The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Scary Celebrity Feet: Victoria Beckham

Posted by on Friday, October 12th, 2012

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It’s the season when we like to scare ourselves a little bit.  Some scare themselves with horror movies, others with the amount of candy they manage to eat. With that in mind, I thought I’d show you something scarier than most horror movies, simply because it’s real: Victoria Beckham’s feet.

Yes, Beckham’s feet are so misshapen that Dr. Frankenstein would have rejected them as options for his monster (or the Bride–I’m sure lovely Elsa Lanchester got feet that were in pretty good condition).

So what happened? Well, Beckham, who started out as the lightly talented and somewhat disinterested Posh Spice of the Spice Girls in the ’90s, found her true calling as the wealthy wife of soccer star David Beckham. She and her husband became world famous for being famous–you know, showing up at all the hot places dressed fashionably, hanging out with movie stars, being on covers of magazines, things like that. (I know, David Beckham was a really big soccer star, and that’s how he got to be famous, but in the U.S. We Don’t Get Soccer, so to us they just seem like the classic “jet-setters”–best-known for being seen.)

A big part of the Victoria Beckham look–other than making a needle look fat–has always been towering stilettos. And therein lies the reason for the bunions that have made her feet such a mess.

We’ve talked a lot about bunions here, but let’s just have a refresher course. Bunions occur when your forefoot is squeezed or pressured on a regular basis. As your big toe is forced in towards your smaller toes, your first metatarsal, the bone that runs from your midfoot to the base of your big toe, moves outward. A bony bump forms at the base of the big toe joint; the bump an rub on the inside of your shoes, becoming red and painful.

I know, you’re wondering how that happens. There are several ways to get bunions, for example, genetics may make a person predisposed to them or a runner may have biomechanical flaws that cause them to develop. By far the most common cause, though, is the persistent wearing of super high heels, especially those with pointy or super small toe boxes.

Think about it–when you wear stilettos, your toes are bearing almost the entire weight of your body, putting an inordinate amount of pressure on your toes with each step you take. Add in shoes with toe boxes shaped in ways that don’t allow your toes to lie flat and natural and you’ve got foot disaster in the form of painful bunions.

What do you do about them? Well, if you look down and see that you have a tiny bump developing and your big toe just beginning to angle in, you need to take action immediately. You can’t get rid of what’s happened so far, but you can prevent them from getting worse. You should see a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine ( 212.996.1900 ) to discuss a form of treatment. You’ll likely be told to stop wearing excessively high heels and any shoes that squeeze your toes. Your podiatrist may also suggest that you try some non-surgical aids, such as yoga toes or bunion splints that can help keep your big toe from drifting further inward.

However, the non-surgical ship has sailed for someone with feet like Ms. Beckham’s. The only options she has at this point are to either live with the pain of bunions (and trust me, they hurt) or have surgery. Bunion surgery isn’t easy, though, as the recovery is typically long and often painful. That makes many people dread the surgery and put it off, but the bunions are just going to get worse and the recovery period, if you do eventually decide to have surgery, will also be harder. If Posh ever decides to have surgery for her bunions, it won’t be easy.

So that’s the ending of this scary story–minimize your use of stilettos, or you, too, may someday end up with Scary Feet–and that’s the kind of celebrity fashion look you don’t want to copy.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.