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culture and bare feet

Going barefoot transcends dress codes, age, race, income, gender, and anything else. Anyone can go barefoot because barefoot is human.

It's been called lazy, poor, dirty, or even "ratchet." For whatever reason, a lot of people have a big problem with others going barefoot in their day-to-day lives. This happens even though what we do or don't wear on our feet has no real effect on anyone else.

If you think about it, it's strange for bare feet to get such a bad rap. No other part of us has so much negative stigma attached to it. Sure, you can go barefoot, but it's only socially acceptable in certain places like the grass at the park, at the pool, or in a yoga class. You can expose your feet by wearing flip flops, but remove the straps and thin sole material and your feet are suddenly "gross" or "disgusting." Many employers even have policies against men wearing sandals while women can wear whatever open-toed shoes they'd like.

The alliterate phrase, "No shirt, no shoes, no service" has even taken a place among the most well-known policies in society. It's such a common practice that many places don't even officially write it down as policy because they figure it's just a given. That said, health codes and laws do not actually require patrons of businesses to don footwear. What did feet ever do to deserve such a bad reputation?

Our feet are not a reflection of our place in society.

Going barefoot doesn't mean someone is lazy or undisciplined or poor. When someone walks around without shoes, it doesn't mean they're a hippie or even that they're overly "eccentric." People of all races and income levels can go without shoes because feet are a universally human characteristic.

We all have eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to hold, and feet to walk with. Let's reconsider what we think is "appropriate" and remember what makes us human. Let's stop judging each other by what's on our feet and, instead, embrace each other's unique qualities. We might just be happier for it.