Y’all, I’m a shoe-judger. Yes, when you walk by on the street, I’m looking at your shoes and making all sorts of assumptions about you. Or maybe not so much assumptions, but I’m creating an imaginary life for you. It’s a fun game. Your Puma ballet sneakers indicate you have two kids (Pete and Sally), a goldendoodle (Lionel), and wear drug store brand makeup to your job as a technical analyst for a software engineering firm. Your Dansko clogs mean you were on the fast track to becoming the prima ballerina of a dance company until an ankle injury cruelly stole your dreams from beneath you. (And yes, just because Dansko sounds like dance you became a ballet dancer… I never said I was scientific about this.) Your Kate Spade heels with the glitter and the bow? Damn you. You must be partaking in those romantic picnics in the park with your Hugh Jackman look-alike boyfriend. He probably feeds you grapes before you jet off to the latest Broadway performance. Damn you. Can I be your friend? And the men! Your frayed sandals tell me you’re trying to relive your glory days at the frat house pool, but you’re probably just heading to the soccer field to watch your daughter run around with the cluster of other 5 yr. olds.
There’s a clear reason for this. My wee self was restricted in my shoe selection for quite some time and when I was free of those high-topped shackles, I embraced the heeled and flip-flopped and booted freedom of which I’d so long been denied! It meant something to get to choose the shoes of which I would wear to face the challenges of the day. Those L.A. Gear Lights with their light-up heels were all fine and dandy, but the day I got to wear my black heels with the silver buckle? I’ll never forget it.
There’s a point to all this, I swear. To this day, my shoes are chosen carefully. They might not always be the most stylish things, but they mean something to me that day. The power suit for work is only the power suit if it’s paired with my power heels. Those ruby pumps transform the way I march into work, ready to battle over contract language.
Or at least they did. Still do, really.
But just this last week, I had to bring in a whole new factor into my work shoe selection: toe cleavage. Someone commented on said fabulous ruby heels, and noted they were lovely, but they would be wary of those particular heels because they didn’t like to be overly provocative with their toe cleavage. Um. What? Have I been living under a rock? How the hell have we sexified this? Maybe this shouldn’t surprise me. There is the fact that we call it cleavage. But it’s of the toes. WTF? And y’all, I know there are foot fetishists out there, and to each their own, but when did that start precluding women from wearing a low vamp? Since when have my toe apices been lumped into the same category as high hemlines and plunging blouses?
Furthermore. If cleavage of the toes is analagous to breast cleavage, what message are we sending when we wear flip flops. Is it the equivalent of walking topless down the street? Are painted toes the counterpart to, you know… grooming? Does a natural toe mean other things?! Dear God, what message have I been sending to my online dates when we first meet?
I’d go on, but it’s time I put on those daring and risqué pumps and be out the door. Do let me know… have you been aware of your sexy toe cleavage?