The Greek Foot

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

A delightful woman friend of mine has lived her life under a burden of distress over the fact that her second toe is longer than her big toe on both feet. I myself do not find this unsightly, but she regularly deprives herself of open toed sandals and flip flops because of the shame she feels about her toes. If anyone could shed some light and self-esteem building encouragement in this matter, I believe it would be you.

My friend has half-heartedly cited the fact that such an anatomical arrangement as she has on her feet has been revered as an indication of wisdom and perhaps is an attribute of one of the Greek goddesses. What can you tell us? I’m convinced my friend would look really cute in sandals if she could overcome the belief that her toes are something to hide.

This is the case where the supposedly lamentable imperfection is actually the physical refinement!

Or, at the least, so believed ancient the Greek sculptors, and those who would later work in the classical tradition, artists who created statues of beautiful and impressive women with feet whose second toes were longer than their big toes, the so-called “Greek foot” (known more prosaically as Morton’s Toe).

Look! Here is the right foot of the Venus de Milo.

Look! Here are the distinguished Renaissance toes of Botticelli’s Venus.

Look yet again! Here are the magnificent bronze toes of the Statue of Liberty.

What more proof does the Manolo need to provide of the classical beauty of this physical configuration?

It is the opinion of the Manolo that the woman blessed with this sort of foot should always and only be clad in beautiful sandals of classical design.

By the way, too often, as in this case, do otherwise sensible women become irrationally convinced that some minor physical trait is the gross imperfection to be continually hidden or surgically modified.

How often does one see women with beautiful and aristocratic aquiline noses who wish to have button noses; or women with delicate breasts who desire comically inappropriate enhancements; or women with admirable lips who want lips that are so full as to mar their beauty?

And yet, women with famously “imperfect” features find happiness with men who are famously handsome.

The advice of the Manolo in such cases of insecurity is nearly always the same: ignore it, or better yet celebrate it.

Dress well, live well, treat others well, and do all you can with joyful confidence and others will invariably come to love your flaws as you yourself cannot.