When most of us try on shoes that are uncomfortable, we're left with two options: buy them anyway and suffer through the pain or leave the shoes behind. But the wealthy aren't limited to these plebeian choices like we are. They have a third, fancier and more gruesome option — they can pay doctors to cut off parts of their feet (or give them more foot) to make the shoes finally fit right.
Surgically altering your feet to get into fashionable footwear isn't anything new. A lot of articles about the trend popped up during the Sex in the City/Monolo Blahnik craze of the late 90s and, of course, as a practice, it's downright ancient. But either cosmetic foot procedures are really catching on or the New York Times is once again reporting on trends in their usual (less than) timely fashion because, apparently, having your foot bones shaved down is all the rage amongst the shallow elite.
From "Make Them Fit, Please!" (published yesterday in the NYT):
For [podiatrist] Dr. Sadrieh (who was wearing made-to-order Gucci brogues), foot surgery is a fusion of medicine and fairy tale. At his practice, you don't have a bunionectomy; you have a Cinderella procedure.
"I had never met a patient who asked for a hallux valgus correction with osteotomy and screw fixation," he said. "So I decided to create a name that captures the result of the procedure, without all the Latin. The point of the Cinderella: being able to put a shoe on that didn't fit comfortably before."
FYI, it was Cinderella's evil stepsisters who cut off parts of their feet to fit into shoes, not Cinderella — but that's just me being nitpicky.
Dr. Sadrieh, based in LA, also offers performs aesthetic toe shortening (a procedure he calls the Perfect 10), toe lengthening (the Model T) and "a fat-pad augmentation that he said helps with high heels" called the Foot Tuck.
Reading about all that is pretty hork-inducing, but that doesn't mean that people aren't into it. Elective foot surgery for aesthetic reasons isn't just a California thing. They're choppin' off parts of toes from coast to coast!
Not all doctors are on board, though. As NYC-based, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan T. Deland tells the Times, "The most important thing about a foot is that is doesn't hurt you and you can function. If we're just talking about three-and-a-half-inch-heel stilettos that cause pain and if they wear a two-and-a-half-inch heel with no pain, then that's probably not a good reason to do surgery."
As for surgically padding the bottom of the foot, he has this to add:
"If there was an injection that really worked and that lasted, a lot of good doctors would be using it, because it's a common problem. The answer is, there is not. The patient should ask, 'Hey, doctor, can you give me the article or the reference that shows long-term follow-up for that procedure?' "
So maybe hold off on the non-pressing, aesthetic foot surgeries for now. I mean, it's your money to do whatever crazy shit you want with it, but it's important to keep this in mind — Birkenstocks are back in a big way. Embrace the comfort.
Image via Shutterstock.