Where Feet and Vanity Collide

Feet. Some of the most important structures for human stability, feet are an essential part of the average human's ability to function. Most people in the world have two feet and it's this majority that I will be talking about. As an able-bodied person myself, I am blessed with two working feet. And it's on this vein that I come to this topic, feet and vanity.

I came upon this topic when I was getting new climbing shoes. For some context, climbing shoes tend to differ from your typical street shoe size and different brands can have a different sizes even if they're labeled the same size. Climbing shoes are often typically uncomfortable but should not be super painful.


So here I was in my gym (with masks and proper social distancing, no worries), trying on climbing shoes and the poor girl kept having to come out with more and more sizes (bigger sizes) because my feet just would not fit. It's around this time that I started getting super uncomfortable and kind of embarrassed. So when she brought out a different brand of shoes and I was able to get the first pair on I took them (this ended up being a mistake because I had to go back later and exchange the shoes for a half size bigger 😬).


It wasn't until after this experience that I realized I felt ashamed of my foot size, something completely uncontrollable and unchangeable. It led me to think about how foot size plays into vanity. I had never really thought about it before but I now remember my friends comparing all of our feet together and telling self-deprecating jokes about how big their feet were and stuff. It seemed so normal at the time. I still wear my trusty old vans when I want my feet to look really small, it's ~*aesthetic*~.


But in reality, feeling embarrassed about the size of your feet is logically impractical. There is literally no way to reduce the size of your feet without somehow hurting or altering them in an unnatural way. Why is it that smaller feet tend to be compared to a "more beautiful woman"? And I say women specifically because I haven't really heard of men wanting smaller feet (but if they do let me know). My feet aren't super big, in fact, based on the average foot size in America (size 8.5-9, from https://www.healthline.com/health/average-shoe-size-for-women#:~:text=Heights%20and%20weights%20have%20increased,ranges%20between%208.5%20and%209.), I have small feet at a size 7.5-8. And yet I'm over here wishing I could wear size 6 in shoes or some BS when I know so many women wearing size 11 and wishing they had my feet.


In the end, this image of feet and vanity stems from societal expectations of beauty and their unrealistic standards. No woman gets to choose what size feet she is blessed with. In the end, every foot is beautiful and should be treasured no matter what size you wear. Basically I have gone off on a tangent and the moral of the story is that you should be beautiful and confident no matter what your foot size is!

Amanda Beeck

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