So Sneaky Freaky
I love rocking heels and wedges and especially love kickin up snow in my pumpkin orange platform boots, but really I'm a sneaker freak at heart and in earnest. Living in NYC I've been blessed to have access to some of the best sneaker spots in the world. Not like I've ever paid more than $100 for a pair of kicks, but it's so nice to try on the classic, crazy expensive limited edition joints every now and then. And wow, when they opened this spot just for us grrrls I was in 7th Heaven.
But lately like in the last few years I've noticed an awful trend that's got me pulling my laces out in frustration. I don’t know if it started with Sex & The City and Carrie's addiction to Manolos, Choos and all manner of 4-inch heeled shoes, but now it seems that wearing sneakers is deemed so unsexy, so uncool and so unfemme by men and by society at large. It's like when I wear my Pumas or my newest purchase-- the Nike Court Force Lows-Copper Pack from their Limited Edition 2008 Olympic series (that's a mouthful), I get dudes saying, "Yo ma why you being such a hard rock today, what happened to the sexy lady I saw yesterday?" I'm like 'she's right here baby!' Dang, when did wearing sneakers render us grrrls frumpy, hard and asexual?
I remember when hiphop first emerged and grrrls weren't considered funky fresh if we did not rock a pair of Nike Pegasus or suede Pumas with big fat pink or baby blue laces. That was instant hotness back then that kept the boys coming to the yard. Oh yeah! Now I go out for a drink at The Mandarin Oriental and I'm rockin' my red Nike Sprint Sisters and they tell me I can't sit in the main lounge cause of my kicks. Whut da? Now I must say for awhile there was a double standard (and there still is to a large extent) where a woman can wear sneakers to clubs and lounges and be allowed in, but men cannot. I guess those days are fleeting. And it’s funny because down South "tennis shoes" are relegated just for the kiddies, and for garden work or sporting activities if you are an adult. I guess BBQ isn't the only thing we are assuming from Southerners.
Even when I reflect on today's pop music scene, it's like the only chicks that rock sneakers are the ones that people allege are gay or either tom-boys (i.e. Teyana Taylor, Lil Mama, Missy Elliott, Da Brat). Then there's those paparazzi shots of fly women like Beyonce or Alexis in their stilettos and/or beautiful high-end designer gear lounging on the arms of their significant others that are dressed in jeans, t-shirts and Air Force Ones, err I mean Bapes. I guess this is the other double standard whereby industry jiggas get off wearing rubber-soled kicks and its considered appropriate evening attire. Don't let Janet Jackson get caught out at a party in a pair of Adidas. It would be considered another wardrobe malfunction, no doubt.
I'm seriously pissed on one hand and I don't give a swoosh on the other. Living in Harlem, which is the sneaker capital of NYC, gives me firsthand, up-close, intimate moments with some of the hottest kicks out there and so that makes the double-standardized backlash tolerable and well worth it. ATMOS, the Japanese-based sneakeria has a boutique on 125th Street that carries a small, yet very exclusive selection of sneakers. On 116th there is the currently under-constrution Training Camp Store where I copped those copper Court Force joints. And then there's the newest and probably greatest sneaker emporium to grace Uptown's streets-- House of Hoops, a retail marriage between Nike and Footlocker to promote the NBA-- the game, the players and their apparel.
Needless to say, I'm going to keep on being the sneaker fiend that I am and rock my sneakers with pride. I'm a B-Girl at heart and everyone knows that a woman who knows her heart and loves herself in Louboutins as much as she loves herself in New Balance is the sexiest kind of grrrl there is!
Other sneak freak grrrls: (female-sneaker-fiends)