“Will you for God’s sake take smaller steps” says Oscar. “You’re not strutting around an international football stadium now. You look like Ronaldo in drag.”
In Oscar’s flat – with very high heels. Trying to walk in them, trying to look cool; and failing miserably. Oscar always looks so compelling in high heels, so sophisticated – like he’s been wearing them all his life. Oscar is a cross-dresser like me. Since I met he’s become more than just a close friend. He’s become my mentor. I so want to be like him. I know I’ll never be as beautiful. Or as chic; but I can surely learn how to be as feminine when I dress. Oscar has so many boas and scarves and necklaces flung everywhere. Mirrors on every wall – you just to have to look up to see a full length reflection of yourself. I look around at all the frippery and finery and the glossy magazines and the framed abstract prints on the wall and the half million bottles and jars of creams and applicators and removers on both of the dressing table and I think soon this could be me. In Paris or Madrid or London. How bizarre when you think of it. I have an agent currently trying to arrange a lucrative dea with a major European soccer club. And the subject of that deal is wobbling around on stilettos.
Bring feminine! Dressing up beautifully. That’s everything to me! It feels so natural – so absolutely normal – I wonder why so many people in my country disapprove.
If the Secret Police knew I was hanging around in Oscar’s flat, training to walk in high heels, I’d be flung in prison for a minimum of three years.
He looks at me disdainfully – the look that says I need to teach you some rules but I’m not sure if I’ll be wasting my time. He sighs one of his long ‘l suppose I ought to try’ sighs and drags me across the room. “Now listen very carefully. In fact, do feel free to write this stuff down. As with perfecting any technique there really is no substitute for practice”
OSCAR’S RULES FOR WALKING IN HIGH HEELS
- Take smaller steps. Long strides are a real give-away. Nothing looks as ‘butch’ as long masculine strides.
- Walk from heel to toe the way you would do walking in flat shoes.
- Make sure your posture is straight. Head up. Look straight ahead. Don’t slouch. Pull your stomach in. Don’t tilt or pivot sideways. Imagine a line going down from the centre of your head through your stomach and out through your butt and make sure you keep the line straight. Pretend you’re talking to a group of people while you’re walking. The talking will help you relax and stop you from stiffening.
- Bend your knees ever so slightly, don’t lock them.
- Don’t look down. Keep talking to that imaginary group of people.
- Swing your arms ever so slightly. Some models will exaggerate this arm swing when they walk along the catwalk. While you don’t have to be so theatrical, you will note that the arm movement helps the models keep their torso straight and gives them that ‘ever so relaxed’ posture.
- Walk along an imaginary straight line. Models tend to put one foot in front of the other and while this isn’t entirely necessary, (especially, if you want to avoid looking affected or showy) you will note that your hips swing naturally when you do this.
- Walk around the house walking and doing other things, talking, laughing or simply carrying that bag or purse.
- Practice stopping, turning left and right and occasionally walking backwards.
- Do not wear heels out of doors until you have broken them in – until you feel comfortable and confident in them. Until you forget you’re wearing them.
- Buy at least three pairs of shoe every time you go shopping!
“You can ignore that last one!” says Oscar. “Are you going to write those rules down?”
“Oh I think I can remember them,” I said. “I’ve got something of a photographic mind!”
“Pity you never had it developed!” he said.