Through my ups and downs, the highs and lows, many people have come and gone from my life. However, 20 years ago, my feet befriended a pair of Dr Marten boots and thenceforth, I rarely wore shoes, again. Thus, in tribute to the noblest of boots, I present my lament to Dr Marten and the issue of the loins of his creative mind.
A symbol of rebellion, since the 1960’s 3 generations of women have worn Dr Marten boots, with confidence and pride. A statement fashion, Dr Marten’s cross the boundary between functionality and style, and the women who wear them speak with their feet, the squeak of leather enunciating a desire for autonomy from the ideological hold of the masses.
Doc Marten boots have always been synonymous with countercultural identity. Originally, worn by working men, subsequently skinheads (pre-National Front allegiance) adopted them; their dress code reinforced their outsider status and estrangement from bourgeois culture. Thenceforward, representatives of most of the significant movements in popular culture, also, wore them, often as signifiers of their associated music taste. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, like a true classic Dr Marten boots have never become completely outdated, and to this day sooth the feet of millions who wear them.
In 2013, fashion designers may have once again appropriated notions of androgyny in their collections, however, wider society is yet to catch on. Men and women are still expected to dress according to rigid ideas about gender. The symbolic power of the woman wearing D.M boots reveals the primacy of the concept of an essential self. Posited against individuality is homogeny, the women who battle pain caused by their six-inch heels and the men who design them to fulfil sexual fantasies. Ultimately, however, individuality means being true to oneself, six-inch heels possess a language of their own. Maybe we should listen more carefully to the women inside the footwear.