Have you joined the latest campaign on twitter? It involves posting a picture of your head, without a hat, to focus on the over 1 billion people in the world who are forced to go hatless due to their poverty.
It’s part of a charity drive to raise money to buy them hats. Won’t you please help raise awareness?
After all, wearing a hat is an important sign of civilization and sophistication. Many of these schools even have dress codes for the kids to go to school, and how can you learn unless you are properly dressed? And a hat is just what is needed to complete any ensemble.
This picture shows just the sort of thing that is needed.
Oh, occasionally, the Pope will go hatless to demonstrate solidarity with the poor.
But even he realizes how important a hat is at all times. Here he is wearing the cranial equivalent of flip-flops.
But hats are important for health, too. After all, if you are hatless when it rains your head will get cold and wet, which leads directly to a cold or flu, which could even progress to pneumonia. That’s why it is so important that we start shipping hats to these impoverished people.
They are also in places where their heads are their first line of defense against an oppressive sun. A hat can really help protect against sunburn, and it’s a lot cheaper than sunscreen.
But it is the infections where donating these hats really work. Many of these places have infestations of botflies.
[Photo from here.]
How else can you keep them out of your head that with a hat?
And look at this poor, homeless waif.
Bird droppings carry a whole host of diseases. These sorts of kids have to go to school, going hatless sometimes for 5 miles or more, all the while subjected to birds going on their heads, subjecting their crowns to the sun, and sometimes even getting wet.
Surely a charity campaign to donate hats to all these people is extremely important. Isn’t it the least you can do?
I’m doing my part. Here is my more normal selfie:
But how can I demonstrate my solidarity with a photo like that?
Here is my #hatlessheadselfie.
How can that do anything but generate pity in the eye of the beholder and really make them want to take action?
Of course, the real campaign is #barefootselfie, which you can read about in Have YOU posted a bare foot selfie yet? Photos of feet flood the internet to raise awareness of those forced to go without shoes every day, New Barefoot Selfie Campaign Aims To Spread Awareness For People Without Shoes (Photos), and #BarefootSelfie campaign brings naked feet to newsfeeds. It’s promoting a walk in Nottingham for a Shoe Aid charity event.
I’ve written many times before why such charity is particularly stupid. There is nothing wrong with bare feet; it is only in the western world that we’ve let our feet atrophy to the point where we think that a foot needs assistance. If an area has sanitation problems that lead to things like hookworm, the correct solution isn’t shoes, it is fixing the sanitation, particularly since that same lack of sanitation contaminates the drinking water. Work instead, and spend the money on, getting proper privies.
And walking barefoot to school is no more of a burden than doing it shod. If you go barefoot all the time your feet can handle it just fine. The problem though, is if you suddenly start wearing shoes, they’ll weaken your feet. And when the shoes fall apart, now you have to walk barefoot to school with feet that can’t handle that any more (though they’ll toughen back up again within a week).
Donating these sorts of items also ruin local entrepreneurs and put them out of business. This whole idea is just more western arrogance.
Aside from the numerous health benefits associated with walking barefoot, The Barefoot Walk was conceived to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are millions of people around the world today who have no choice but to walk in bare feet.
By walking with us at The Barefoot Walk, you are helping to raise money and awareness for those less fortunate than most of us here in the UK. And it’s good for you!
That is followed by a very long paragraph with the benefits of walking barefoot:
Walking barefoot results in a more natural gait. People who are used to walking barefoot tend to land with the forefoot or mid-foot, eliminating the hard heel strike and generating much less collision force in the foot and lower leg. A 2006 study found that shoes may increase stress on the knee and ankle, and suggested that adults that walked barefoot may have a lower rate of osteoarthritis, although more study is required to elucidate the factors that distribute loads in shod and barefoot walking. A 2007 study examined 180 modern humans and compared their feet with 2,000-year-old skeletons. They concluded that, before the invention of shoes, humans overall had healthier feet. A 1991 study found that children who wore shoes were three times more likely to have flat feet than those who did not, and suggested that wearing shoes in early childhood can be detrimental to the longitudinal arch of the foot. Children who habitually go barefoot were found to have stronger feet, with better flexibility and mobility, fewer deformities like flat feet or toes that curve inwards, and fewer complaints. Walking barefoot enables a more natural gait, eliminating the hard heel strike and instead, allowing for a rocking motion of the foot from heel to toe. Similarly, barefoot running usually involves an initial forefoot strike, instead of on the rear of the foot, generating smaller collision forces.
So, think about what they are saying. Walking barefoot is so beneficial that we are raising money to try to deprive poor kids from getting those health benefits.
Yup. That’s what they are saying.
I despair of anybody ever really thinking any of these things through.
It seems to me we might have some fun with our own #hatlessheadselfie twitter campaign. Why let them have all the fun?