High heels for babies

// 9 June 2008

heelarious.gif“Extremely funny, completely soft, fully functional high heel crib shoes for babies 0-6 months,” is how Heelarious describes its products.

Is it a joke? I can only hope so. They seem to be selling these little monstrosities for $35 a pop.

As Hoydon About Town notes, this is hardly the first ever high-heel aimed at those way to young to wear them, but it’s possibly the first one aimed at the under six month set.

The mind boggles, doesn’t it?

Comments From You

batty // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:23 pm

I just feel slightly sick…who would do that to their kids, who would sexualise their kids before they even hit six months. Before they can even talk? Seriously?

Can kids as young as six months even walk? Well, they definatley won’t be doing in those will they. Just.Gah. i give up!

batty // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:26 pm

Just to add to my above post, As I showed this to my work colleagues, someone correctly pointed out that the next enginious marketing campaigne aimed at babies will be the replacement of the nappy for the winny the pooh thong!

Sabre // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:31 pm

EWWWWW that is so vomitous. Best way to start the social conditioning early though. I guess this is for the parents who enter babies and girls into beauty contests. And they come in hot pink, zebra print and leopard print! Yuck

SM // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:43 pm

I’m just…speechless. I have to go away now and faint or something. What the hell?

Milly // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:53 pm

Wow, that is the worst ever way to impose gender bullshit on your baby. And also, “completely soft and fully functional” oxymoron slightly?

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:57 pm

At last high heel shoes are being marketed for both genders because obviously boy babies will be wearing these shoes too!! Well, there is nothing which says which sex these shoes are being aimed at.

It all makes logical sense when increasing younger and younger ‘children’ (meaning of course girls but never, ever boys) are being sexualised and turned into sexualised commodities for male consumption. Do I hear claims such sexualisation is harmful – no of course not it is just the child or baby exercising their freedom of choice!!

The Woolwytch // Posted 9 June 2008 at 6:10 pm

Good grief…

so will we all start binding our infants feet next or will we start seeing Manalo’s for the hospital nursery set next?

Anne Onne // Posted 9 June 2008 at 6:44 pm

On one hand, I can see the reasoning behind this. People are encouraged to buy accessories for their babies and pets that appeal to the owner’s/parent’s interests and humour, and aren’t of remote interest to the pet or child.

But something like this goes beyond innocent silly homour, because it incorporates gendered expectations, and performance of sexuality in women. Society sees high heels as sexual, and in that context, this is disturbing. Then again, I also find it annoying that society expects women to act and dress a certain way, and then codes these behaviours as inherently sexual, illustrating a permanent state of sexual availability and interest from which one cannot opt out.

Naturally, these shoes have no function in children not old enough to walk, and would no doubt jsut damage those old enough to walk if they were to walk in them.

ilinap // Posted 9 June 2008 at 7:32 pm

Next we’re going to see diaper covers with “Juicy” across the bottom. Atrocious. I like to think I have a sense of humor, but there’s nothing funny here.

NVMojo // Posted 9 June 2008 at 7:34 pm

Disgusting! We have more then enough problems with pedophiles in this society.

Lew // Posted 9 June 2008 at 9:29 pm

I am going to puke a fat one.

“We have more then enough problems with pedophiles in this society.”

Quoted for truth.

The patriarchy sexualises girls under the age of consent, then pretends to care about locking up paedophiles.

If they truly cared, they’d do more to stop trafficking, among other things.

Ruth Moss // Posted 9 June 2008 at 10:03 pm

They really ought to have a look at this:


… and that’s *before* you get to the sexual connotations (yuk!)

Kuja // Posted 9 June 2008 at 11:55 pm

Great. If I ever have a daughter I’ll be sure to buy a pair to match her baby mini-skirt and toddler ‘Barbie is a slut’ t-shirt. [/sarcasm]

Saw all three of the above (the shirt, heels and skirt) in the past fortnight. What kind of people do we expect children exposed to THIS type of fashion to grow up to be?

Leigh // Posted 10 June 2008 at 11:27 am

I want enforcing gender roles to be classified as a form of child abuse.




bea valle // Posted 10 June 2008 at 12:21 pm

this is so wrong….

