1, 2, 3, 4,… 10 toes. My mom took her first deep breath after birth.
She, as many other mothers in this world, had carefully checked that I had all my fingers and toes. That I was a healthy, glowing baby. That’s all that mattered to her. Little did she knew that years later, I’d look at her creation with skepticism and hide it away, in socks and sneakers, tights and boots and come spring, in flats.
If they’d just been a little longer, a bit more slim… I’d strut them in sandals. Baby toes, argh!
That’s the burden I had to bear in my adolescence. I wasn’t the only one who was thinking along those lines, either. One of my friends told me she hated her feet. Moreover, she couldn’t stand a foot massage or a tickle; she considered that part of her a mere tool and nothing more.
That was a bit harsh. Okay, toes would never look as pretty as fingers do in stacks of rings or with an ombre nail polish on, but they deserved some bit o’ love.
In time, my view of beauty changed. I had plenty of time to see models, actresses, beautiful women I admired with average toes. Nothing of glamour there, nothing to reject either. Short, long, straight, crooked, toes appeared in all their glory on the red carpet, in a delicate strappy sandal or in an open toed pump. Feet – narrow or wide, thin or plump, smooth or bitten by the sun – were suddenly out in the open, decorated in satin stilettos or embellished d’orsay high heels.
Even when the media crucified SJP for her spider veins after walking for years in high heels, she kept on doing her thing. No foot cosmetic surgery for her, no, sir. Foot facelifts, toe tucks and toe liposuction were trending, according to Shape Mag, but she stood her ground.
As much as I understood the right and freedom of every person to search for their happiness, even if it meant going under the knife, I couldn’t stop thinking that we COULD get comfortable with our own skin without it.
We simply had to take a step back and count our blessings (a thing I, as many of you, do too rarely).
We had to thank our feet for carrying us every day to work, every night in our bedrooms to rest, miles away from home to see new places and every single time in the arms of those we love. Those toes we could hardly look at helped us keep our balance every single day, since the moment we placeed our feet on the ground. They gave us support when we needed to carry into the world tiny humans and helped us flee from danger.
I understood that we should love our feet simply because they’re a part from us. Every single inch of ourselves is a miracle, one that makes us unique and irreplaceable in this world. The way we love our long legs, curvy hips, full breasts, nose, lips and eyes – even when they don’t meet the so-called beauty standards -, that’s the way we should love our feet.
And when they don’t look their best, it’s our responsibility to make them shine. So, if you dread summer and filp-flops, look at your feet. Smile at them, wiggle your toes and then show them you care. Exfoliate, hydrate and go to foot massages to see them glow as the rest of your body does. Take care of your nails and toes and don’t hesitate to go for a pedicure when you feel under the weather. The whole process will put a spring in your step, I guarantee.
Finally, show them some love with a pair of shoes that helps them breathe and see the world. Here are some of the hottest ones for this spring-summer: