Scary Beautiful

Scary Beautiful Shoes

Artist Leanie van der Vyer has created a pair of shoes like no other.  Yes, these shoes are without a doubt ugly and quite scary. However her message is poignant and compelling.  The video below is haunting and just a little uncomfortable to watch.  Leanie says of the shoes they are an  ‘… illustration of what lies beyond this aspirational perfection”.  Which in my mind would be pain and discomfort.  

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“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.” 

What do you think of the video, of the shoes, of fashions quest for perfection.

For more on her thesis and photos click here. 

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19 thoughts on “Scary Beautiful

  1. My Back hurts watching her walk like that. I wish I had the energy to read more on her thesis, but sadly do not. I was moved recently when I heard someone say ‘Life is Beautiful’. Made me think of the movie with that title. I tend to think that life is beautiful most of the time, quite naturally. When I don’t, I know something is ‘off’ and I have to step back and see where I am out of balance. Sometimes the things I think are ‘problems’ others would welcome to have as their ‘problems’. I actually heard that on sports center tonight — go figure. ‘Life is Beautiful’. These shoes and moving in them are not. I do love my fashion and multiple pairs of high, high heels. And I am tall and they make me outrageously tall. Sooo…… hmmmm. To each his own I suppose. I am tired of flats. I was wearing them for years before they became popular and now, I have way too many ballet flats.

  2. Dehumanizing. Humiliating. That is what I see. It is difficult to watch the video, I definitely agree. Somewhere in me there is a revulsion to this, similar to my revulsion to torture–oh, how can anyone do this to another human being? She is not free in this “artistic,” “beautiful” equipage. It seems to me that these shoes are simply one example out of many of how the “artists” of the fashion world despise the image of God in mankind, corrupting the beauty and grace of God’s creation.

  3. Great video. Statement heals to say the least. Agree with many of the points that have been raised. Also, the creation and video are very intelligent in the way they can provoke so much debate and also make so many strong points. The only other thing I would bring to the table is: Its also about challenging what we perceive as beautiful – things that are so “obviously” regarded as beautiful now, may have looked extremely bizarre at some point, or indeed may still appear bizarre to some cultures. What is “beauty”? What is a “beauty ideal”? How can we change it to be something else? Is it easy to change what is perceived as beautiful? If it is so subjective and there are so many different interpretations of “beautiful” then how it be possible to attain perfection in beauty, or indeed, go beyond beauty? Conversely, if some trends are regarded as beautiful by so many, how can it be so if we cannot agree on what “beauty” is? I could go on… but I won’t… 🙂

    • Your comments remind me of that old Twilight episode where the beautiful woman was actually considered ugly and needed to be fixed with surgery while the people with the pig faces were thought of as beautiful. And, I even called the shoes ugly, but now I’ve got to rethink that. They really are scary beautiful. Thanks for your comments, it challenges me further!

  4. We do such silly things in the pursuit of improving our appearance, but usually they backfire. These shoes are wonderfully symbolic of the extreme end of the spectrum where fashion can permanently deform the body after long term use, like heels and corsets. If you have the stomach for it, read Aching for Beauty by Wang Ping, about Chinese foot binding. But, there are plenty of other equally stupid if not harmful things we do in the name of beauty. Fake nails, bra inserts, butt pads, wiglets, the HairDini, fake lashes, lip plumper, spray tans….and most guys don’t like that crap so why do we continue to do it?

    • Is it some kind of competition thing with other women? Or we see a man take a double take on a woman with a big butt and then we are off to the butt padding store? I’ve read a tiny bit about foot binding and it was horrific to say the least. I might just have to read that one tho cause I guess I am a glutton for punishment in many forms.

      • It must be competition, the way guys try to outdo each other in the gym. But I mean really, what’s the point, lol. I think you’ll find this book very insightfully written, but it’s definitely not one you read after or during snacking. (I get the munchies when I read, rather than during a movie like normal people).

  5. Wow. The idea that I might find something atractive enough to live with the limitations it imposes is a very uncomfortable realization. how many times have we all done this on a much smaller scale?

  6. I think the design and video are fantastic. As art, this is wonderful stuff. She makes it plain that were the model to continue wearing this she would be forever crippled and deformed. The forced gait is like the shamble of a slave, enslaved perhaps to impossible standards of “perfection.” The shoes force her to en pointe like a ballerina, but she is the opposite of graceful. She teeters like a Dali elephant on spindle-legs. Finally, since so many women say they dress to impress other women, it is like a comment on how women conspire against each other without thinking. Also note the time and focus spent on strapping on the shoes. This is not a model so much as a draft animal putting on tack. These are all images I get almost at once. God knows what I’ll think after I contemplate it a while. Thank you so much. I would probably not have encountered this otherwise. Cool.

    • Her gait is what really struck me, lumbering and you’re right more like a work horse. I hadn’t thought of that before. As well as the concept of slave like a slave to fashion. Thank you for your comment. Brings so much more to my table.

  7. I actually don’t think of the shoes as ugly because I really like the lines that are being created. It actually reminds me of the prostheses that amputated runners use because of how the shoes are almost backwards. The video is difficult to watch, but it’s a great comment on the fashion world. Thanks for posting!

  8. I love these shoes if just for the debate they inspire. It’s funny to hear people say ” I would never buy those, they’re so ugly” But, they are not for sale nor probably never will be. It’s art, it’s making a statement that following trends, fashion trends can be painful. By allowing the media or fashion to dictate what we wear and look like is crippling. Or can be. And, they way she walks in the video is just creepy.

    • Her walking looked like something out of a horror movie. That’s about how I walk in sky high heels. Not pretty.

      • I loved how she futzes with her dress in the beginning. For some reason I find that charming. Weird. Body art is an interesting trend too. There seems to be more and more painful ways of using the body as canvas. I pain averse, I suppose.

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