There’s a story (from about a year and a half ago) that’s making the rounds: Going shoeless at work could make you less stressed and more productive. It’s a nice story, if a bit short.
But I have a reputation as a curmudgeon to uphold.
What’s bugging me is the picture they used to illustrate the story. And it’s not the picture, it’s the caption.
What? Why would they?
Does anybody every look at a pictures of hands and say that?
People looking at that picture generally think “working hands”. It’s admirable.
If a pair of feet were that dirty, we’d hear comments about how disgusting they were.
Nobody would even say that about older hands. We see them every day, and they are just a fact of life. Yet these people have no qualms about saying it about feet.
But seeing bare feet is somewhat rare.
I take that back. Actually, it’s not that rare to see a lot of foot skin. Somehow people’s reactions are only triggered when it is the sole that is bare. Then you get all sorts of comments about ugly feet, even if you’ve been seeing similar feet in sandals or flip-flops all day long.
Genetically, hands and feet are quite similar. They actually look quite similar, if you think about it. They are constructed similarly; they age similarly; they even have knobs and protrusions similarly (to some extent). Yet, in our culture, they are treated so differently.
I suspect that is because the normal expectation is that feet will be covered (to some extent at least) and hands never (unless they really, really need it, for cold or physical protection). But when a normal expectation is violated — look out!
But there is really no good logical reason for it.