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Age: 11.

Ap­pear­ance: The most ex­ten­sive on­line photo gallery of women’s feet.

Oh. Gross. Now, now, don’t be like that. Stud­ies re­veal foot fetishes to be in­cred­i­bly com­mon. Foot fetishism doesn’t hurt any­one and it brings plea­sure to peo­ple, and you should grow up. But have you seen feet? They look like bits of man­gled swamp wood. I’ll try an­other an­gle. What if I told you that wik­iFeet was re­port­edly vis­ited by 700,000 peo­ple ev­ery week, and among them are the best am­a­teur de­tec­tives since Jes­sica Fletcher?

Now I’m in­ter­ested. OK, I’ll tell you about the strange case of Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez’s fake nude feet. As in the con­gress­woman? That’s it. This week­end, some­one on Red­dit posted a pic­ture of a wo­man’s legs and feet. You couldn’t see her face, but she was in a bath hold­ing a vape pen, and the im­age was em­bla­zoned with text sug­gest­ing Oca­sio-Cortez had posted it on In­sta­gram in 2016.

I don’t think I saw this. Re­ally? You don’t sub­scribe to the r/drama sub­red­dit?

Oh boy. Here’s the thing: the pic­tured feet were not those of Oca­sio-Cortez.

How can you be so sure? Be­cause the good peo­ple of wik­iFeet im­me­di­ately recog­nised the post as a fake.

They did? A wik­iFeet user told Vice that the feet in the im­age looked as if they suf­fered from brachy­dactyly – an in­her­ited trait whereby the bones of fingers and toes are rel­a­tively short com­pared with the rest of the body – but this didn’t align with wik­iFeet’s gallery of Oca­sio-Cortez. She has her own gallery? Ab­so­lutely. Wik­iFeet – which de­scribes it­self as “a col­lab­o­ra­tive site for shar­ing, rat­ing and dis­cussing celebrity feet pic­tures and videos” – has 15 pho­tos of Oca­sio-Cortez.

And what’s the ver­dict? The wik­iFeet com­mu­nity has rated her feet 3.25 stars out of five, which means she has “OK feet”.

Wow, the in­ter­net is so harsh. It is – and in­ge­nious. Thanks to the col­lec­tive minds of the wik­iFeet and Red­dit com­mu­ni­ties, Oca­sio-Cortez has avoided a po­ten­tially ca­reer-end­ing scan­dal. The scan­dal be­ing that she vapes and washes her body? It’s so much worse: the im­age shows a bot­tle of pump­kin-scented sham­poo. I could never vote for any­one whose hair stinks of pump­kins. Me nei­ther. That’s a fetish too sick.

Do say: “The in­ter­net is ca­pa­ble of fa­cil­i­tat­ing pro­found acts of de­duc­tion.”

Don’t say: “And plea­sur­ing it­self over pic­tures of celebri­ties’ feet.”

Wrong-footed: the feet claimed to be Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez’s

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