Led by Yumi Ishikawa, an actress and writer, #KuToo campaign aims at criticising dress codes, requiring women in office to wear high heels. The hashtag trended on Twitter and resulted in 150,000 petition signatories as many compared the requirements to foot binding.
In traditional Asian culture, dress codes occasionally prohibit female employees also from wearing glasses. Based on strict patterns of the feminine beauty, the bans do not apply to male colleagues.
The outcry against the prohibitions received significant media coverage after trending on Twitter, and has risen to a top level, receiving the support of the Prime Minister Abe, who said employers should not force women to wear high heels. However it is difficult even for him to contradict regulations in private companies.
“I think the fact that high heels were forbidden played on the unconscious… there was also the mystery and the fetishistic side… the simple drawing of a high-heeled shoe is often associated with sexuality,” world famous French shoe designer Christian Louboutin said, defending his choice for legendary high heels of his artistic creations. He insisted that his art was not just about making heels “higher and higher”.
“Super-high heels can free women, Louboutin claimed, insisting that wearing his towering six-inch stilettos is a “form of liberty” to impose femininity.
While some feminists see vertiginous heels as sexual enslavement, Louboutin believes the opposite — even if it means women have to walk slowly and carefully in his iconic red-soled creations.
“Women do not want to give up wearing high heels,” the designer said, commenting on his show “The Exhibitionist” (till 26/07), a retrospective of his 30-year career, ongoing in Paris until mid-summer.