Celebrating celebrity bunions

Celebrity bunions are endlessly intriguing. It's because they're a physical symbol of the link between pain and fashion; a small but crucial (and excruciating) sign of deformity on an otherwise 'flawless' star.

Victoria Beckham made headlines a couple of weeks ago, because she was (gasp!) seen wearing these ballet flats instead of her usual towering heels:


Her rep denied that her shock change of footwear had anything to do with her well-documented bunion problem and that the flat shoes were a fashion choice, but critics begged to differ and brought out the usual fascinating pictures of her hideously mashed-up feet.

So then, to prove to the world that she is amazing/stupid/impervious to pain, she showed up a day or two ago in these:

Shopping stop: Victoria Beckham pictured inside designer store Antonia's in Milan

Now, I know some of you may have no idea what bunions even are. Whenever I used to hear people talk about them, I thought they were something only old ladies got. Men never seemed to get them, and in my mind, the word went along with other geriatric diseases, all those ones that humans get as their bodies prepare to depart this world. There is something squelchy and disgusting about the word 'bunion'.

Then I found out in my early twenties that I had developed them too, and I understood that—despite the atrociousness of the word—they are just a bit of bone that protrudes out of the side of your foot and makes your big toe grow inwards in a painful fashion. And they hurt. A lot.

They are also known as hallux valgus. Now, I am no podiatric surgeon, but hallux valgus sounds hellish and vulgar, and I know first-hand that it is. So do Iman, Oprah, Tilda Swinton and Brooke Shields, among others—they're all well-known for suffering from bunions, too.

I admit that if they get to this stage (do NOT click on that if you're squeamish), your bunion problem has become pretty Kafkaesque. But otherwise, today I'd like to tell you that they are sort of a fact of life for anyone who has ever has worn ridiculous, ill-fitting and thus probably incredible shoes on a semi-regular basis in their youth. Apparently a hereditary curse factor comes into it too, so you can also blame your parents if you like, but you can generally only get bunions if you are AMAZING. That's how I like to look at it.

I've actually noticed a burgeoning 'bunion esteem' movement happening in celebrity-land, which is a welcome change from the usual: 'OMG, look at her feet they're HIDEOUS!' response that usually accompanies any photo of any star who happens to be wearing sandals. Kelly Osbourne recently came out about her bunions, saying she developed them at 16. 'It annoys me if people think they're gross,' she says. 'They're common and quite normal.'

So now that we all feel better about our bunions (well I do, anyway), let's all go and buy a nice comfortable pair of Homy-Peds and reminisce about how magnificent our footwear used to be. Oh, and let's find out whose mystery feet they are!

And it's PJ Harvey jumping on a jumping castle in her clip for 'Black Hearted Love'! Wow! The world's greatest rock singer has bunions?! Who would have thunk it! So they must be okay!

I can't believe I just spent an entire post writing about bunions, by the way.

Next week: World Peace.

profile of LoreleiVashti

2 comments so far..

  • Cal's avatar
    Date and time
    Wednesday 10 Feb 2010 - 5:20 PM
    Good God, you have made me SO paranoid.
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  • yunbond's avatar
    Date and time
    Wednesday 10 Feb 2010 - 6:09 PM
    ME TOO. I'm dubbing it "bunionoid" - patent pending.
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