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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


High heeling my way through stress

The added hight from heels is a literal lift to one’s self-esteem. (PHOTO CREDIT: TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE)

Some people take Adderall, and some people drink copious amounts of coffee or tea. I, on the other hand, like to wear six-inch stilettoes.

Heels are a physical manifestation of power. It only makes sense to wear them when I am at my weakest, no? And my weakest occurs when I open up my textbooks realize just how little information I have absorbed in the past two weeks and how much I must begin to retain in the 48 hours before my exam. It happens when I have a job interview the following morning. It comes with a very significant amount of stress that I cannot comprehend being able to handle by myself.

So I will more or less spend the next 24 hours in heels. They can be the aforementioned six-inch stilettoes if I am just studying in my room, or my prized yellow wedges if I am walking around campus all day. At this point, height makes no difference to me, as the severity of the situation at the hand, ranging from a personal conflict to a huge chemical engineering exam designed to fail everyone, is what determines how tall I will be that day.

See, the added height is a literal lift to my self-esteem. These shoes, as shallow and silly as this may sound, have become the tool I use to create my confidence. The “click-clack” through the hallways is a walk of that conveys fierceness: there is really no other way to put it. I can run the world, in heels. I am Michelle Obama and Beyoncé simultaneously, with the attitude of Hillary Clinton. And that test or interview or whatever else is standing in the way of me and mental stability it is no longer a problem. I can handle it, just like Olivia Pope can handle all of Washington’s drama. My issues are handled.

And people notice it too, when you have “your stuff together.” 90 percent of that is all in your head. It is all a mental game of how well you can hold yourself in crisis-esque times. If you think you can handle it you are on the right track. My choice of shoes is my way of telling myself I know I can handle it. Couple that with a polished outfit (i.e. no sweatpants), and I am ready to face the world.

Confidence is not something that you just have, it is something you acquire, that you have to constantly work for. It is a cycle of highs and lows; no one is ever confident about everything. Worry sets in, anxiety bubbles up, doubt likes to crawl in occasionally. It is a wall that breaks down and needs to be built up over and over again.

My heels are my hammers and nails and whatever other tools I do not know that are used to build concrete walls. My shoes are how I continue to fake it until I make it. My added height is how I mentally see “above the fray” of concern and apprehension that lay within the following 24 hours.

It is all a compact, twisted little mind game. And let me assure you that nothing stabs the voice of doubt quite like sharp heel.

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