I Look At My FeetPosted: July 30, 2014
I used to look at my feet and see big… long..ugly. At least that’s what some of my relatives told me they saw when I was growing up . So I stopped taking care of my feet.
In college I walked around the Berkeley campus for four years in Nordstrom style loafers. I bought them in all the different colors: Blue. Black. Beige. And red. When I’d wear out a pair, I’d buy another pair. I’d take the BART across the bay to San Francisco on a Saturday.
Once, when I went home for summer vacation, my aunt looked down and said, “What have you done to your feet? They look like you’ve been plowing the rice fields [in the Philippines]!” Oops. Then again, how would she know?
I considered wearing tennis shoes instead. I sure could have used them. I was walking at least a couple of miles from class to class every day. But I thought that wearing tennis shoes would make me look less sophisticated. I thought Nordstrom loafers made a difference over tennis shoes in terms of how many boys would like me.
Looking back, I doubt most guys even looked at my feet—or my shoes—except for that one dude from my sophomore year who had a foot fetish. But I didn’t really like him much anyway.
Now, twenty years after college, all these boys are gone. Married to other women. Out of my life. In the end, none of them really mattered.
As for me? I still have my feet. My feet, which keep me steady and grounded. My feet, which keep taking me to different places and back. They matter to me now.
When I’m in yoga class, I look at everyone’s feet. Truth is that their feet don’t look much bigger or longer or uglier than mine. Some of the other women’s feet are even bigger. None of their feet are ugly really. Maybe my feet have been normal looking all along.
Come to think of it, I have my mother’s feet. And I never thought her feet were ugly. I’d recognize her feet in an all-female foot lineup.
In dance class once, the teacher told us to let one of the body parts we wish we could disown do the dancing. That night, my feet tapped on the floor in freedom and jubilation. For the first time, in the movement, the beauty of my feet came through. For the first time, in the dance, I got to experience beauty all the way down in my feet.
A few months later, a woman that I know knelt down in front of me to bless my feet. She rested her fingers on their surface, feeling them with a reverence I’d only ever seen reserved for holy objects. Her gesture, alluding to the sacred, made me teary-eyed.
These days, I only wear high heels if I don’t have to do much walking—although sometimes, when I’m in the mood, I put on my red fuck me pumps and go to town. They’re four inches tall. Made in Italy. I wear them because they please me. They make me feel sexy and badass.
If I didn’t have long feet, how the hell would the rest of my body balance out my big breasts? I might topple over.
Maybe my feet have always been perfectly made, their drawn-out, slender shape just the right size for me. I just needed time to grow into them.