Friday, November 24, 2017

F**k - Me Pumps: What's that all about?

Right from biblical times, sex workers were associated with the shoes they wore. It is documented working girls in ancient Egypt wore sandals which left the message "follow me" in the sand. The daughters of Israel were warned against wearing elevated sandals which caused them to walk in a suggestive manner. Needless to say whilst the elders did not approve many would appear to have enjoyed the charms of those who did.

In the sixteenth century many prostitutes wore high platform shoes to stand out in the street. Chopines were very popular with the fashion conscious in Venice but these women rarely if ever were seen in the street, preferring as they did, to be carried everywhere in sedan chairs. Occasionally courtesans (high class call girls) would step out in public but even this was rare. During these times, sex workers were required by law to dress in a manner which would identify their profession and many wore yellow about their person.

From the time of the French Revolution to the American Civil War respectable women wore low heeled pumps. Heels became associated with affluence and so men after the revolution soon dropped the peacock style.

In New Orleans about the same time it is documented the French prostitutes wearing high heeled boots became very popular with their young American clients. Historians believe the popularity of the high heeled call girls was the main reason for the introduction of shoe fashion industry to the US.

The bad girl image was sealed when in the thirties Hollywood discovered the psycho-sexual nature of shoes as a means to determine screen characterisation.

Bad girls wore high heeled pumps on screen and many Hollywood glamour girls like, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe and Shelly Winters were contracted to do the same, whenever in the public eye.

Shelly Winters in her biography recounts the origins of the Fuck-me pump. She and Marilyn were considered talentless actresses by the studio with their only attribute being physical. To enhance this the girls were contractually required to wear heel pumps and the term came not from their come hither appeal but the true exclamation when the footwear was taken off after a long day. In the shoe industry high heel pumps have been referred to a FM Pumps ever since.

Winters S (1980) Shelley: Also Known as Shirley William Morrow & Company

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