What the Pinky-toe Surgery?!
By Erika Davidoff
Journalist Gloria Steinem once concluded an essay with the famous line, “If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?” Apparently, the answer is yes. The number of women literally cutting off their pinky toes to fight into high heels is at an all-time high.
Fox News recently ran an article on this phenomenon. Fox interviewed Susan Deming, one of the 87% of women who had suffered foot pain from ill-fitting shoes. Deming found cutting off part of her toe “a solution” to her problems.
Granted, this type of surgery is nothing brand new, but the fact that it’s happening at all is alarming. Why are shoes today causing pain to almost 9 out of 10 women? Why is this such a pervasive issue that women are opting for a surgery that, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, “carries risks without medical benefit and therefore should not be undertaken”? More importantly, why are we changing the feet instead of the shoes?
What I see here is an engineering challenge: make pretty shoes that actually fit real women’s feet. The rise of this surgery should present a beacon of opportunity for fashion designers and producers: come, fill our need! Give us classy, gorgeous footwear that can accommodate five toes! The company that ultimately creates the comfortable stiletto is going to make a fortune. Okay, maybe comfortable is a stretch… But wearable – that shouldn’t be that hard.
Until then, we can revolt and wear less dazzling shoes that are a little more comfortable. I’ve got this pair of strappy wedge things I wear for fifteen-hour debate meets, and sure, they don’t turn any heads, but they do the deed. I can walk just as fast as the guys can in them. That’s always the goal, right?
Don’t be outpaced by the boys in their enviably comfortable loafers.