Jane Purcell // Posted 10 June 2008 at 4:25 pm

Why not design a range of stomach flattening nappies as well? Then our baby daughters wouldn’t have to worry about their ‘puppy fat shame’. While they’re at it, a range of g-string pull ups are probably well overdue.

*said in hissing sarcastic voice*

Aimee // Posted 10 June 2008 at 4:34 pm

Oh my good god, that is so SO disgusting. I’m freakin’ appalled that anyone thinks that’s a good idea… joke or not. The sad thing is there’s pink phone wielding women everyone exclaiming ‘oh my god those are soooo cute’.

Seph // Posted 10 June 2008 at 8:11 pm

This is just…urgh, what’s next? stringing a dress up between the mother’s knees during labour so a baby girl’s instantly “girly” enough? ¬_¬

Aimee // Posted 11 June 2008 at 5:51 pm

This kind of reminds me of that Chris Morris sketch where women entering their young girls in neauty pageants show off their children’s new breast implants. This infuriates me, because in my opinion, babies are genderless. They are just babies and it’s so, SO wrong to impose these awful stereotypes on them. They don’t even have the chance to develop their own individual personalities because they are manipulated from birth. I wish this would just go away. Yuck.

Jo // Posted 11 June 2008 at 11:25 pm

There are two phenomena this can be likened to. The first is the American beauty pageant – for obvious reasons.

Even though I’m sure this is meant as a joke.

Second; the tendency in Britain to ascibe sexual modesty to small children. We can’t condemn those who tart their babies up if we strive to sexually ‘modify’ our own.

By this I mean putting tiny babies in bathing suits and even bikinis. I recently took my boys to the beach, saw plenty babies – not one naked. When we were kids we were all naked. Now fear of the paedophile means bikinis for 8 month olds. Similarly I recently saw a muslim couple with a girl no older than six in a head scarf. A head scarf. Confering to her the responsibility of how men find her sexually attractive. Sickening.

Jess McCabe // Posted 12 June 2008 at 10:34 am

Similarly I recently saw a muslim couple with a girl no older than six in a head scarf. A head scarf. Confering to her the responsibility of how men find her sexually attractive. Sickening.

While I agree with your points about babies and small children in general, I don’t know that this example is necessarily about this – I don’t know that it’s really so clear cut what the motivations are for parents in this position. I think you’re making some big assumptions here.

Aimee // Posted 12 June 2008 at 5:45 pm

It’s strange that there is such a fear of paedophilia, when our culture seems to inadvertantly promote it by sexualising young children; especially girls.

Seph // Posted 12 June 2008 at 8:18 pm

I heard of a courtcase a whileback where a peadophile was given a lighter sentance because his 6 year old victim was judged as “promiscuous”, with high heels for babies and trainer thongs for primary schoolers I won’t be surprised if the blame the victim mentality starts being applied to young girls as well as women.

Anne Onne // Posted 12 June 2008 at 10:39 pm

I think the head scarf example and the lack of children bathing naked probably stems from the same thing, a reaction against the percieved paedophile threat increase, and a reaction against the sexualisation of children around them. In a way, it also sexualises children, but when you’re not thinking too closely, and just have an overwhelming desire to protect your child from what you see as their inevitable sexualisation, it may seem rational in this patriarchy to react to that by covering them more. This does feed into the victim blaming mentality, and focus on the female body as a sexual thing, and it can be taken to extremes of thinking you know best, and parents wanting control over their children’s bodies (purity balls…Dear Lord!), but it isn’t always taken that far.

Although IME it’s fairly unusual for girls of that age to be made to wear a headscarf, since even the girls I know and see from quite conservative Muslim families are normally left until puberty or adulthood to make their decision. But it is a very complex issue, especially since different religions take different things as being essential to their faith. As such, it’s really difficult to comment on particular people or instances where we don’t know the entire picture.

About babies being genderless: got me thinking. It’s true. Babies are completely free from the performance that is gender. Little boy babies and little girl babies don’t act differently. It’s sad that this passes so soon, and that little girls are quickly taught to play quietly with dolls, whilst little boys are encouraged to be active and inquisitive, the very things little girls are told off for being.

