North Korean female soldiers are known for an unusual fashion statement – wearing high heels as part of their military uniform. But why do these heels adorn women’s feet in uniform in the secretive country? The answer is layered and complex, touching on the themes of power, propaganda, and patriotism.
On the one hand, the high heels symbolize femininity and elegance, projecting a positive image of a powerful yet stylish military that proudly incorporates women. By glamorizing the armed forces through fashion, the regime hopes to boost morale and garner support from the public.
But beyond aesthetics, the heels also serve a practical purpose. In the hierarchical culture of North Korea, height signifies social status, and the heels literally help women soldiers appear taller and more authoritative.
Though critics argue that high heels are impractical for soldiers, the fashion trend has clearly caught on. North Korean women, taking cues from the elite, increasingly view high heels as symbols of sophistication and modernity.
So the heels of North Korean women in uniform reflect both the regime’s thirst for propaganda victories and a society-wide aspiration for progress – even if attained in baby steps.
Why do north korean female soldiers wear high heels?
Fashion and Propaganda
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels as part of their military uniform to promote a glamorous image of the armed forces for propaganda purposes.
The government introduced high heels to boost morale within the military and make it appear more appealing to the public. High heels symbolize femininity and elegance, projecting an image of a powerful yet stylish military.
This strategy aligns with the broader North Korean government propaganda efforts that aim to portray the nation as strong.
By glamorizing the military by including high heel shoes in the uniform, the government aims to inspire loyalty and boost the public perception of the armed forces.
The trend of female soldiers donning high heels has grown over recent years and draws some influence from the fashion style of North Korea’s first lady Ri Sol-ju.
The introduction of high heel shoes for female officers and soldiers represents one small part of the extensive government propaganda campaign that utilizes fashion to shape public opinions.
The high heels make the female soldiers seem stylish and sophisticated while performing their military duties, projecting an image of feminine power that the government believes strengthens its propaganda messaging.
North Korean women’s fashion influences female soldiers to wear high heels as part of their uniform. High heels have become popular among women in North Korea, driven by fashion trends and the influence of prominent figures.
The popularity of high heels in North Korea seems mainly due to fashion and cultural reasons. High-heeled shoes with thick platforms and pointed or square toes are sold at major department stores and are favored by women in Pyongyang. Many women refuse to wear heels less than five centimeters tall.
The influence of the wife of Kim Jong-un and the all-female Moranbong band have likely contributed to the trend of wearing high heels.
Ri Sol-ju is often seen wearing stylish high heel shoes in public, which may have inspired other North Korean women to wear them.
The Moranbong band members, known for their stylish appearance in high heels on stage, are also popular cultural figures that promote heels as a fashionable item.
Despite some critics claiming high heel fashion runs against socialist ideals, most North Korean women view heels as a way to look attractive. This positive view of high heels as a symbol of femininity has influenced female soldiers to incorporate them into their uniforms.
Height, Status, and Attractiveness
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels to appear taller and more imposing, which signifies status in the hierarchical society.
The government believes heels will make the soldiers seem more attractive, boosting morale and incentivizing other women to join the military.
By donning high heels, female soldiers may achieve a perceived increase in height and status. Appearing taller and more authoritative is significant in North Korea’s class-based society, where height corresponds with rank.
The government thinks high heel-clad female soldiers will look more visually appealing and feminine to the public. This could uplift morale within the military and motivate additional women to enlist.
While heels symbolize elegance and femininity, some criticize them as impractical for soldiers, especially during long marches or combat situations. Despite this, the trend of wearing high heels has become widespread in North Korea.
Women in Pyongyang have taken inspiration from the shoe choices of Kim Jong-un’s wife, and the Moranbong Band, a popular all-female musical group.
In short, North Korean female soldiers wear high heels primarily to achieve a heightened sense of status and attractiveness aligned with the government’s objectives of motivating the military and the general public.
Strength, Capability, and Conformity
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels as a demonstration of strength and to conform to the government’s expectations.
By donning high heels in a military setting, they show resilience and determination, indicating strength and capability even in difficult situations.
The strict North Korean regime likely requires female soldiers to wear high heels as a way to follow dress rules and demonstrate loyalty.
Wearing high heels can communicate that female soldiers can serve in the military just like men, challenging traditional gender roles. However, heels are also impractical for soldiers, especially during active duty.
Despite this, high heels have become prevalent in North Korea due to fashion trends and the influence of Kim Jong-un’s wife and the Moranbong Band. High-heel-clad female soldiers help make the military appear more attractive.
In short, North Korean female soldiers wear high heels as a sign of strength to endure the challenges they present, as well as to conform to the authority of the strict government dress code, though their practicality for military duty is questionable.
Practical for Marching
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels with platforms to make marching and synchronized walking easier during ceremonies.
The platform of the high heels allows them to gain height while maintaining a relatively low pitch or angle of the shoe bed. This simplifies them to march and perform synchronized walking during ceremonies.
