Clearly Bridget Jones was an outlier in England. According to a new survey by foot care company Compeed questioning 3,792 women in France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Britain, and found at 3.3 inches, British women wore an average heel height higher than that worn by women in Spain at 3.2 inches, Denmark at 3 inches, Germany at 2.7 inches and France at 2.4 inches. The study attributed heel height to these British women being more confident and assertive. They may not be able to walk by the time they are 50, but their confidence is off the charts right now.
“Research has suggested that a tall woman is considered more assertive, confident, richer, capable, successful, independent and even more intelligent than their shorter peers,” psychologist Emma Kenny said in a statement. “Perception is incredibly powerful and it makes sense that the feedback we receive from the way we are treated by others will reinforce our choices. The British woman is an ambitious breed, and if putting on a pair of 6-inch heels increases their career prospects, rightly or wrongly, the savvy individual will do so.” Wearing a pair of stilettos is ambitious. It is ambitious that these women don’t think they will break their necks.
But in all seriousness this again supports the school of thought can help your career by both making you look good and making you feel good because you look good. Answering a 2009 Today Show poll that asked “Do high heels empower or oppress women in the workplace?”, 49% said high heels empower them. Heck, at Goldman Sachs it is a rite of passage for women senior enough at the company who have proved their worth to wear more interesting heels, like ones in leopard print. And let’s not forget it is in the work-bible film, The Devil Wears Prada, that Nigel (Stanley Tucci) gives Andy (Anne Hathaway) high heels so she doesn’t get fired on her first day.