes”, and the heels might be soft but they’re not “fake”. They’re obviously affecting the poor kid’s attempts to walk.
    Listening to the marketing buzzwords being repeated in such a naive, hopeful fashion is quite funny: “Fashion, fun, just – creating an experience, um [long pause] a keepsake….”
    Well, I I might not find it so funny if a child I knew was being stuffed into such shoes and having her first attempts to walk compromised.

  13. I’m not a perfect person, I wear heels sometimes, for various reasons from wanting to look ‘pretty’ to wanting some extra elevation to keep my feet dry on a wet day. They’re uncomfortable, I know that, I hold no illusions about them being anything good or feminist. But for children who will mostly be carried or in a stroller–what is the point? In fact, what is the point for any young children? I wasn’t wearing heels, real heels, until I was fourteen or so, and those didn’t collapse when I walked. Before my little sister learned how to walk, the only shoes she had were made of cloth, flat, and very flexible. And they had those little rubber dots on the soles for traction. Those are what babies should have. Not these ridiculous monstrosities.

  14. Next up: Hot 2 Trot wedgies for the preschoolers. It just doesn’t stop.

  15. Lisa: there were some heeled Bratz gumboots in my last post on this.

  16. Lauredhel, thanks, I missed it. Not seeing the image of the Bratz gumboots on the post, though — ?

  17. The sixth image, Lisa – is it not showing up for you?

  18. In IE I could only see three photos — but in Foxfire I can see all six. Hmm, wonder what else I’ve been missing? Thanks.

  19. Goes to show… IE is evil. Pure, unadulterated evil.

  20. This is so wrong in so many levels. Britta, the only people who will buy these high heels are sexual predators to dress up the babies they are molesting and distributing it all over the web… sick sick sick.. have you not watch Oprah lately????

  21. I don’t think Oprah is the arbiter of social rights and wrongs. I think you will find that many “ordinary” people will be silly enough to buy these shoes. The people who buy them are buying into a stupid and restricting requirement for girls to perform femininity from an early age even if it restricts their movement and prevents them being able to play appropriately. That’s bad enough.


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