Despite the Warm Weather, Don’t Wear Flip Flops!

April 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

flipflopsjpgLast Saturday, as I danced wildly to the house music sounds at the Roxy in New York, some guy scolded me because I accidentally stepped on his foot. “Watch what you’re doing, bro!” he shouted angrily. Ordinarily, I show others at least a teensy bit of kindness. But this time, instead of apologizing to the sweat-covered monkey about stepping on his foot, I shouted back the following:

“YOU SHOULDN’T BE WEARING FLIP-FLOPS ON THE DANCE FLOOR!”

No matter how pretty you think they are, and no matter how many pedicures you have had to improve their beauty, your feet are not accessories and need not be shown to the public.

Flip-Flop wearing is a peculiar phenomenon. I understand that feet can easily overheat. And sometimes, you just want to let the dogs out. But you know what? Your ass can get hot, too. But unless you’re in some kind of nudist colony, you rarely see people walking around, naked assed, trying to cool off.

My fashionable best friend Aymar, queen of the fashionistos, agrees: “You know what? Sometimes my ass does get hot. And it’s true, I do keep it concealed as often as possible. Well, unless I’m having sex. Which is never.”

Though wearing flip-flops in public is unfashionable under all circumstances, let me introduce you to the two greatest fashion faux-my god’s of all time: a) wearing shorts, a sweatshirt and flip-flops all at once and b) wearing pants, a sweatshirt and flip-flops all at once. For every five people I see wearing flip-flops in public, especially now that it is getting cooler, a small piece of me dies. Just today I counted several different people on campus wearing flip-flops, which means that I am writing this column posthumously.

And we all know that there will be that group of people in December, January and February who’ll still be doing a and b. If you’re guilty of this, I have to tell you that you look fashion dyslexic. Dyslexic people can have trouble deciphering between “b’s” and “d’s”. For the fashion dyslexic, it’s like not quite knowing which season is which. They wear fur in the summer and daisy dukes in the winter.

“Well, my upper body is freezing but my feet and legs are boiling hot!”, cries the fashion dyslexic.
If you sympathize with the fashion dyslexic, why shouldn’t you wear flip-flops?

“Oh my god, what is this guy talking about?!? Flip-flops are sooo comfy! And like, some flip-flops are really high quality! I have so many of them in so many colors. Plus, they match with everything! You just put ‘em on and go!”

To start, they are unfashionable. Don’t let the Gap fool you. No matter how you flip it, there can be nothing fashionable about a flat piece of foam with a thong on top. They are not fashionable because they are functional, and fashion is not supposed to be functional. You wear the flip-flops to the grocery store, to the Laundromat, and to the bathroom if you live in the dorms. Think about it this way: would you wear those $500 Jimmy Choo’s to the shower? Would you use that new pair of oversized Gucci glasses as a bookmark for your chemistry book?

Secondly, though flip-flops can be comfortable, mostly because your feet can breath, no thanks to the flip-flop itself, they are bad for your feet. They do not give your dogs any arch support, and your feet just slap the ground all day long. Try banging your hands on the concrete 8,000 times a day to get a sense of what your feet feel. Besides, if you just wanted your feet to breath, why not just walk around barefoot?

Lastly, flip-flop wearing is unhealthy—I bet all of you know at least one person with flip-flops so old they’re either almost totally worn down or completely brown on the inside. What if an anvil falls out of the sky and onto your foot? What if you step in dog shit? Flip-flops are meant for the beach, the home, but not for public. Wearing flip-flops 100% of the time is a question of laziness. As if the flip-flop wearer thought her or himself too busy and important to bother to put on a sock, to tie a shoe.

“I have plenty of time to change my Facebook status every hour on the hour, but putting on a sock and shoes in the morning? No.”

I came to Yale from the University of Michigan, which, unsurprisingly enough, is not the most fashionable place on the planet. With Yale being closer to New York City, I thought that my days of Birkenstocks, flip-flops, flannel and bad fashion were over. While I admit that the fashion culture here is much more lively, this flip-flop thing has got to stop. Come on. It’s Yale—you’re either rich or on financial aid. Go buy a pair of real shoes!

I, for one, am not the richest person in the world. I grew up poor and I’m still poor, but at least I know how to put myself together. A good pair of shoes can last at least a year—my favorite pair of brown pointy boots lasted two years before they bit the dust. And that was some of the best $150 dollars I’d ever spent. Boots never go out of style, and can be surprisingly comfortable. Flip-flops, on the other hand, can have a short shelf life and are just bad for you. Especially if you’re still wearing them in the dead of winter!

Most people have heard of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, that is responsible for attacking people like Beyoncé Knowles and Anna Wintour with paint or blood for wearing animal fur. I motion to start a similar association, called FETA—Feet Exposed (are) TAcky. FETA. And in my association, we randomly pour not blood or paint but sand on the feet of people who wear flip-flops in public, as a subtle reminder that we are not on the damn beach.
So forget your next Organic Chemistry exam. All you need to know to succeed in life is the following formula: sand/water + heat = flip-flops.

Otherwise, if there ain’t a beach or a body of water within a stones throw, just say NO that flop!

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