First: a disclaimer. I have no foot fetish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) My interest in feet is 100 percent platonic. I need to get that out there before I proceed. Because what I’m about to expound on is this: if there’s one body part I love above all others (you’re right: I went there), it’s feet.
Feet are what take us places. They carry us across the Earth, and they root us in the very physicality of our existence. This is very important, perhaps even more so than we ever acknowledge. What’s more, a foot will never let you down. Walking is slow, is easy, is reliable, is natural, and is universal. I have walked to countless places on a variety of journeys, and I have loved absorbing every place my feet have taken me. Walking past a field of tulips in Holland, for example, or down a winding Chinese terrace with an old rice farmer, offer virtually unparalleled organic and sensory experiences. I can walk anytime and anywhere, and there is great, great freedom in that fact.
Feet are for walking and for journeys, but they’re also for other movements. They’re for dance! And for leaping! They are the points us contact between us and the world. The world’s best dancers never wear shoes, and they never have. They know that in order to have the best control and performance, it needs to be just them and the floor.
Dance is where, in fact, my love affair with feet got off of the ground. I was enamored by their ability to make me awesome, and I took great pride in how they were proof of my lifestyle. A lot like hands, feet can reveal someone’s character. A woman can very easily demonstrate her demographics by having the distorted arches of monstrously high heels, or an organic farmer can show his love of soil with his grubby toenails. Feet (and all other body markers) are unquestionably badass in this power.
That said, I’ve scorned shoes since I was a young girl. I just never got it. Why tf bother? It was easier to move, it cost less money, it felt better than being confined to unnatural shapes. In college, I was forced to fetch my shoes every time I wanted to eat in the dining halls. Otherwise I’d spend my lunch hour waiting for friends to bring me their scraps. It was against health codes. Why? Was I going to sue the school for stepping on some misplaced spaghetti? No. Even if I did end up stepping on a knife or some ridiculous shit, that was clearly a risk I was willing to take. I even offered to sign a waiver. Liability shmiability. I was not a happy camper.
Of course these feet norms arbitrarily exist in the rest of the world, too. It’s a very clear issue: if you do not wear shoes, you are not safe, and you are not clean. Both concepts are wrong. My safety is my own concern, and I promise I never unduly endanger myself. I wear shoes when it’s cold, I wear shoes when it’s gravelly, and I wear shoes if there’s danger of dropping pointy objects on my feet. It is not a question of health, nor, in fact, of health codes! One organization, barefooters.org, has written letters to each state government inquiring about the status of their health codes, and the answers are nearly unanimous: the illegality of shopping, eating, and driving barefoot is greatly exaggerated. And in terms of cleanliness, how my feet touching the floor is worse than my hand touching a doorknob is beyond me. Let’s be real. Even if I pick up some viruses on the bottom of my feet, how are they possibly going to get into someone’s orifice to infect them? Yikes.
I told you I’m not interested that way.
Being barefoot is important for practical reasons. It alleviates my knee problems, it conserves energy while running, and it gives people a more natural stride. These are all totally awesome things. I am thrilled to Alpha Centauri and back that barefoot exercising is becoming more popular. I would like to advance this crusade, however. Barefoot running is GREAT. Holistic barefootedness is even greater.
Vive la revolution!Tweet