Yesterday, Gothamist trolled the streets of SoHo asking unassuming New Yorkers whether they thought grown men should walk around town wearing flip flops—and most seemed offended at the concept! We're just sorry we caused so many people to drop their monocles. Since there's no such thing as consensus at our office, the pro-flip flop contingent will now offer a rebuttal as to why adults can make their own choices.
With a few exceptions, most of the people against flip flops in our survey said they thought physical comfort should come before looking great. For some reason, the notion of letting your toes breath is the exception. For chef Tobias Womack, dressing for himself is about personal freedom: "It's all about the feeling. The only way that you can be comfortable in clothes: I like to wear no underwear and boots. My ball sack's just flopping around. That's freedom." But freedom isn't free, and Mr. Ball Sack's Just Flopping Around doesn't socialize with any pansy flip flop wearing men. He doesn't have a problem wearing black socks and shorts, sure—but he judges people who wear flip flops. His glass house sure has a funky smell to it.
And why is it that men are getting called out for wearing flip flops...and women aren't? Flip flops are in the same family as any other sandal. Is it just accepted that women are allowed to wear them with no questions, while men are harassed and treated like lepers for doing so? Alliah Mourad is wearing open-toed shoes in our photo—but she thinks it is "not appropriate" for men. Is it that extra top-of-the-foot skin that is so scandalous? Or are we just living in Communist Russia now, and nobody told us? Hypocrisy and sexism: stinks worse than any foot odor.
And ask yourself: do you really go around looking at other people's feet? Are there communicable diseases that are only passed through the toes? Are feet any more gross than, say, sitting on any piece of pee-and-poop-stained city sidewalk? Or holding the subway bar which was previously wedged between somebody's butt cheeks? And even if it is, arguably, not the cleanest thing to wear flip flops on the train—they're not your feet! What do you care if someone else contracts some heretofore undiscovered form of gangrene that only affects quarantined big toes?
If you DO go around gazing at other people's feet, perhaps that's because you enjoy seeing toes and cuticles. You can't stop thinking about fibulas and phalanges! And there's nothing wrong with that either: you don't have to be ashamed that you fast forward through Kill Bill just to get to all the close-ups of Uma Thurman's wiggling toes.
We're not advocating that people start grooming their feet on the subway or anything ridiculous like that. But everyone dresses a little weird in this city, and that's a good thing. Someone else's footwear has nothing to do with your life. So let your ball sacks flop free and stop worrying about other people's feet...unless you really LIKE looking.