Friday, January 17, 2014

Bare Feet As A Trope in Media

   While searching the internet I cam across a website that tells of the different archetypes and tropes in TV, movies, cartoons, anime, manga, comics, video games, etc. and I came across one meant for characters who don't like to wear shoes. The sample picture for this trope I found on the main page was this:

   Was not disappointed with the example picture. I blew the picture up a bit in Photoshop but I hope the quality is still acceptable. Anyways, the article I found is here alongside some scenarios for this type of character and what types of characters often have this trope. It claims that stuff fetishists are after are exaggerated in which there is virtually no good reason for the character to be barefoot and if they even just enjoy it indoors then its just being downplayed. And to justify it, the person has to have unattractive feet or be like a gypsy or jungle girl to not like shoes. This is why I don not like wiki type sites; most of the time they are speaking in absolute bullshit.

   Alright, be honest, does your own pleasure of being barefoot when you can seem like a trope? No. Does a character always have to cartoonish clown feet to be barefoot? If you look at Toph or Morgiana no. Though Toph and Morgiana both fall under the justification line in the playing with box, I say there is nothing wrong with a female character simply enjoying being barefoot.  If she wants to kick her shoes off the first chance she gets like in the sample picture then good for her, she's just being her own person. The scenarios this page listed for justified excuses for making a female barefoot and/or providing close ups on her feet are total bullshit. What does that say about all the tomboys we've brought up on here? Is it exaggerated when they don't want to wear shoes just for the sake of being comfortable indoors and out? What if a woman grew up in the country down  south where it was always warm and there were plenty of places to be barefoot? Shouldn't she be free to as an adult to be barefoot and feel the grass beneath her feet to remind herself of the younger years? I've known plenty of girls my age and women older than me who are exactly like that; they learned to enjoy being barefoot when they were young and are more than willing to barefoot when they can be. That's not exaggeration at all.

   Sorry for sounding so fired up, but I hate to see people make something as innocent as being barefoot seem like its wrong in any sort of media format. With all that being said, let's hear what you guys have to say after seeing this. If you were to make a female character who enjoys being barefoot, what would your reasons be to justify it I'll put in my own ideas after I hear some of what you guys have to say.


  1. Ah yes love that website =D, it's interesting to see all the stuff =D
    Anyway I'd say my justification would be she hates being confined in tight spaces and shoes give her feet that feeling. Or her being a martial artist and practices a lot.

  2. Ah, interesting topic. :) I'm a regular on TV Tropes and I check up on the Does Not Like Shoes and Handy Feet pages frequently. Sadly, they used to have a trope page specifically for what we do on this blog called Foot Focus, but it was deemed too vague and fetishy so they closed it down. :\

    Anyway, I've got several barefoot characters in my comics and stories and each one has their own reason for it. One has special skin on her hands and feet that work like a gecko, allowing her to climb up walls; she's also a lazy tomboy and sees shoes as a waste of time since she's barefoot while on the job anyway. One is wild and insane, and being barefoot is symbolic of her untamed personality. One is a recovering werewolf who is barefoot as a symbol of freedom and a connection with nature, as well has having retractable claws on her toes. One is physically incapable of using her hands and so she's had to manage by using her feet in place of hands. And finally, another character is a Franciscan nun, and it was an old tradition of Franciscans when leaving behind earthly treasures and desires to leave behind shoes as well, going barefoot as a sign of humility. I could list a lot more but then I'd be here all day. XD

    So I have at least one barefoot girl in everything I do. Is it playing to my fetish? Of course, but I always have a psychological or cultural reason for it. :)

  3. :-) Nice post Heretichero. I regularly read TV troupes and check this troupe often too. I think in terms of reasoning being barefoot is a great way to be in touch with nature. It allows for extra sensations as people can feel the ground beneath them. For women in particular footwear can be restrictive (ex heels ^_^;), there is probably a lot of freedom in going barefoot. :-)

  4. The Foot Focus page is still available at the Tropes Mirror Wiki:

    1. O_O Thanks for the link to the mirror Mark. ^_^