Jayne Dawson: Fat shaming is over, welcome to the foot fad

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Just when I thought there were no final frontiers left, I am proved wrong.

I’m not talking Mars - hugely exciting news though, about there possibly being water up there - I’m talking feet. For the longest time there has been an unspoken agreement between all of us to draw a veil over feet. Shoes have always been a big thing, a massive part of style and fashion, but not the feet inside them.



There was a time when size of feet was considered important - stop your sniggering, I’m talking about women. Small feet were the ideal, but I’m not exactly describing Chinese footbinding.

I’m thinking about the days when a girl preferred to take, say, a dainty size four, rather than a galumphing great size seven. It was about the time when a well turned ankle was considered a thing of beauty. In other words, a long time ago.

But all that faded.

Generally speaking, feet have more or less always been something you fitted into shoes and walked on. A bit like British teeth, they were functional.

And crikey, British teeth used to be very functional, didn’t they? Our dentists operated a yank-’em-out-or-fill-em-in policy. We who lived through the Seventies were lucky to emerge into our twenties with any teeth at all in our head, and those we had were stuffed with black amalgam, often put in there “just in case”.

Back then “a crowded mouth” was the worst thing you could possibly have, and any self- respecting dentist soon made sure it wasn’t crowded anymore. There was none of that brace-wearing nonsense, no giving in to vanity. If it couldn’t be removed with pliers then it was left to grow, in any direction it fancied.

Americans fainted at the sight of a British smile, but we didn’t judge. Our gnarled gnashers served their purpose in allowing us to chew our chip butties, and that. It was the same with feet.

When it came to teeth and feet, we were kinder tback then. Less judgmental.

Feet could grow any way they liked too. It didn’t matter if they looked like old tree roots. It didn’t matter if your toes pointed in surprising directions, if they were long and bumpy or short and fat. As long as they carried you along and were capable of being stuffed into a stiletto, they were considered sound as a pound.

Not now.

Soon we will long for those innocent, non-judgemental days.

Now if a woman has less than perfect feet she is expected to feel ashamed - and if she is any kind of a celebrity she can expect photographs to appear..

It started quietly, picking off the easy targets. Remember the premiership of Gordon Brown? He had a terrible time, didn’t he? And his wife Sarah wasn’t far behind, especially the day one national newspaper decided to show pictures of her bare feet as she visited a mosque.

Goodness, they filled some space with those life size pictures of her poor crossed-over toes.

Then there was that story about Nigella Lawson, not her stellar career, not even her divorce, but the one about her having her bunion removed. But foot shaming wasn’t the norm, not until very recently.

Now you can’t move for falling over stories about women and their ugly bunions.

Fat shaming is over, foot shaming is the way to judge women.

Victoria Beckham is legendary for her bunions but more names are being added to the list.

Amal Clooney featured recently along with Naomi Campbell, Christina Hendricks of Mad Men and former model Iman.

A beautiful face isn’t enough, an average face isn’t enough, the final frontier is feet and soon a pedicure to gloss over what nature provided will be not nearly enough.

There will be no drawing a veil over the bits that are ugly on everybody, that simply won’t do. To really make the grade you will have to embrace really quite drastic surgical options.

Start running now.

To my mind, Nadiya has already won

Will it be Nadiya who is crowned Queen of Bake Off tonight?

Well no, because that accolade could only ever go to Mary Berry, the nation’s bestest, kindest and most-loved domestic science teacher. But Nadiya has definitely been the brightest star of this year’s Bake Off, whatever the outcome.

I enjoyed Nadiya right from the off. She was great entertainment too, and I appreciated the way she declared she could start off baking a cake and it could turn into a meat pie halfway through, she just never knew - my kind of a cook.

Nadiya has gained a following based not just on her culinary expertise but on her facial expressions, which have become a joy to Bake Off fans.

No one can express fear, despair, stress and loathing quite like Nadiya while wrestling with puff pastry.

It was television at its best: tough and raw - a bit like her puff pastry.

But my favourite Nadiya moment wasn’t that. I realised I had fallen in love with her at the very instant she threatened to turn Paul into a powder.

I can’t really explain, you had to be there - but it was to do with an ingredient she sometimes experiments with that turns fats into powder. If you were there, at that great moment in Bake Off life, you will undoubtedly love this woman too. So a win for Nadiya tonight would be marvellous - but it doesn’t matter too much, because the mum from Leeds has stolen the show already.

TV show is not worth reviving...

The rumour is that the sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em could be heading back to our screens.

It was first aired 37 years ago and the two main actors are in talks about reviving it.

The show made stars of Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice, who have both had big careers.

But I really hope the rumour isn’t true.

Because Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was one of the most awful, witless shows ever shown.

The characters were the idiotic Frank Spencer and his feeble wife Betty.

The humour was “slapstick”, in other words not even remotely funny, and the plot involved Frank, who was childlike but not in a good way, getting himself in a stupid predicament while Betty wept and wailed.

It was terrible, tedious viewing, similar in style to the equally dire Mr Bean, starring Rowan Atkinson, which followed in later years.

If it is brought back to life - and it shouldn’t be - I will need plenty of notice , so that I can avoid ever accidentally encountering these two cringingly embarrassing characters in my living room.