It was fashionable for men to wear high heels as a status symbol from the 1600s until the mid-1700s. European aristocrats wore high heels mainly because footwear was not meant to be practical nor made for comfort, and it was a way to show that they did not have to perform hard labor. As women began to wear high heels near the end of the 1600s, men began to stop wearing them, and by 1791, the shoes had been banned by Napoleon to show equality between classes. High heels came back into fashion as a sex symbol for women near the end of the 19th century as photographers began having nude models wear the shoes in photographs.
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