May 13, 2009

No Shoes, No Service?!

I had to go to a mall today. (As a rule, I try to avoid such places but it couldn't be helped today.) Of course, I wore a pair of VFFs. If I have to go to crowded places, I like to at least have happy feet.

Anyway, as I walked in the front door, I noticed a lot of little symbols at the bottom of the door on the glass. What caught my attention today was the following symbol at the end of a long row of other symbols:

I was completely taken aback upon seeing that little symbol! My first thought was: What's wrong with barefeet?! Additional thoughts included: Are barefeet too dirty for this mall? Are barefeet too unsanitary for this mall? Are barefeet not fashionable enough for this mall? Are barefeet not allowed because of some liability issue? What if I step in something wet and leave barefoot foot prints behind me? Is mall security going to follow those foot prints in order to throw out the customer without shoes?

I can understand some of the other symbols in that row, including:

I can understand not allowing smoking, dogs (much to my dismay, I'd love to take my furry family into the mall with me), and bikes into a mall. All of the above can harm other people. I don't think barefeet has ever harmed any person but the person without shoes (except maybe transmissible plantar's warts but one would think that such an afflicted individual would wear socks).

I think that I was insulted by that symbol on the door. Going barefoot is a perfectly healthy way to walk, run, shop, etc. Maybe I'll send the mall management company an email asking why barefeet are not allowed in their establishment...

I guess until the rest of the world sees barefeet as beautiful, we'll have to deal with barefoot alternative shoes...while shopping at least.