By Javier Burdette
There’s been a good deal of talk about cultural appropriation in the media recently. Everywhere you look, there’s some outcry about some group or another robbing the little peoples of the world of their culture. It’s a disaster.
There is, however, one group of victims that has had to remain silent as their culture is voraciously appropriated by the masses: the people of the surf and sand. The beach bums.
In all seriousness, the inappropriate application of the sandal has become a real problem.
Let’s cut to the chase. Unless you belong to the cult of foot fetishists, you probably think feet are kind of weird to look at. Sure, every once in awhile a magnificent example of trotters comes along, but, for the most part, they’re one of those body parts that just looks better covered, clad in a nice pair of shoes.
Feet are dirty. They’re often pale. Occasionally, they’re a bit hairy. There’s also a sweet spot when it comes to foot size. Anything too big or too small just looks freaky.
At the same time, there’s an undeniable sense of freedom and satisfaction that comes from setting your feet free. Is there anything more satisfying than stripping off your shoes and socks after a hard day’s work or a long night on the town? And who can deny the pleasures of going barefoot in soft grass, warm sand or cool water?
But, like all good things, one must be careful not to indulge. We ought to partake in the sweetest things in life with a degree of self-restraint.
Sandal junkies just don’t get this. They think they have the right to go around exposing their feet to everyone, soaking in the sunshine and cool breezes willy-nilly!
Not all sandal junkies are the same.
First, there are the people who wear sandals year-round. These are often the same people who will walk around in a sweatshirt with the hood up and sandals, adamantly declaring, “I don’t know what it is, my legs just don’t get cold!”
Then, there are the athletes. You see them everywhere, their feet clothed in socks spanning every color of the rainbow. Their sandals are of the slide variety.
Let’s admit it, slides are comfy. No one can blame a baller or trackstar for slipping into a pair after a hard practice.
But wearing high socks with sandals is also a sure way of falling into an endless spiral of caring less and less about what you look like. First, you couple the look with some sweats because you don’t feel like putting on something that requires you to apply the energy to button buttons. Then, you wear the same thing to office hours. Next thing you know, you’re ending up at your graduation wearing a shirt that says “Just Do It,” neon jogger sweats and slides that you swear “feel just like clouds” on your feet.
One last thing: Do not wear slides without socks. Just don’t.
Now the time has come to identify the greatest sin of them all: the wearing of sandals with pants.
Aesthetically, this trespass is not particularly egregious. Sure, the frayed hems and the coupling of crumpled pant legs with blatantly bare feet isn’t great, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. That’s a spot reserved for Uggs.
It is instead the ideological contradiction that exacerbates the sin of pants with sandals. Pants are modest. They restrict your ability to move. They convey a certain degree of formality, even in their least formal form. Sandals, on the other hand, are the epitome of casual.
It’s also a matter of practicality. Your legs are saying fall, your feet are saying summer in Cancun.
Boys and girls, hold off on the sandals just a little while longer. Before you know it, summer will be here, and you’ll be able to frolic like nymphs in the surf and sand, your feet barely bound by thin strips of leather. Until then, do the right thing, and stick your hooves into something with laces.