Among the host of statistics that evaluate a woman’s body and undermines positive body image in fashion and media – shoe size has to be the most bizarre. It can’t be controlled, and yet it is one of the indicators of femininity that decide whether a woman is suitably girlish to fit in with the accepted standards of beauty. Smaller feet are commonly labeled dainty and larger feet clumsy. For women with big feet, this becomes another way for their appearance to make them feel unacceptable and undermine their self-esteem.
This was brought home to me recently by an Article about female celebrities with large feet. The article itself, a throwaway double page spread in UK newspaper the Daily Mail was nothing remarkable and certainly nothing new. A few paragraphs of article and then pictures of glamorous female celebrities on the red carpet. The headline was another matter:
‘Why do so many famous women have such monster feet?’ Monster! Wow!
I understand that celebrities are considered fair game and their bodies safe places to apply all the angst of modern body image. And yes, there is an entire section of the magazine industry dedicated to declaring celebrities too big, too small, too fat or too tall. But how, as certain editorial attitudes are becoming unacceptable, such as dismissing plus size women as unattractive, is it still fine to undermine positive body image in such extend to call any part of a woman monstrous?
The line-up included women who are considered among the most beautiful in the world: Scarlett Johanssen, Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Jerry Hall and Elle McPherson — AKA The Body. These are women who are celebrated, even idolized, for their beauty and style.
So what exactly should a woman look like then, if even these famous Stars are not up to scratch?
Larger than average feet often, though not always, go along with long legs. That former catwalk models should be criticized for having big feet is to support an unattainable ideal. Without proportionately sized feet to carry the weight of the skeleton and provide balance, they would be unable to walk properly. It brings to mind the custom of Lotus foot binding formerly practiced in China, where women would have their feet broken and bound as young girls to conform to the ideal 3-inch foot. Though the women were in pain and unable to walk normally, their deformed feet were thought to be the height of femininity.
Lotus binding is now considered to be an example of historical cultural violence against women and has been outlawed for almost a century. I believe criticizing women for their shoe size is also cultural violence against women, just in a more subtle form. It isn’t lighthearted, it isn’t funny.
Criticizing women for their shoe size is yet another body image stick to beat women with and it’s wrong!
Isy B. shoes is a shoe brand who supports brands, designers & retailers providing beautiful & comfortable shoes in the larger sizes. They help you to access to thousands of shoes in larger sizes.
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Thanks for the support and love 🙂 Your REglam Team xx
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