I am a bit on the short side myself, at least the fact that most of my friends are around 6'3" keeps me feeling that way, so girls wearing ridiculous platforms would tower over me - very intimidating. But platforms do make a girls legs look longer, which is sexy. Ultimately what I'm pointing at are variations on the stripper-shoes concept.
Might be era then, I was remember the 70's (is was a kid then though) and the first time platforms heels came about, so when they came back in vogue in the early 90's all I could do is shudder at the return.
They can be very variable, yeah, the big clunky ones that came out in the 70s were just weird. Ditto for the more modern goth monster boots - though part of me finds those kinda cool. But these: bootstrapbit.com/do-you-like-p… for instance are cute. And I think that the ones with the cloven-hoof platforms are pretty neat.