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culture and bare feet

Going barefoot is an option for everyone, regardless of age, race, income, gender, and anything else. Anyone can go barefoot because barefoot is human.

It's been called trashy, lazy, poor, dirty, even "ratchet." For whatever reason, some 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 that bare feet are viewed more negatively than bare hands or bare heads. Sure, you can legally go barefoot everywhere, but it's outside of social norms except in certain places like grassy parks, pool decks, or yoga classes. No one minds the sight of feet in flip flops, but remove the straps and thin sole material and suddenly some will see the feet as "gross" or "disgusting." In another example of flawed logic about feet, some employers 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 such a memorable ring to it that many people just assume it's true. In fact, health codes and laws do not require patrons of businesses to wear shoes. What did feet ever do to deserve such a bad reputation?

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

When someone walks around without shoes, it doesn't mean they're a hippie or even that they're overly eccentric. It doesn't mean they're poor or insane or lazy. People of all ages, genders, races, income levels and nationalities can go barefoot. People with all kinds of political opinions or religious beliefs might choose to go barefoot. Human feet are universal.