My own two feet

feet - August 2006

These are my feet. Actually, these are my feet a few years ago, as I oddly enough had pictures on my computer of my feet, which didn’t require me to go outside and take current pictures, which is good because I don’t want to, and I’ll get to why in a second.

First, a story. One day in college I was leaving class with my friend Emily, who was distraught over the state of a fellow classmate’s feet. I believe they smelled, were really dry and yucky looking, or hairy, or perhaps they had yellow toenails. Maybe all of those, or a combination. Emily is not a judgmental gal, but she notices people’s feet, and she was, well, grossed out by this guy’s.

That was when it dawned on me that I did not notice feet. At that point in time, you could have had hooves and it probably wouldn’t have fazed me. But the first time I spent a whole day with a group of yogis, I started noticing feet.

And I have decided that people’s feet are not pretty. I have seen a lot of feet since I got into this yoga thing, and let me tell you, they are gross. There are feet with extreme hammertoes, there are black hairy feet, scaly feet, callused feet, fungus-y feet, smelly feet, feet with very long toenails, you name it.

My feet are not cute, either. They are exact replicas of my mom’s. When we were kids, my mom would bribe us to rub her feet while she laid on the couch, and I was a nice kid (right, mom?) so I did a lot of this. This is how I know that my feet are identical to hers. Same calluses in the same places. Same shape of the toes, same weird bony protuberance under the pinky toe that makes many shoes painful to wear.

my feet - 2005

And yoga isn’t like other things where you can just generally ignore your feet. They’re right in your face, you’re grabbing them, holding them, wrapping straps around them, trying to put them over your head, trying to balance on just one, and of course we all know wearing socks only makes all of this harder.

I had a mini twitter conversation about this last weekend with @TommyTadasana and @spoiledyogi. After Tommy described his yoga fashion as “Moth-eaten1989 sleeveless frat T-shirt, stained b-ball shorts with Hanes popping out the top, & ungodly toe nails,” it made me realized that I feel pressured to keep my feet looking somewhat nice for yoga class.

I try to keep them either painted or not painted, not somewhere in the “chipped” stage, and every once and while I attack them with the pumice stone. But other than that, there’s not a lot you can do to improve the looks of your feet. Erica thought maybe there’s a correlation there: lots of time spent in yoga = more calluses, generally yuckier feet. Perhaps she’s on to something.

I am thankful for my feet, for sure. They carry me through my day and allow me to do all sorts of cool asanas in yoga. And they would be a lot prettier if I didn’t insist on being barefoot as much as humanly possible.

What about you? Any good feet stories? How do you feel about your own feet?



12 responses to “My own two feet

  1. Great feet post! My feet are oddly square, with the toes pretty even in length. I think they look cute because of this and didn’t think anything of it until a few boyfriends made fun of them (lovingly). I never fit into little high heels. But it’s not too much of a problem, since I mostly aim for comfort anyway.

    I love the introspection on a random body part. Well written!


  2. i have little blond hairs all over my toes. i used to think that people were staring at my feel thinking they were all groddy and hairy. now: frankly, my dear, i don’t give a damn.

  3. I like my feet, and have rarely felt grossed out by other people’s feet. I’ve seen a few weird looking feet in my life, but only things like ‘bunions’ really gross me out. Other than that….

    Actually, *embarassed overshare* I came to love my feet when I dated a guy who kinda (not really) had a foot thing. Not fetish, cuz he didn’t DO anything, you know, icky, to them… but he constantly told me how beautiful they were.

    And that was enough to increase my foot self-esteem. :)

    Funny, I’m WAY more conscious about leg hair than what my toes look like. And lately I am more happy with ‘naked’ toes than with polish… I like my little callouses and how I can slowly spread the toes just a little bit. and how my baby toe is pretty much gimpy and non-functional, sorta cute in a broken way lol.

    I think your feet are cute! they have pretty pink toes, the toes aren’t weirdly shaped… really- you have cute feet, not gross at all! :)

  4. I’ve noticed with all my hot yoga my feet get really extremely dry and it was like the top layer was actually molting! I found one of the ‘ped-egg” style files at Walmart for cheap and it actually made a huge difference, along with some good foot lotion. I try to keep them groomed but I agree, yoga definitely beats them up- sometimes i get sick of it!!

  5. I love feet. I think they’re beautiful, with few exceptions, and actually, yoga seems to have done my feet some favors. My arches are a little higher, my toes are less compressed, and the mat towel seems to slough off any stubborn dead skin during my practice (gross, but good).

    I, like Emma, have blond tufts of hair on each toe, which my mother used to gawk at and tell me to shave. I used to be self-concious about it (wonder why, MOM!), but now it doesn’t bother me. I never paint my toenails (or fingernails, for that matter)… it’s way too much work to keep them looking good.

  6. I think you have beautiful feet! :)

  7. @Kate- I am so anti-heels. That’s another post though : )

    @Emma- at least your foot hair is blonde. Yuck, I know!

    @Eco- naughty!! ; ) just kidding, it’s awesome to hear about an ex actually giving a woman *more* confidence in her body!

    @callah- once I used a callus shaver on the bottoms of my feet. looked like the set of a horror movie.

    @Misanthropic Yogini- you are sweeter and more accepting than I am. I’m not grossed out by feet, per se (I am almost always barefoot at home), but I definitely do not find them beautiful.

    @mom- thanks : )

  8. Oh, I am reading this RIGHT after treating myself to a pedicure at the spa! If there’s one thing I love, it’s the fresh, airy feeling of thoroughly squeaky clean feet. :)

    For the record, I think your feet photos look great! Go on, tell them you love them – maybe it’ll make them (and you) feel better! ;)

  9. I have always had regular pedicures, it’s my necessary luxury. I seem to spend half my time either in class or teaching class and my feet are on display. I don’t think it’s any different than wearing neat clean clothes for an office job really.

    My feet are mini replicas of my dad’s though, ‘cept he doesn’t have the pedis!!

    I have seen some foul feet in my time teaching. I do wonder why people don’t look after their feet better. We only get one pair after all.

  10. I am the opposite- I love my feet! They aren’t anything special really, but they’re symmetrical (and you know how crazy I am about things being symmetrical) and I don’t know, I’ve just always thought they were cute. I’ve joked before that I like my face and my feet…it’s everything in between that gives me troubles! :) But I definitely sympathize when it comes to other people’s feet (judgmental, I know) like my hubby’s feet gross me out. They’re long and thin and bony with weird tufts of hair scattered throughout and some nasty calluses because of his boots. And you know what? He doesn’t mind. In fact, he’s grossed out by MY beautiful feet! Men.

  11. @LaGitane and Suburban Yogini- mmm pedicures. I have had these on my mind lately. I have only had one in my life, and it was at a cosmotology school, so it wasn’t great. But I promised myself I would get one sometime this summer. I’ll have to let you know how it goes : )

    @Sarah- Andy actually has extremely nice feet, especially for a man. I am thankful for that : )

  12. Maybe I’m odd, but I love my feet. I don’t think they’re gross or weird at all and I don’t think yours are either! I know what you mean about taking care of them though. I generally keep mine au naturale with a toe ring or two. My daughter, M, wanted to paint my toenails a few months ago. Of course I let her. She did all different colors with sparkles. I was a bit self conscious about that as I was teaching! Funny post, Jamie ;-)

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