I'd Like You to Put Your Flip Flops in the Trash Where They Belong
This needs to stop.
BY Christine Flammia | Jun 29, 2017 | Fashion
I wore flip-flops once. It was in eighth grade, on our end-of-year trip to Hersheypark where I wore a black tube top, denim underwear, and spawn-of-Satan flip-flops. They were the Tory Burch ones I lusted after for months, saving up my babysitting cash to cop. I said screw sunscreen, bringing only my rip-off Ray-Bans and my light pink Razr. One hour into our trip, I had four bleeding parts to my feet, each at the spot where the strap connected to the sole ("sole") of the flop. I wasn't afraid. I kept going. A half hour later, as I stepped into my seat on Storm Runner, the strap snapped off, rendering me shoeless.
"Oh my god," I said. "Fuck these shoes."
Fuck those shoes was right, eighth grade me. Although admittedly embarrassed to say I didn't know better before 13, it took a total of one day for me to realise these are the worst shoes on the face of the planet. Why don't other people understand this?
When I see flip-flops, I see myself, throwing my lone shoe into the fountain at Hersheypark, spending the day in grail-worthy Reese's slippers instead. When I see flip-flops, I see beer-bellied dads with un-ironic cargo shorts and wraparound sunglasses barbecuing processed meats in the backyard. I see my dorm-mates, trudging to the communal showers, their flip-flops the only line of defence against the fungus crawling between the floor tiles. I see bleeding feet and unclipped toenails and thick, black toe hairs. When I stare at flip-flops, I am really staring into the abyss. (If I look long enough, and will the flip-flops stare back?)
Think of it this way: Are you really telling me that when you wear flip-flops, you like the way you feel? Do you honest-to-god enjoy the strappy tan lines they give your feet, or the way your soles turn black with dust and dirt and faecal matter when you walk? Do you like the unsupportive base, and how it forces your foot to flirt with its plantar fasciitis? Do you like waking up in the middle of the night with foot cramps, your feet literally begging you to stop wearing the shoes that destroy both your muscle fibres and any chance at being stylish?
"But what about Rainbows?" a friend asked me. "Those aren't so bad, are they?"
Oh, friend. Poor friend. Have you not learned? Leather flip-flops are better, sure. But that does not make them good. There are two exceptions to my rule of no flip-flops, and only one of them can maybe involve Rainbows. Here they are: You may wear flip-flops on the beach and in a communal shower.
On the beach is a specific distinction: It's not to the beach, it's not at the beach—it is physically, feet-on-sand, body-in-swimsuit on the beach. Wear flip-flops, wear a Speedo, wear nothing, I don't care. It's the beach, and I'm not here to judge your relaxation preferences. Just your style ones. As for the communal shower, not even I am delusional enough to think that athlete's foot and plantar warts are worth sticking to my stylistic guns. So keep your flip-flops for the shower. The rest of them can go to hell.