Toe liposuction – another example of what we do in pursuit of beauty

I must confess that I am not at the cutting edge of international beauty trends. So I was amazed to read, in a story in the NY Times about changes in Brazilian women’s views on body image, that liposuction on the toes was all the rage in that country this last summer. That’s right, toe liposuction.

I wanted to learn more about this, so I googled “toe liposuction.” Guess what, a desire to have beautiful toes is not limited to beauty conscious Brazilian women. Wendy Lewis, an independent cosmetic surgery consultant who works in the US and UK, says this about “the toe job”:

“Pretty, uniform, proportional toes are a must-have accessory among Jimmy Choo-wearing women.   Second and third toes that poke out beyond the big toe can be shortened, and crooked fourth and fifth toes can be straightened out. Cosmetic toe surgery involves making small incisions, cutting a piece of bone out of the joint and reattaching the tendon.”

Valerie Steele, the director of the museum at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology oversees a collection of 5,000 pair of shoes. She explains why women should go to such extremes to end up perfectly beautiful feet:

“Slip on the right pair of heels, she says, and you feel slimmer, more bosomy. Men will drool at the mere sight of you.”

Really? Well, this is coming from a woman who uses phrases like “toe cleavage” to describe the look of a foot wearing high-heeled stilettos.

The same article describes the practice of Dr. Suzanne Levine, a clinical podiatrist on Manhattan’s Upper East Side:

“She sculpts and plumps the feet of the well-heeled set. A $2,500 toe-shortening procedure helps some fit better into their pointy pumps. Others pay to have collagen injected into the base of their feet, to provide cushioning.”

Now, I am not against plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures. I’m a bit of an hedonist who believes it is ok for people to pursue things in life that make them feel better. Many women (and men for that matter) have benefited from cosmetic procedures, myself included. It is a very personal decision.

But plastic surgery on toes? So your feet look better in spike heels? Seems extreme to me. But then, it may be because I was born with a big toe that is longer than my second toe and, unlike other parts of me, my toes are not fat.