A) Flats are comfortable.
B) Flats were the best shoe for that outfit.
C) Jerry is taller than her new husband.
D) Jerry understands men.
When Hall, 59, married billionaire Murdoch, 84 (85 this Friday), the chatter was all about how fast the new celeb couple tied the knot (reports say this time last year they didn’t even know each other), the guest list at the party, the new Murdochy/Hall/Jagger extended family tree, and Hall’s feet.
The former supermodel and long term partner of Mick Jagger wore flats. Not the on-the-beach/everyone-wearing-white/lots-of-things-blowing-in-the-breeze relaxed sweet sandal, but the type a history teacher would wear to work.
Why would the glamorous Texan wear flats to her wedding and celebration? Because D. Hall is 6 ft (183 cm)and she understands the needs of men shorter than her. When she was with the lead singer of The Rolling Stones for around 22 years, the couple not only had four children and plenty of fights over Jagger’s affairs, but they obviously knew how to be photographed together. In the celeb stats tables Jagger is the same height as Murdoch – both men are 178cm or 5 ft 10. Obviously both are shorter than the 6 ft Hall. But scroll down the pics of Hall and Jagger in the good ol rock n roll days. He never looks like a little shrinky dink next to Hall. And that is amazing considering she IS taller than Jagger and it is widely debated in the first place that Jagger has ever stood at 178cm. Hall knows exactly what shorter men want. She does the tall woman’s accordion.
Hall knows most men like it better when they are seen to be taller than their partners. Particularly, I imagine, if you are an international rock star or a powerful billionaire. Being a short-ass kind of ruins your street cred. Countless studies show that in romantic relationships women like men to be taller than them. The taller the better. Whereas men don’t mind how big the height difference is as long as they are at least slightly taller than their date. So, no matter how you cut it, humans like men to be taller than their partners. Another former model (how many are there?) Sophie Dahl, is Hall’s height and her husband Jamie Cullum is 1.64 cm (5 ft 4). They are the celebrity exceptions to this rule. They flaunt their height difference, with Dahl regularly wearing high heels on the red carpet.
That kind of height reversal is not as easy as it looks. Even if you are tall woman and proud of it – the proud bit can take a long while – it’s easy to deliberately make yourself shrink when around shorter men.
Sometimes you are doing it to be “nice”, other times you’ve been asked outright, or you’re simply trying to not stand out in the crowd.
When I was younger I was asked on a few occasions to wear flats by men. Mostly by the men I was dating. The asking would always be jokey, but serious.
On one occasion my housemate asked me if I could change my shoes. We were just housemates, going to a party together, standing in the hallway, waiting for a cab. There was no romance, but he did it too.
“We’re going to walk in together,” he said.
I had just become comfortable with my height, for years I wore flats anyway, but tonight I had lashed out and was wearing three centimetre heels. Three whole centimetres.
“I’m going to look like a loser if you’re towering over me,” he said, not in a mean way but as though he was exhausted by just looking at my feet.
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So, I changed my shoes and spent the night at a party in flats that I was definitely not wearing for comfort. I was wearing flats to be nice to the boy chatting to a girl near the laundry tub brimming with cheap wine while I wandered around feeling as though I was going to a job interview at Sizzler.
All the tall women I know have made themselves shorter for a man at some stage in their life. Sometimes you regret it, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you do it because you don’t want your partner to be uncomfortable, sometimes you do it because you know that is what the world is expecting.
Hall seems very aware of the power inherent in her stature, and the power she has when she deliberately diminishes her stature for the man in her life. She’s a former model, she understands the power of perception.
Hall’s wedding flats may be subservient, they may be thoughtful, they may be comfortable – but because she’s a tall woman with a shorter partner, they’re certainly not just flats.
*** Featured image via Getty