It makes me sad that I still have to explain that little boys don’t have some huge difference in physical strength or testosterone to little girls to account for their boisterousness, but that they are encouraged to be lively, whereas girls are chided much more harshly to act in a more ‘ladylike’ manner, and learn to fit the mould they are brought up in.

What would we be like if this conditioning had never happened?

Cate // Posted 18 June 2008 at 12:03 am

I may be wrong (I’m not a muslim), but I believe that the headscarf is worn after a girl starts menstruation. It could be that the girl was older than 6, but just looked younger. Girls are menstruating earlier these days (which is another scary thing.)

That said, the shoes are sick. I saw the designers interviewed on TV, and they hadn’t 2 brain cells to rub together. I think they are coming from the shallow Sex in the City, chick-lit, “aren’t shoes neato” culture, and never thought for a second about the sexual angle. Sad and sick at the same time.

Katrina // Posted 18 June 2008 at 12:47 am

These are just a silly waste of money babies won’t keep socks on cause they love the feel of bare feet and fuss when you put real shoes on them does this so called designer really think a baby will keep on a pair of satin and cotton stuffed fake shoes?Have they seen a baby at play? Foot goes in mouth teeth start to come out those things won’t last long and how many poor babies will then choke on the stuffing? Sad to think some ditz will in fact buy these so called shoes.

Aimee // Posted 18 June 2008 at 5:26 pm

“About babies being genderless: got me thinking. It’s true. Babies are completely free from the performance that is gender. Little boy babies and little girl babies don’t act differently. It’s sad that this passes so soon, and that little girls are quickly taught to play quietly with dolls, whilst little boys are encouraged to be active and inquisitive, the very things little girls are told off for being.”

… You’d be surprised how many people don’t understand this concept! Ever since my little boy was born I have sdone my absolute BEST to try and bring him up in a gender neutral environment. I try and ensure that he doesn’t just play with ‘boys’ toys, I try and dress him as gender neutral as possible, I treat him as a child, not a ‘boy’. I have made my wishes regarding this ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to family member and friends. Despite this they still insist on buying him little T shirts with ‘I love football’ on them… they buy horrible little tracksuit bottoms, awful pairs of little trainers and football boots, cars, trucks aeroplanes but NEVER dolls or kitchenalia. They call him a ‘big strong boy’ and comment on how ‘big and strong’ he is. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the gifts, but they dismiss my wishes like they were unimportant. They think i’m being pedantic, i’m some loony wayward feminist. When I was pregnant, my partner’s brother informed me that ‘if the baby is a boy’ he was going to buy him a drum kit. When I asked him why he wouldn’t purchase a drum kit for a girl, he replied ‘well it’s not the same for girls’… why? Does one require testicles in order to play drums? Do girl’s ovaries get in the way? What? There is this awful, overwhelming assumption about the nature of gender it is IMPOSSIBLE to get away from it. My child is going to be brought up to believe in individuality and hopefully, when he does inevitably come face to face with gender stereotyping, for example at school, he will be educated and enlightened enough to be able to recognise and overcome it.

Jane Purcell // Posted 24 June 2008 at 10:56 am

Jo, your comment about babies in bikinis is interesting. I have a four year old daughter and personally, I would never let her wear a bikini. As far as I’m concerned, bikinis are to cover up breasts, and she has no breasts. Ergo, why would I want to draw attention to my small daughter dressed as an adult woman on the beach? Either she wears pants or a swimsuit or nothing. It’s not a question of how ‘covered’ up she is, it’s about her being dressed in a way that I consider to be adult.

Sarah // Posted 24 June 2008 at 3:13 pm

I have heard anecdotes of swimming pool staff objecting to little girls not having their (non-existent) breasts covered, which is obviously ridiculous if true. Similarly adult women who have no breasts post-mastectomy.

Aimee // Posted 24 June 2008 at 4:24 pm

Yuk. You can buy crochet bikinis for little girls in Gap, and in the disney store, you can buy a little mermaid swimming costume with the side of the midriff cut out… Personally, I think that’s just warped.

