The movie “Carol” made news last month at the Cannes Film Festival, not so much because of its content, but because of the people who weren't allowed to see it: women sans high heels.
Formal wear was required to walk the red carpet into the screening of the Todd Haynes-directed '50s lesbian romance staring Cate Blanchett, and some security guards reportedly interpreted that to mean high heels were de rigueur for women.
Spokeswoman Christine Aime suggested that festival staff had made a mistake.“There is no specific mention about the height of the women's heels as well as for men's,” Aime told the Associated Press about Cannes' dress code. “Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the festival's hosts and hostesses were reminded of it.”
Flats-wearing film executive Valeria Richter, who had had part of her left foot amputated, was among those turned away, according to news reports. Actress Emily Blunt, who is not in the film, told the BBC: “We shouldn't be wearing high heels anyway.”
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham would tend to agree. In a study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Injuries, UAB epidemiologists found more than 3,294 emergency department visits stemming from high-heel-related injuries from 2002 and 2012 recorded in the Consumer Product Safety Commission's surveillance system. They estimated that the number represented more than 123,000 ED visits.
Researchers' calculations show that high-heel safety is improving, with a 25.8% drop in injuries from 2011 to 2012. But the 12,140 injuries in 2012 were still almost double the 2002 estimate of 7,097. Most were ankle or foot strains and sprains, but 6.2% were upper-body injuries to the arms, shoulders and hands.
Researchers didn't estimate how many of these occurred while trying to grab a red carpet's velvet rope to break a fall.