by Alana Hackman
Call me a conservative, but making this statement in Arcata of all places is bound to get me into some trouble; I don’t want to see your feet. Yes, we’ve made plenty of jokes about it in the paper and it is a topic of discussion on various platforms like Yik Yak and Cal Poly Humboldt confessions, but I am someone who feels very strongly about this subject. Far enough to get a crop top stating “I support shoes” on it.
Let me explain a few things first: I’m not a foot hater. I wouldn’t say I’m appalled by bare feet or find them disgusting, nor do I have an issue with the anatomical structure of a bare foot alone. I do, however, have an issue with the time and place in which they are presented, which seems to be 24/7 in Arcata. No shoes, no shirt, no service? Never seen a sign like that here aside from Dead Reckoning Tavern (shoutout to y’all). I kiss the ground of the establishments that display those signs when I’m back home. In the figure-of-speech way – kissing the ground is unsanitary, which is why your raw foot skin should not be on them.
I will turn a blind eye to bare toes in select places. A few examples include the beach, the pool, and, hell, even the community forest. I get the whole ‘earthing’ thing making you more connected to the Earth’s energy, and how your shoes constrict your feet yea-yea-yea – but how much positive Earth rays are really flowing through the third floor of the library, or the human feces riddled streets of California? Don’t even get me started on seeing shoe-less folks in the health center. I guess I can sometimes get behind the stripped soles movement, but only if you’ve ingested a handful of psychedelics and are questioning all of your moral beliefs.
Basically, what I’m getting to is public enclosed settings should be off limits for the flashing of phalanges. I’ve seen way too many toes mingling under group tables in the library, and don’t remind me of the woman’s toes gripping the corner of a barstool cushion at Everett’s. Have y’all ever heard of plantar’s wart or athlete’s foot? Like, seriously, I get it that everywhere has germs and gross things, but I can promise some of y’all bare feet boosters are tucking those dusty things right into bed with you every night.
Listen, as long as you’re scrubbing those babies good before bed and when you enter a home, I guess I can’t go too far with my opinion. Just please keep them out of public places! Slap a pair of tevas or sandals on and call it a day. I’d say my support of body autonomy ends at the bare feeters of Arcata, California.