The Inferno of Ambition // Posted 18 July 2008 at 10:30 pm

*comes upon this page via firefox and stumble*

I can’t possibly come up with the words to describe this kind of fail. high heels. FOR BABIES.

if an adult woman feels that she should wear them, then that’s her choice (why some women feel the need to put themselves through so much pain to “look good” is beyond my scope of comprehension, but that’s another discussion in and of itself) but these are babies . . .last time I checked they should be doing baby like things. wearing high heels is NOT one of them

Bellatrix // Posted 16 August 2008 at 4:20 am

I agree, this sort of thing is disgusting, and unfortunately it’s becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Ironic that we should have such a fear of paedophiles yet impose this gender role garbage on babies. It’s not “natural” for young girls to want to wear heels and be sexual, nor is it for boys to want to run around and be violent or whatever they’re expected to be. Girls only see themselves as weaker than boys, and blah blah blah, when they are told, ore given the impression, that that is the case.

I was told the other day by a family member that it’s “only natural” for a girl to want to be sexy, and/or seductive. Hate to break it to you, it’s not the case at all. I’ve never seen a baby girl take her first steps and run to the nearest pole and start dancing sexily instead of heading awkwardly toward their father or mother.

Gender roles should not be imposaed on young children, or anyone for that matter, and I agree with Aimee, I have been playing drums (fairly well, I hope) for 8 years. And I’m a girl.

maria s // Posted 28 August 2008 at 11:43 pm

Are you people for real!!!! Its cute and harmless, I think its a great idea. If you don’t like it DON”T BuY IT! Do you have nothing better to do with your time. I would love to see what you people look like? Grow up! and the the thong idea was a great idea as well! LOL

Anna // Posted 29 August 2008 at 12:18 pm

I like the way you prove our point by showing yourself to be so fixated on appearance.

Sabre // Posted 29 August 2008 at 12:41 pm

maria s; why would you like to see what we look like? Sounds like you’re justifying your disdain for us with the classic ‘feminists are all ugly’ myth. Firstly not all feminists are ugly. But more importantly it does not matter what we look like, and our looks don’t form the basis of our opinions or whether we approve of something. I disagree with your opinion but would never dismiss it by assuming something about the way you look.

Personally I like to dress well, and yes I do wear heels and dresses and have no problem with it. I also like sexy underwear, and I enjoy all these things for myself and not for the gratification of others. I do however strongly oppose any kind of sexualisation of babies and children, not matter how ‘innocently’ intended. Especially when they focus on girls more than boys.

Bellatrix; Agree with what you say but I do think it’s natural for a girl to want to be sexual at some stage of her life, but it is unnatural that she should have to always LOOK sexy to achieve this.

Qubit // Posted 29 August 2008 at 1:47 pm

The argument feminists are ugly is often used to dismiss feminism. Now I am the first to admit that I am ugly and don’t make myself attractive in the way that I am supposed to. This is due to laziness on my part rather than my beliefs, I have no desire to. I won’t criticise those that want to however I do feel it should be a choice. I am always tidy and well presented just not attractively dressed. What I would be interested to know is why this makes my opinion less valid?

I don’t think I know anyone who’d agree to the idea that beautiful people have more valid opinions than average or ugly people. Yet your ugly is still used to prove people wrong. Is it that being ugly is such a strong insult for a woman that it can be used to shut her up? Or is it due to the fact that ugly people want the same rights as beautiful people (and want beautiful people to have the same rights as them) and this is wrong?

Bee // Posted 29 August 2008 at 5:28 pm

Would it be horrifically cynical of me to wonder if “Maria” has any connection with the company?

If not, she’s clearly just trying to be provocative, as evidenced by the thong remark.

