Toe the line or get the boot
I have been noticing a proliferation of feet on my Instagram feed. Lots of people I follow seem to toss aside their shoes at the drop of a sock and let their toes breathe and wriggle. Feet are not always the prettiest parts of the body, which could be the reason so many snaps of pedicures are posted, with freshly clipped nails and lashings of pink or coral polish. Such pampered tootsies are at their finest, like flowers in best bloom.
The feet are sometimes shod, which is the case with most of the chaps. The message seems to be … “I was here, so look at the proof. I am not going to be crass and post a selfie but nonetheless evidence is required I really was on this glacier, beside the beach, stepping on to exquisite blue-and-white tiles in Portugal.”
We all harbour a need to record where we have been, to leave a little of ourselves behind, like scraps of torn clothing on a barbed-wire fence. Thank goodness, the selfie cult means (hopefully) there is no longer any compulsion to deface walls and pavements with graffiti or carve initials into trees. Smile and snap, for eternity.
One fellow I have been following deals exclusively in shots of his shoes. I am riveted. He lives in New York City. His Instagram handle is not his real name because it is too terrifically silly to be true. Every day there is a different pair. Is he a shoe salesman? A footwear bandit? A fetishist? Are they even his own feet? A girl I follow in Brazil has pedicures twice a week and the designs on her nails are extraordinary — flags, pasted jewels, cartoon faces, Hello Kitty decals. Last week, she posted a photo of her face and I squealed. She looked nothing like her feet.
This pic of my feet was taken (by me) in Miami late last year. It was a Sunday and I was having a rare day off while travelling. My feet were swollen from flying and looked veiny and a bit sun-toasted. Nonetheless, I posted it to Instagram and waited for the applause, which was hardly deafening. My only excuse for such vanity is that Instagram is a monster and you have to feed it daily. One follower obviously disapproved and commented she loathed looking at people’s naked feet and would be giving me the boot. Time to toe the line.