High heels with platforms permit the wearer to raise their height without significantly increasing the pitch of the shoe. This allows the wearer to still walk and march in a straight line, which is essential for synchronized walking.
Additionally, the platform helps distribute the wearer’s weight more evenly, creating more comfort when marching and walking, even when carrying heavy loads.
While the practical advantages of high heels with platforms make marching easier, some criticize them as generally impractical for soldiers. Nonetheless, wearing high heels has grown popular in North Korea due to fashion trends and the influence of Ri Sol-ju and the Moranbong Band.
In short, though high heels may be uncomfortable, North Korean female soldiers wear the style with platforms to boost their height and facilitate marching during ceremonies.
Symbol of Regime Loyalty and Propaganda Tool
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels as a symbol of obedience and loyalty to the regime showing conformity to the government’s instructions and ideals of femininity.
Female soldiers obey the strict North Korean government with firm dress rules by donning the mandated uniform, including high heels. The heels symbolize femininity aligning with the regime’s ideals of what women should represent.
The North Korean government uses images of uniformed female soldiers in heels as propaganda to promote state narratives of women’s participation in the military and progression in society, showing a modern image.
The high heels make female soldiers appear more feminine and beautiful, which indicates their power and authority, aligning with the government’s objectives of portraying strength. However, some argue that heels are impractical and uncomfortable during long marches and in combat situations.
In summary, North Korean female soldiers wear high heels as a symbol of loyalty to the regime showing conformity to the government’s expectations and ideals of femininity though they are criticized for impracticality.
Images of female soldiers in heels serve as propaganda for the regime, presenting a progression narrative and glamorized military.
Western Fashion Influence
High heels worn by North Korean female soldiers may have been inspired by Western fashion trends that are aspirational to the Pyongyang elite around Kim Jong-un.
Women in Pyongyang, influenced by the style choices of Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju, and the Moranbong Band, are known for wearing fashionable outfits and high heels. The elite classes may view high heels as symbols of sophistication and status emulating Western ideals.
High heels signify femininity and elegance, making the military appear attractive. However, some criticize high heels as impractical for soldiers, especially during long marches or combat.
Despite this, the trend of wearing high heels has become popular in North Korea, influenced by the country’s elite. The specific symbol of female soldiers donning high heels may represent attempts to portray the country as modern and progressive by assigning women equal military opportunities.
Nevertheless, critics argue high heels symbolize conformity and propaganda. Overall, Western fashion trends inspired by North Korea’s elite appear to have spurred the adoption of high heels among female soldiers as a means to support the regime’s progressive image, though questions remain about their practicality.
North Korean female soldiers wear high heels for several reasons. For propaganda, heels make them look more feminine and glamorous, boosting the military’s appeal.
They also signify status and authority in the country’s hierarchical culture, making soldiers appear taller. Heels with platforms make marching easier. Though heels are impractical for soldiers, they have become popular due to fashion trends and government influence.
Overall, heels symbolize loyalty to the regime while furthering its propaganda goals.
Why did soldiers wear high heels?
Historically, male and female soldiers have worn high heels for practical purposes such as stability and comfort. High-heeled shoes were first worn in the 10th century as a way to help the Persian cavalry keep their shoes in their stirrups. Since then, men’s heels have been used to establish social status and signal soldierly prowess. The heel was a symbol of power and military prowess. Men wore heels to make themselves appear taller and more imposing and to give themselves an advantage in battle. The trend of men wearing heels continued until the mid-1700s.
Why did Persian soldiers wear high heels?
Persian soldiers were the first to wear high heels for practical purposes. It helped their feet stay in the stirrups and helped provide stability while shooting their bows and arrows from horseback. The high heels became a symbol of military prowess and were eventually adopted by European aristocrats as a fashion statement, with the height of the heel indicating social status.
Why did men stop wearing heels?
Men continued to wear heels until they stopped being associated with practicality and military power and started to become associated with femininity and women’s fashion. This shift began in the mid-1700s when high heels fell out of fashion for men and became associated solely with women’s dresses. While men continued to wear some forms of heeled shoes throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Cuban heels and cowboy boots, these styles were more functional and less associated with fashion trends.
Are there any restrictions on the types of high heels that can be worn in North Korea?
There are no specific restrictions on the types of high heels worn in North Korea. However, it is worth noting that North Korea is known for imposing strict regulations on what its female citizens can wear. In the past, specific Western fashion trends, including trousers and high heels, were banned for being considered too Western. However, there have been reports of a relaxation of fashion rules, allowing women to wear trousers and high heels.
Are high heels worn only by soldiers or also by civilians in North Korea?
High heels are not only worn by soldiers but also by civilians in North Korea. Women in Pyongyang are influenced by the style choices of Kim Jong-un’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, and the Moranbong Band, who are known for their fashionable outfits and high heels. The high heels sold in Pyongyang No 1 Department Store and other markets are described as having thick heels, high platforms, and various designs such as round or square toe boxes with straps or lace. Men, especially younger ones, are also into shoes with high platforms and pointy toe boxes.