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Painful to look at? Front-heeled shoes are 'Scary Beautiful'

Oct. 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM ET

Leanie van der Vyver /
Painful to look at? These "Scary Beautiful" shoes are meant to challenge our ideas of beauty ideals.

By Hilary George-Parkin, Styleite

Just when you thought you’d seen all there was to see in the field of footwear, someone comes along and makes a pair that looks like this. Part of an exhibit called Scary Beautiful, these “front-heeled”  shoes are the product of a collaboration between artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg. As they tell it, the vertigo-enticing footwear serves as a commentary on our standards of physical beauty:

Humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all-time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection.

Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.

Leanie van der Vyver /
Think of these wild shoes the next time you complain about your heels hurting.
Leanie van der Vyver /
Ahhh, much better. Sitting is probably the way to go with these.

Unexpected, indeed! When we heard “front-heeled” we weren’t quite sure what to think, other than trying to recall whether Lady Gaga's collection might have included a pair. We have a sneaking suspicion that the late Alexander McQueen, ever fascinated with the masochistic side of accessories, would have been a fan of the design. As for us, we’re definitely intrigued by the idea, but just watching the video of that poor model trying to walk makes our toes curl. 

What do you think of the shoes? Share your thoughts!

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