Dr. Ragland in BUSTLE: In An Era Of Body Positivity & Inclusion, Ragland Weighs in on Why We Are Still Screwed Up About Feet
Back in February, Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish broke with tradition by donning matching fuzzy slippers on stage while announcing an award together at the Oscars. When Haddish cracked a joke about her designer shoes causing her pinky toe to fall off, the audience — and certainly plenty of people watching from their couches — erupted in knowing laughter. Seventy-three percent of women wear high heels, which means that most of us intimately understand Haddish’s pain. We’ve been there and suffered through it, too...
If there’s a body part women feel ashamed about, there’s likely a doctor who will try to fix it for them. Hence the rise in cosmetic foot surgeries, like The Cinderella Procedure, which shapes your foot to fit more comfortably in high heels, or The Perfect 10, which is a shortening of the toes. Dr. Yolanda Ragland, the founder of fixyourfeet.com, she said that she hadn’t come across anyone — doctor or patient — who would remove a toe or two to so that a foot would fit into a Manolo (she also wonders what doing so would mean during sandal season). But, she does have plenty of patients who come to her with cosmetic concerns about their feet, such as bunions and hammertoes, which she corrects with her signature “Tiara Toe” TM technique.
Ragland, whose medical mantra is to provide necessary surgery that also has a cosmetic result, notes that often the women who come to her are wearing ill-fitting shoes for a variety of reasons — including a general lack of knowledge about how much foot pain is normal.
“A lot of people are under the impression that it’s shoes that cause bunions and hammertoes,” she says — and sometimes that’s true. But more often, Ragland explains, too small shoes exacerbate a pre-existing problem, rather than being the root cause. Still, she estimates that ill-fitting footwear is the reason that patients walk into her office with foot issues about half the time.
“Shoes that are too small and constrict your toes can wind up giving people hammertoes or corns eventually,” Ragland says. “Down the line, it’s definitely going to be painful, and if you don’t like how your feet look, that’s going to require a repair.”