Pop Culture

Teacher shares the reason why Gen Z has a serious problem with people exposing their feet

They have a very specific generational trauma.

feet, gen z feet, gen z dogs

Gen Z TikTok users say #NoFreeFeet.

Every generation and culture has its own ever-evolving sense of modesty. Since the ‘60s, hemlines have come up and down and waistlines on women’s pants have ebbed and flowed as well, from a low in the early ‘70s to a high in the mid-2010s.

There’s a new fad amongst Gen Zers (ages 9 to 24); they are very modest about exposing their feet and toes. To older generations, this should seem like the height of modesty. However, they have a compelling reason for keeping their “dogs” covered.

(For those over the age of 25, dogs refer to feet.)

Educator Andrea, a popular TikTok teacher, broke the news about the latest trend in modesty in a post that received over 40,000 views. In the video, Andrea makes the case that younger kids are cautious about showing off their feet because they fear being fetishized.


#greenscreen I’ll still wear sandals but probs not to work 😅 #fyp #teachertok #teacherlife

“These kids have had mostly unfettered access to the internet, where foot fetishes have been explored,” she explained. With access to “sites like [FeetFinder] and being propositioned on the internet for pictures of their feet, they have trouble separating other people’s fetishes from the sight of feet.”

Andrea even pinpointed the crux of the generational trauma: iCarly’s creator, Dan Schneider, who was ousted from Nickelodeon in 2018 amid accusations of abuse. Schneider has faced allegations of having a foot fetish and having the young stars in his shows participate in scenes involving feet.

Schneider has called the allegations “ridiculous.”


Oh Dan, you can’t hide your obsession here #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #icarlyaffirmation #icarly #feet #greenscreen

The other side of the feet discussion are those in the #NoFreeFeet movement, who believe they shouldn’t give away the goods without receiving compensation. "Because we've grown up on the internet and understand how depraved people are in private. I'm all for kinks but there's entire websites dedicated to cropping close-ups of stranger's feet and sh*t. If you want it, you gotta buy it," a Reddit user wrote in a discussion on the topic.


no free feet


I can literally feel my pulse in my thighs #nofreefeet

It may seem to some that a generation's decision to cover their feet to avoid being unnecessarily sexualized seems a bit extreme. However, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, says that feet are one of the more popular body parts to be sexualized.

"In the case of feet, it’s more about the visual aspect for some, but for others it may be about sniffing, licking, or otherwise touching feet, including using them during sexual penetration," he told Men’s Health. "People may be interested in any combination of these activities, or any other activity in which feet are involved, including being stepped on or helping a partner take footwear on and off."

According to Lehmiller, the people who had fantasized about feet before can be broken down into different groups:

5% of heterosexual women

18% of heterosexual men

11% of lesbian and bisexual women

21% of gay and bisexual men.

The intense feelings that Gen Z has about showing their feet may seem funny on the surface. But it’s the symptom of a specific type of anxiety about showing up in public spaces where they may be leered at or exploited without knowing.

“I have encountered clients from Gen Z who have expressed concerns about their appearance and privacy in the online space,” LeMeita Smith, a Ph.D., told Huffington Post. “Young people today are acutely aware of the potential for exploitation and objectification. The fear of having their feet fetishized, and the subsequent reluctance to show their bare feet, could be attributed to their desire to protect their personal boundaries and maintain a sense of control over how they are perceived.”

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