I am still a little stunned that Prince is gone. I was really hoping that it was a cruel hoax. But, he is gone and with him a big chunk of my childhood seems to have died. I came of age to listening to Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston. I was allowed to have MJ and Whitney posters. Prince not so much. Purple Rain was damn near the equivalent of pornography in my house at the time so Prince was forbidden. But, like any determined kid I found a way to see it and I was mesmerized and instantly became a Prince fan. Prince was much more than music to me. He was this force of nature that transcended pretty much every boundary you can think of. Music, fashion, gender, whatever it was…Prince made up his own rules and we loved him for it.
This was a man who wore heels and still made women swoon wherever he went. High heels, in the form of a swanky boot to be exact which always coordinated perfectly with his ensemble. At 5’2”, it makes total sense that he would wear heels to boost his height. But, honestly with his confidence and swagger he really didn’t need to. If you know a little bit of shoe history you know men have been wearing heels since around 1660 during the time of Louis XIV. So it seems even more fitting that Prince Rogers Nelson wore heels. The most regal of men did.
One of my most memorable Prince memories happened during the first few weeks of my freshman year at college. I remember hanging in a dorm room with a bunch of girls that had instantly became friends. We had this bright idea that it would be fun to randomly call up guys in our freshman class and ask them if they liked Prince. Not sure what the goal was other than to figure out if these young men liked Prince. Because, perhaps if they liked Prince then maybe we could like them too. It seems like a silly notion dreamed up by group and 17 and 18 year old girls but it really wasn’t. The musicians that we love and identify with most often make the music that provides the soundtrack for our lives. It is through that music that we get to know ourselves a little better or even share a funny moment in a dorm room with a group of girls that you just met only weeks before. Yet, the memory still remains some 20+ years later.
Prince’s death is a blow. But, I will forever cherish the music and remember that he wore heels.