I just finished an interview with Proof Negative on FreedomizerRadio. Proof and I and Bob Neinast were contemplating why going barefoot in public is still considered taboo by so many people in America. Obviously, I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few years, but I recently came to a new realization which may partly explain the phenomenon: we are a culture of costumes.
Think about it. We have a costume, er… uniform, for almost every occupation: policeman, nurse, fireman, priest, janitor, doctor, soldier, scientist, businessman… the list could be very long. Perhaps the only ones to really escape the costume party are the artsy types; they are instead often known for their lack of conformity (we call it creativity).*
Even when we’re not working we are dressed up in costume to identify ourselves: slut, gangsta, prep, nerd, redneck, jock, church lady… this list is long, too, and each group has their own costume.Nearly all of these costumes – at work or at play – include shoes. Without shoes the costume is incomplete and for all but that most diverse group of non-conforming, artsy types an incomplete costume is unacceptable.
Fortunately, our costumes can and do change over time; it’s called fashion.
For the health of our feet and for the sake of our personal freedoms, let’s make bare feet an acceptable part of our costumes. You can help by going barefoot this Saturday, June 11, which just happens to be Your Day Without Shoes. Of course, you can also buy and share a copy of The Barefoot Book. ;-)
*Intellectuals tend to avoid costumes, too. One reason I became a professor is because profs are high in creativity and low in conformity. Indeed, it seems the more ‘rigid’ the uniform the less creativity is usually involved in the task. This is not always a bad thing, but it’s clearly not always a good thing, either.