Yahoo News now has a new travel list: 12 People Who Should Be Banned From Flying. It was also picked up by the New York Post: The 12 types of people who should be banned from flying.
I’m sure you can guess what is number one.
“People who go barefoot on planes”
The “story” is about an Instagram tag, PassengerShaming, which was supposedly started by a flight attendant because of her antipathy to bare feet.
“Feet — what is the deal?”, she says. She just as easily could have said “Hands — what is the deal?”, or “Elbows — what is the deal?”, or “Lips — what is the deal?”. After all, who knows where those lips have been?
And then the excuse is just the usual gross ignorance:
Not only are your bare feet unsightly, they often smell. And with the recirculated air on a plane, that smell can linger for a long, long time.
Bare feet are unsightly
Take a look at this picture of Hillary Swank.
You can see her feet. All but the part that on the ground (which is no different than if she were barefoot). Nobody objects to this at all. Nobody says it is unsightly. Instead, they marvel about over who stylish she is.
Or take a look at this wedding party.
Again, the “unsightly” feet are not hidden at all. Complaints? None.
Yet, for this picture,
we get the usual ranting. I guess he’s just not “swanky” enough.
Now, I admit that there are photos there that go just beyond a generic dislike of bare feet. For instance, in this one, the bare foot is on a tray table.
But that’s really part of a different issue of feet, whether bare or shod, being where they shouldn’t be. After all, feet, whether bare or shod, spend most of their time on the floor. In general, they shouldn’t be up on surfaces that people will be eating off of or will touch in general.
In this picture, the issue really isn’t about bare feet, it’s about shod feet being where they shouldn’t be.
[In all fairness, even the picture with the bare foot on the tray table plays upon expectations. People could have sneezed on that tray table, but nobody cares about that sort of sanitation. People could have picked their noses and then touched it, but no mention is made of that. It’s only when it is foot-related that we get our dander up.]
Back to the story, the second item does address that:
People who put their feet everywhere on planes.
But then they illustrate it with the tray table picture above.
Again, that is putting the stress completely in the wrong place.
Oh, and back to the supposed smell. I bet you nobody would complain about Hillary Swank’s feet smelling if she walked onto the plane in those sandals. Of course, that’s because her feet haven’t been in shoes breeding hordes of bacteria.
If one has shoes on, one should be careful about taking them off, because that’s when a smell can spread.
But there’s a simple solution to that: Never put any shoes on in the first place!
[H/T: Alan Bruens.]