Body Positivity Never Saw My Hideous Toes Coming

As a woman, I always felt like I was somehow short of the depictions of women that permeate advertisements and popular media. Because of this, I was thrilled when the body positivity movement caught on. However, I have been thoroughly disappointed to see that the media’s adoption of the body positivity movement has focused on a mere margin of the true diverse scale of women’s bodies, and that true aspects of womanhood remain confined to the shadows: long, hairy, double-jointed toes like mine continue to go underrepresented.

It’s wonderful to see advertisements on television that show women of all sizes, but I cannot bear the perfectly sculpted toes that continue to be flaunted across shoe ads. Sleek soft feet, no bunions in sight, not a hangnail or an unnaturally bent pinky toe—no justice for my own disgusting feet. Sure, glossed “au natural” nails and bright cherry-red pedicures can be found anywhere, but where are the overgrown, yellowing nails? My toes are beautiful, too, in their own pungent way, and it’s high time the body positivity movement shows support for people like me.

I was certain that when the masses decided to speak up about unrealistic beauty standards for women, I would finally be able to wear open-toed shoes confidently, but I continue to live in fear of ostracism. If true progress is to be made from the body positivity movement, all toes must be celebrated honestly, and until that occurs, my little piggies will continue to cry “wee wee wee” all the way home from the strappy shoe section of Macy’s.


-AH ’20

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