Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Busted High Heels as a Source of Inspiration

Naturally, I should start out by saying: beware of plot spoilers, although I'll try not to give anything big away.

As my very first post, I thought I would explain the name of this blog. In many K-dramas I've seen, a woman breaks a high heel. Often, this turns out to be a significant plot action, with a second character, usually a man, giving the woman a piggyback ride so that she does not have to walk with a broken high heel, as the ever-hopeful Ji-hoo does for Jan Di in episode fifteen of Boys Before Flowers. Or he might offer her his own shoes to wear, as the lead male character does in episode nine of I Do, I Do. This usually creates a sense of growing intimacy.

Today, I watched a K-drama in which a woman, a struggling actress who is rushing to an audition, breaks a heel in the first episode of Queen Inhyun's Man, also known weirdly on Hulu as Queen and I. I thought it was a promising sign to see a broken heel in the first episode, as that helps create some form of drama immediately. Will the broken heel slow her down, so that she is too late for the audition? How can she do an audition with a broken heel? What will she do?  No man is present to give her a piggyback ride, so she negotiates with a couple of female fans she runs into for a pair of shoes to wear. This can probably be considered a more feminist approach to the broken heel plot device, but I still have to wonder why women torture their feet this way. Sure, they look sexy, but can't women feel just as good about a cute shoe with a low heel? (Says the woman who can no longer wear high heels.) Maybe, fictional female characters (and script writers) recognize that low heels won't result in much drama, as they're less likely to break and cause interesting complications.

I'll say more about broken high heels on K-dramas at a later date. They are such a fascinating topic!  :-)