— — Pink is one of my favorite colors. My phone is pink, so is a lot of my clothing, jewelry, running shoes and more. It is the defining color of womanhood, Barbie’s favorite shade and the signature look for hundreds of companies, publications and institutions. Growing up, I knew the color pink was a fashion statement, just like Barbie’s high heels. And one day, I would have my own heels — in every color. I played dress up a lot when I was a young child. I would drape necklaces around my neck, line my lips with my grandma’s Estee Lauder lipstick and slip on too-big heels. I wasn’t trying to imitate the latest pop star or model; I was pretending to be a lady, just like my mom and grandma. After a while, the heels went back in the closet. Then, I smeared the lipstick off with the back of my hand.
I started walking in high heels between cartoon breaks. At a young age, I knew a good pair of heels were in my future. And I wanted to be ready to walk and not fall on my face. I walked in my mom’s heels. I slipped on my grandma’s shoes, too. Their heels were more of the Sunday morning dress shoe — comfortable with a low heel. Nothing like the tall skyscrapers of runway models. It would be years before I received my first pair of heels. They were dark green and matched my dress, a special purchase for a junior high honor society induction ceremony. It is hard to feel attractive in middle school. But on that night, I felt taller, confident and almost pretty. More importantly, I didn’t fall on my face. The unofficial rule about make-up, bikinis, clothing and high heels is the reason why I can remember important moments during that awkward transition into womanhood. Even my mom can recall her first pair of high heels. It is a memory every female should welcome and cherish — at the right time and not a moment too soon.