French politician Rachida Dati refuses to give up her High Heels and Stilettos
Rachida Dati caused a furore in 2009 when she went back to work as France's justice minister only five days after giving birth.
Now an MEP, she explains how her penchant for stilettos and high heels can coexist with her drive to succeed in politics
Rachida Dati was the second of 12 children born to north African immigrant parents, neither of whom could read or write, and yet by the time she was 41, she occupied one of the most senior roles in French government as President Sarkozy's justice minister. She is now a single mother to a one-year-old daughter, a member of the European parliament and the mayor of the 7th arrondissement in Paris. There can be little doubt that Dati has many more substantial concerns than either her clothes or her appearance. But, at the same time, it is almost impossible not to mention her love of high heels.
She is only too happy to talk about her clothes and shoes. "Femininity is part of being a woman. It is part of my identity to preserve my femininity."
Dati tells a story about having her photograph taken in the street earlier in the day "and when we looked at the picture there was a line of teenage girls behind me and all of them had their eyes down, looking at my stiletto shoes!"Click here to buy your Sexy Stiletto Heels
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“I've always been like this, even when I was a teenager it was always important to me to be well-dressed. It's important for me to hold onto my femininity because it's authentic to me. I was told by my predecessor at the Ministry of Justice, that very soon I would have give up my high heels. Well, I never wanted to do that."
In January 2009 five days after the birth of her daughter, Zohra, by caesarean section, Dati was back at work in characteristic tight fitting skirt and sexy high heels. "I did what I thought I had to do," she says now with a shrug of the shoulders. "I was a minister, it was important I returned to work... I didn't feel pressurised into it – it was a personal decision."
The interview is drawing to a close and Dati is being ushered into a different room for photographs. It is a task she takes to with absolute and well practised ease, sitting with the straight-backed poise of a ballerina on a velvet-upholstered armchair, her stiletto shoes carefully placed within shot. She seems warmer and more relaxed having her picture taken than answering questions, laughing easily and making jokes with her assistant. "I just adore my high heels," she says at one point with girlish glee. "If I could sleep in them, I would."
After several minutes posing professionally for the camera, Dati stands up to leave. She extends a handshake and a glossy smile and then totters elegantly out of the room, the leather of her trousers swishing softly as she goes.