Kay // Posted 2 October 2008 at 11:58 pm

I am concerned that so many of you find them so sick. I think that perhaps you are the ones who have drawn assumptions by thinking that anyone who thinks these shoes are funny or cute is trying to make their baby sexually attractive in some way. I was unsure of them initially, but only because I thought they were pointless and expensive and probably just a another thing for the retailers to try and encourage new parents to spend their money on, as the cost seems a little steep to me. I have actually seen them in a shop now, and tried them on my 9 month old daughter to see what they look like. I laughed so much at the site of her gorgeous chubby little legs with the soft little fabric shoes on the end, that she joined in and we had the giggles for ages. They are not designed for her age as she is trying to pull herself up onto her feet, and even if she were younger I probably wouldn’t buy them as she would have them straight in her mouth for a good old slurp. That said, I firmly believe that they are harmless, and in fact they appear very well made and softer than most “non-sexual” baby shoes I have seen. I too hate it when little girls are made to look like women, and find pagants and all that make-up and hair very bizaare and disturbing, so I’m not some beauty queen pushy mum type. Whilst we must always be careful with our kids, I think it’s time that we all stop thinking that everything and everyone is out to undermine us as women and abuse our children. And no, I’m nothing to do with company that makes them. I agree with, and commend Aimee on trying to bring up her son to be an individual, but this can sometimes be taken too far by some parents. My daughter plays many sports including football, tennis, karate and gymnastics, she loves jeans and trainers, and one of her favourite activities is climbing trees. She also and loves dolls, doing my hair, painting our toe nails, and playing mums and aunties with her friends, and I really can’t see any problems with this. She is well rounded, confident, bright, and has an opinion on most things – despite being given my little pony and barbie gifts over the last 6 years. I’m sorry I have ranted for so long, but I found some of the comments above suggesting that anyone who doesn’t keep their children naked in a public place, or puts them in a bikini, is abusing them, quite offensive.

sylvia Osborne // Posted 27 November 2008 at 2:22 pm

I think these shoes for babies

are absolutely ridiculous. I was a nurse and use to work on a foot clinic at our local hospital. There were adults with many problems due to wearing high heels. I hate to think what damage these shoes will do to babies when they start learning to walk.

AmandaMom // Posted 30 December 2008 at 8:02 pm

Are you serious? The shoes are cute. Would I put them on my baby? Not sure – maybe for a party or occassion. Lighten up!!! How pedophilia and lack of parenting skills got involved in the comments just blows my mind. Have I mentioned some of you might want to lighten up a bit. If you get this carried away over baby shoes and the implications they cause (lmao), what do you do with real problems? Can someone say coronary?

Claire // Posted 22 March 2009 at 4:19 pm

I suppose this gives some perv a more rediculous reasons for rape – kids ARE raped at 6 months (believe it or not there are such SICKO’s out there) – what the hell will some psycho come up with next? Appalling – disgusting – depraved – mad – atrocious – abysmal – inexcusable – horrendous – unpardonable – unjustifiable – I could go on but then I would bore every paedophile out there.

Susan Healey // Posted 28 March 2009 at 6:35 pm

When I first saw bikinis in Tescos for newborn, and even premature babies, I just could not get it. It seems so disturbed.

Bikinis were ‘invented’ in the 1950s as the summer gear for the ‘sweater girl’. They are sexualised costumes, they are not for babies, but this form of design now seems commonplace.

I objected so strongly I made my own response and put it back into some of the stores in question, which led onto a series of artworks, which have since been on exhibition in London and Guildford and I can assure you, everyone who chooses to comment ‘gets it’ and agrees with the sentiment; see http://www.susanphealey.com/index.htm. I am really surprised that some women seem to support this design phenomenon. Even if you don’t see these individual items as causing concern, do you not see that this is the thin end of the wedge? Its an insidious design creep (and I’m not talking about the person who came up with the idea …)

FashionDiva // Posted 17 July 2009 at 12:31 am

Maria S, Girl I totally feel you,all these people up here are crazy.And I would love to see what they look like to. Im pregnant with twin girls and Im going to get my girls some of the heels..And yes the thong idea isn’t so bad either….lol :-) And if they had thongs for babies you best believe I would get my daughters some.It’s all about the parents taste in fashion and I can only imagine what these peoples kids looked like.

zbsports // Posted 23 July 2010 at 2:02 pm

I don’t think i will allow my baby to wear high heel shoes…unless it is safe…

Sarah // Posted 23 July 2010 at 10:39 pm


I’m laughing because it’s so absurd, it must be a joke. Although there are tears in my eyes.

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