The close-up of Kate Middleton’s feet seen round the world. (Photo: Getty Images)
Since arriving in India this week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have honored victims of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, met with charities dedicated to homeless children and wildlife rescue, attended a Bollywood gala to raise funds for said charities, paid their respects to fallen soldiers of World War I, spent time with their (self-dubbed, 93-year-old) No. 1 fan, played cricket with national champions, and honored the late Mahatma Gandhi by visiting a museum dedicated to his legacy.
And what’s been the biggest buzz regarding all that do-gooding this week? The “tortured” state of Kate Middleton’s feet as she strode across the lawn at the Gandhi museum, naturally.
“Not only were Kate’s poor, tired toes left unpolished, her feet also showed major signs of intense issues stemming from wearing high-heels too much. Talk about wear and tear!” noted a story in Hollywood Life, which continued with some judgment thinly disguised as concern. “But honestly it’s no surprise that Kate left her toes natural, as the Duchess is known to favor an understated look. She only wears neutral shades on her fingernails, for example. What really has us worried though is how she treats her feet and often opts for painful footwear over practical.”
Middleton, with exposed feet (apparently in nude hose), with Prince William, wearing socks. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, noted that while the duchess “packed 15 outfits carefully chosen” for her India and Bhutan trip, what she “neglected was to get a pedicure.” The tabloid also trotted out podiatrists to conclude that Middleton has corns, clawed toes, bunions, and fallen arches.
One doctor was on her for wearing heels, suggesting, “Perhaps it’s a necessity of the job, but wearing lower heels with a softer upper and stiff sole to absorb dorsal forces would be an appropriate shoe choice,” while another warned about what appears to be an enlargement of Middleton’s big-toe joint, which “often leads to thickening at this joint which is clearly visible, and often leads to arthritis.” (Prince William’s feet, by the way, remained safely ensconced in black socks.)
Earlier in the week, as Middleton attended a garden party to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday in New Delhi, she was asked about her ability to keep her figure and smile so often.
Seriously, people: Is it the 1950s?
Perhaps the only hint that it is indeed the ’10s is Twitter, and the many annoyed responses to the foot scrutiny that can be found there.
Heaven forbid Kate Middleton had no nail polish on her toes… People need to chill out, it’s not like we all always have painted toes 🙄👋🏽
— Alex (@TheLippieLady) April 13, 2016
‘Kate Middleton’s toes were not painted’. Are these ppl not embarrassed when typing such words? Wasting their Journalism degree!
— V (@VaanarMukhi) April 13, 2016
Glad @TheSun are covering the state of Kate Middleton’s toes on her visit to India. I’ve often wondered if she needs a pedicure.
— Ry (@TemporaryMental) April 12, 2016
Can’t believe they’ve gone and done a whole article on Kate Middleton’s toes https://t.co/F747nBjXPs
— Anna (@annafranfreer) April 11, 2016
The Representation Project, which aims to overcome limiting gender stereotypes, beautifully stated the obvious about the situation. “This is yet another example of the media reducing women to their youth, beauty, and sexuality while sidelining their capacity to lead,” Cristina Escobar, the project’s communications director, tells Yahoo Beauty. “We need to spend more attention on women’s accomplishments and less on their appearance. The story here should be about the humanitarian work the Duchess of Cambridge is accomplishing in India, not what her feet look like.”