In an earlier post, we examined the ancient practice of Chinese footbinding and its modern manifestations within the context of shopping for prom shoes. This has become a popular post, as evidenced by a consistently high number of page visits. I will not speculate upon whether random internet explorers with feet or shoe fetishes stumble upon it while searching for other things. All I know is what my statistics tell me... and I don't think they're lying.
So when I read about a new practice of institutional mutilation of a pedalian nature, I knew I had to comment on it.
Old-fashioned Cinderella procedure
Recall the fairy tale, Cinderella, and its many
variants. The majority of these stories involve a plot twist with a glass or golden slipper or shoe. Cinderella flees the palace ball in such haste that she loses her footware on the staircase or the path. The prince discovers its and vows to wed the girl whose foot will fit. Cinder's nasty stepsisters, bent on snagging the keys to the kingdom and egged on by the cruel stepmom, go so far as to cut off parts of their toes and heels in their attempts to force their large dogs into the tiny shoe.
Well, in an instance of life imitating art... women of a certain ilk are now taking the knife to their toes in order to fit their tootsies into modern instruments of torture known as "shoes." Yes, you read it right: elective, i.e. cosmetic, plastic surgery for their feet.
Modern Cinderella Procedures
Since the phenomenon was first noted in 2003, women are increasingly requesting cosmetic foot procedures -- including shortening their toes, adding collagen to their heels and even completely removing their pinky toe -- in order to better fit into vertigo-inducing 4-, 5- and even 6-inch stilettos. Others opt to lop parts off in order to fit into a smaller size. Apparently, these women do not understand the biomechanical engineering marvels that are their feet: a complex network of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles that support over 100,000 pounds of pressure for every mile they traverse. Even small changes can undermine the foot's structural integrity and cause crippling pain, as anyone who has had a wart, a corn, a bunion or plantar fascitis knows all too well. Yet these women are willing to risk infection, nerve damage, foot deformities (from shifting collagen) and worse just to slip their perfectly normal feet into the abnormal shapes designed by Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. And, the irony of it all is that removing a toe could completely affect a woman's balance, making her even more unstable on those super-high heels.
Obviously most podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons disavow these practices. But as always, there are any number of them on both the East and West coasts who are convinced they are simply helping women "look and feel their best"
This is just another one of those moments when I simply fail to understand my fellow woman.
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