"Your little one will look fabulous in these soft crib shoes designed to look like high heels! "
Do we laugh or cry at this new range of baby shoes designed to imitate adult high heels? Of course, it's made clear on the designers' website that the "shoes", brand named "Heelarious", are effectively soft booties that cannot be walked on. Which is a relief because I'm not sure childcare centres have Imelda Marcos shelving available for filing all these heels away at nap-time.
The shoes do come with a disclaimer, though: "WARNING: May cause extreme smiling and hysterical laughter when in use." Needless to say there has been necessary outrage (and here) about whether these "heelarious" shoes are perhaps not as innocently amusing as their creators make out. The shoes come in a range of colours: black, hot-pink or animal print. The look being sought with this choice of colours and patterns is clearly a sexualised, adult one, which is then being promoted as a source of humour. Why anyone would care to make their own baby girl the subject of this "joke" is beyond me. Worst of all, the shoes appear to actually be selling well, with the website taking wholesale orders and a gigantic list of stockists. And can we even imagine what the creators will conjure up when they say they are planning a product for boys?
I wonder if boys will derive as much benefit from their product as girls purportedly will do. A reporter on the US Today show felt there was a career move to be had by wearing the baby heels: "Little girls can get a jump start on their strut and be top-models-in-training before they leave the crib.” Let's hope there was some tongue planted in that cheek.