There are a few women in history who have been famous for their shoes. Imelda Marcos, widow of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, owned approximately 2,700 pairs. Stacy London of TLC’s What Not To Wear converted a hallway to hold half her collection of nearly 400 pair. The rest are at the studio. But as much as Marcos’ shoes shocked the world and London’s are the subject of numerous jokes, never before has a government or international group sanctioned a woman’s shoes….until now.
On Friday, the European Union is expected to cut off Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad’s access to her beloved Christian Louboutins, the ones that are “…not made for the general public!” according to her e-mails to a friend. No retailer in Europe will be able to accept orders from the First Lady, and probably not from within Syria at all because she could always do her lavish shopping through a friend or servant. We can expect the United States for follow suit, so Mme. al-Assad can’t shift to Nieman Marcus for a Blahnik fix or Nordstroms for Jimmy Choo. Imelda Marcos still holds the record of known First Lady shopping sprees, running up a million dollars on her credit cards in a single shopping trip to Europe. Mme. al-Assad hasn’t plunked down over $150 million for buildings in New York City, declining to buy the Empire State Building for $750 million because it’s “too ostentatious,” as Mme. Marcos did.
The private al-Assad e-mails that were hacked and released a couple of weeks ago show a First Couple very much out of the reality loop. She’s buying furniture and shoes while 8,000 of her citizens are being killed by her husband’s security forces. He’s delusional about the rebellion, absolutely convinced that foreign terrorists are rebelling against him instead of his own people. His people love him, don’t you know, almost as much as he loves his wife, for whom he downloaded the song “God Gave Me You.” Their love affair would be cute if it weren’t for all the dead and dying men, women and children in their country. Well, maybe not cute. After all, she wrote to a friend that he is not the dictator, she is. Presumably, that means she wears the pants in that family, because all reports are she is not trusted by Bashar’s advisors to participate in the government in any way.
It is moments like this when I feel like Dr. Reed on Criminal Minds. What is it with women and shoes?
Don’t answer that. My daughter has tried. I still don’t get it.