If beauty is pain, then fashion must surely be something more terminal.
From stiletto heels to high-waisted jeans (I’m sorry, but compressing my internal organs to please a Swedish denim designer is not sustainable), we maybe have come a long way since corsetry—but are still a while off comfort.
While a blistered heel or cramping foot might feel like the end of the world, is it actually possible our clothes are…trying to kill us?
LISTEN: From our Australian sister site Mamamia's podcast network: We’re obsessed with this Instagram account showcasing fierce man-repelling outfits. (Post continues after audio.)
Notable culprits were parka jackets with heavy fur hoods, skinny jeans, heavy crossbody bags and statement necklaces. Whether too heavy or too tight, these items have been proven to cause long-term health effects on women’s posture and muscle strain.
Apparently, one-third of women (33 percent) interviewed were unaware that their clothing was causing such serious damage to their back and neck.
You know what I’m pretty sure is hurting my neck? Staring downwards at 13 inches of LED-lit screen for nine hours a day. Standing on my head in yoga. Picking up a four-year-old screaming child. Suspending a queen-size mattress on my shoulder as I try to correctly apply a dust ruffle without it crumpling up in the middle.
You know what I’m not aware is hurting my neck? These hot AF leopard print booties I walk to work in. Stop picking on us Bradshaws. Leave us alone.
BCA chiropractor Tim Hutchful spoke to the U.K.’s The Telegraph with a grave warning for all the ladies out there with a penchant for Olsen-twin-esque oversized fashion choices.
"While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items, like skinny jeans, can also wreak havoc—they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies," he says.
"New trends, such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewelry can also create problems."
(Oversized sleeves? Really?)
Oh, and the very popular style of off-the-shoulder tops are also doing their bit to restrain our poor bods.
"Oversized sleeves can cause you to hold your arms in a different or unusual way, so, once again, your body will be compensating for your fashion choices," says Mr. Hutchful.
Great. Just great.
It would seem we’re mutating into a race of fashion-forward mutants, stunted by our fabulous wardrobes, hobbling forth like Westwood-clad zombies. In fact, Mr. Hutchful warns against losing the "bounce" in our walk, which has natural shock absorbing qualities. How very Nike of us.
Looking into my wardrobe, all I can see are potential health threats. That gold lamé minidress? Probably going to melt straight onto my skin. Those lace-up heels? Just waiting to get caught in a footpath crack and cause me to trip. And don’t even get me started on the fabulous vintage Hermes scarf—that’s nothing but an aesthetically-pleasing noose.
Little wonder we’re all jumping aboard with activewear. Skintight but breathable gym clothes are made for the woman who cares about her posture. Forget statement necklaces that are causing you neck strain, we’re all about statement running shoes that are out to support your arches.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen may shuffle around Manhattan, their tiny necks weighed down with semi-ironic, oversized, deconstructed Gaultier, but not us sensible do-gooders. We’re streamlined, death-free, and looking slightly porky in our (very safe) activewear.
Thank you, British Chiropractic Association, for reminding us that more than keeping a lookout for killer spiders, killer snakes, killer peanut allergies, killer thunderstorms, killer stingrays, killer taxi drivers and killer energy drink addictions; we should really be watching for killer clothes.
They’ll get you every time.
This post originally appeared on Mamamia, Spring.St's Australian sister site. You can read it here.