Daisy Bateman

Your Feet Are Not Ugly

This is a bit of a departure for me, but after reading this article in the Wall Street Journal (Go read it. I’ll wait. Done? Good.) I feel the need to comment. One might assume from everything I’ve said here that I believe the wearing of fancy shoes is the be-all and end-all of female existence, and the ability to do so is worth any sacrifice. Which is a reasonable assumption, but it is wrong. I love shoes, and I will put up with a certain amount of discomfort to wear the shoes I love, but there is some distance between “put up with some discomfort” and “surgically alter my feet.” A lot of distance, actually.

Does it really need to be said that this is madness? If a pair of shoes doesn’t fit you, then the problem is that the shoes are not right for you, not that your feet are somehow defective. There are lots of shoes in the world; there are even people who will make them custom fitted just for you, which costs a lot of money, but a heck of a lot less than having your own personal bones removed for the sake of someone else’s designs. There is not a “right” way for feet to be, aside from being functional at holding you upright and allowing you to move under your own steam.

In truth, feet are not generally very attractive things*. And that’s okay. They’re feet, they’re supposed to look like that. They have lumpy bits, and toes of different lengths, and arches that come in a variety of heights, and you get what you get and then you work with it. (I, for example, have a sort of bony protrusion on both my heels that can lead to blistering, particularly in flats. So I tend to buy things a half size up and add heel liners to the back, which takes care of the problem nicely.) What you do not do is let random strangers determine what shape they are supposed to be, and then go and get yourself surgically altered to fit into this imaginary idea of correctness.

Really, your feet look fine. Trust me.

*Which is why I will never be able to endorse these, no matter how comfortable and evolutionarily appropriate people insist they are.

2 thoughts on “Your Feet Are Not Ugly”

  1. I cannot wear the shoes that you cannot endorse (the Vibram Five Fingers) because my second toe is too long. They don't make them for people like me. In protest, I'm wearing real shoes or going barefoot.

    A friend of my grandmother's had bones in her toes removed in the '70s so that she could wear sample sizes. The cost/benefit analysis might have been flawed.

    (She also refused to remove the stack of gold bangles she always wore for any reason, including surgery. The pacemaker people worked around it. She wore long false eyelashes and had very long nails. She was very glamorous. I loved her completely, for reasons having nothing to do with the glamour.)

  2. You will know that the madness will have come full circle and consumed itself when people are having bones removed from their toes to wear the Five Fingers shoes.

    Your grandmother's friend sounds awesome, in a totally insane way.


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