Celine Dion slated for owning 3,000 pairs of shoes. Er, why?

Amber McNaught writes,,,

When I read that Celine Dion apparently owns 3,000 pairs of shoes earlier this week, I have to say, I wasn’t particularly surprised. In fact, I didn’t even write about it here at Shoewawa because I figured the whole “Multi-millionaire superstar has more stuff than the rest of us” thing wouldn’t exactly come as a shock to the rest of you, either.

And I admit it: if I was a multi-millionaire superstar, with a closet the size of my current house (Have you seen Mariah Carey’s? That’s the kind of size I’m aiming for.) I’m thinking I’d probably have a whole lot of shoes, too. I’d also have a lot of dresses, handbags, and possibly a nice car or two. And a pony. Wouldn’t we all, in the scenario whereby we were suddenly wealthy beyond our wildest dreams, buy much more of the things we’re interested in? I think so.

So, what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that some people view a large collection of shoes as evidence of an empty life and an even emptier mind. Witness this article by TV personality Lowri Turner, in which Lowri is appalled at the idea of women being interested in fashion and – gasp! – shoes, and views it as evidence of the complete destruction of our society.

In a piece entitled “Get a life, Celine, not another pair of shoes,” (Emotive, much?) Lowri sneers:

“Celine says she wants another baby. ‘To be a mother is my most important role.’ No, Celine, walking in and out of shoe shops is your most important role.”

Ummm, yeah. Because owning lots of shoes totally means that you can have no other priorities in life. And if a mother owns lots of pairs of shoes, it absolutely follows that those shoes must be more important to her than her children, doesn’t it?

Lowri takes this astonishing conclusion a little further, though:

“For Ms Dion to admit to owning that many pairs of shoes tells us something about what it is to be female now,” she writes. “Once upon a time – not sure exactly when, but bear with me – a woman was defined by the qualities she possessed, kindness, grace, elegance, intelligence, education, beauty, her abilities as a lover or mother perhaps. Today, it’s how many pairs of shoes you own. And we’re not even embarrassed about that.”

Lowri goes on to blame Sex and the City for women’s irrational interest in shoes, pointing out that the show helped “trivialise women”. More so than columnists who infer that liking shoes can be easily equated to being an empty-headed idiot who cares for Louboutin and Manolo more than her own children trivialises women, say.

I beg to differ. I think it is possible for women to women to be interested in shoes – even to the extent of owning hundreds of pairs of them – and still be intelligent, well-rounded members of society. I think it’s perfectly possible for women to love shoes and still be good mothers. My shoes are not my babies. They are not, as Lowri’s column infers, a substitute for the more fulfilling life I would have had if I’d only I’d been able to stop thinking about shiny stilettos for one second. They’re just shoes. Just one of the things that make up my life. And yes, shoes and shopping give me a lot of pleasure, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only things I ever think about, or that I have no other priorities in life. And I say this as someone who edits a shoe blog for a living.

Lowri does go on to say that she thinks it’s “possible” to “like shoes and have other interests”, but her slating of a sucessful, talented woman (I’m no Celine Dion fan, by the way, but even I can’t deny that’s she’s good at what she does) purely on the grounds that she also enjoys collecting footwear, seems a little unfair to say the least. I really doubt that Dion gets into debt in order to finance her “addiction”, or neglects her children and career in order to sit at home lovingly stroke her Choos: can we really infer from the fact that the woman enjoys a bit of shopping that she needs to “get a life”, as Turner suggests?

Lowri asks, “So, is that all the modern woman is now – someone who collects shiny boxes?”

No, Lowri, it’s really not. But if we can have the shiny boxes and still be mothers, lawyers, teachers, world leaders and, yes, even entertainers, then good for us.

Amber McNaught is the editor of Shoewawa. She is also a wife, journalist, feminist, and lots of other things besides. She doesn’t have 3,000 pairs of shoes, but she’s working on it…

What do you think?

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  1. If I collect paintings or get exited over a band that’s doing new things, does that make me shallow? No. So why does the art of clothing infer that? While, as sus pointed out, 3,000 shoes is excessive, I’m tired of people assuming I’m shallow, petty, and mean because I like fashion.

  2. Grr. It does seem pretty hypocitical coming from someone who started her career as a fashion journalist (and no, the fact that she owns up to that in the article doesn’t make it any less mean spirited). And the reason we’ve heard a lot more about the clothes in the Sex and the City film than the plot is that yes, that was an important part of the show – so what?- and the plot’s been kept under wraps so as not to spoil our enjoyment of it. Some of the points she makes are pretty valid, re the obsession with image that pervades everything these days, but she undermines them with her sneering tone that makes me think she might be a teensy bit jealous of Celine’s shoe collection……I know I am!

  3. If this self-righteous asshat knew anything about fashion (gasp!) or even about history, which surely even she must acknowledge to be somewhat important, she would realise the ludicrousness of her assertion that there was a time when fashion was unimportant to society.

  4. 3000 pairs of shoes is extremely excessive.

    I understand that people like shoes and she has a lot of money, but have you ever heard “with great power comes great responsibility”? Think of what better could have been done with the money spent on 2000 of those shoes. She would still have 1000 shoes (wayyy more than any superstar ever needs) and would have contributed a lot more to the world.

    Seriously, unless she has some kind of hoarding problem, it is unethical to spend so much on such frivolous items. And I like shoes very much, and have more than I need myself. About 20. Let’s enjoy shoes, but not get carried away, ladies.

  5. i don’t know. i don’t agree with lowri turner’s article and i think you’re absolutely right that there’s no reason that an interest in fashion should trivialise or demean a woman’s achievements, but there’s still space for saying that 3000 shoes is a ludicrous number! even if you wore two pairs a day (one day, one evening) you’d still be able to go over four years without wearing the same pair twice! that’s insane! there is so much good that you could do with that money instead …

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