Feet. Shoes. It’s bizarre how we feel we can judge a person’s personality on them. Somehow pictures of people’s feet clad in must-have footwear have become the most loved and double-clicked thing on Instagram. But how did this happen? #fromwhereistand – that’s how. Fashionistas all over the world use this now ostensibly ironic hashtag to demonstrate to their followers just how fashionable they are looking at a given moment. The question on my mind as I look at these photos is what if they still have on some gross pyjama top? The reality is of course that we can’t see their face. It’s stylishness kept below the belt, much to my own delight. I take my photographic cues from the more fashionable people out there. You know, the ones who get thousands of likes and comments on a photo of them in a pair of jeans and trainers. Yeah, those ones. If they’re taking pictures of their perfectly straight legs and often fairly garish shoes, sometimes with a drink in hand just to complete the image, then that’s what I’ll do. If they get loads of likes then I will too, right? And don’t ask “If they jumped off a cliff would you?” because I probably would. I find Instagram foot fashion a blessing. Think about those mornings when you may not have had time to either wash your hair or put on any make-up. Those facts can just remain a secret; your followers and friends will only see the chic image (from the waist down) that you want to portray. No one has to know.
On reflection, 2013 has been considered the year of the selfie, from the stuck-out tongue to the famous person at the shoulder. But this hashtag is creating a new category of selfie. This one has the same basic ethos, but withholds some information about you (the more reserved selfie, perhaps). The appeal comes from the fact that you can’t know who someone is by just looking at the bottom section of their body. Those brand new Nike trainers could belong to a runner, off for their morning jog. Or, thanks to Phoebe Philo at Celine, they could belong to a person simply on their way to work. Whether it’s used ironically or not, #fromwhereistand provides a platform for people to express their style with anonymity.
On one level it is exciting to see those likes going up (as sad as that may seem to some of you). On another, these photos taken from the waist down represent acceptance to many people. It allows them to be recognised as fashionable by the thousands of other Instagram users after they carefully arrange their coats and bags to get that perfect shot. The question for many will be, “How could anyone be sad enough to spend their time taking foot-selfies?” The answer to this some people will never completely understand. But every girl (and a great many men) will understand one part of this photo phenomenon – the shoes. In the end, this is what it comes down to: judging someone by the shoes they wear.
Boy or girl, young or old, shoes invariably embody your personality and the way that you feel. Your shoes can portray who you are, whether you’re someone who works a hard ten-hour shift, a sports fanatic, maybe a flirtatious madam, a fashion guru, or a man who just adores velvet tasseled loafers. For these people, a quick picture of your face can’t convey very much about you, especially if you’re not looking your best. So why not get out there and lead with your sole?