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Foot Fetishism, otherwise known as Podophilia, refers to a pronounced sexual interest in feet. On the internet, this fetish has gained notoriety for being the subject of ironic memes and jokes. It is also a recurring theme in Ironic Doge Memes.
The concept of foot fetishism dates back to at least around 170–250 AD during the Roman imperial period, though it is likely to be much older. One of the earliest known instances of the fetish can be found in the erotic poems of Ancient Greek writer Philostratus, namely To a Barefoot Woman and To a Barefoot Boy. Another early recording of podophilia was documented by Bertold of Regensburg, a German preacher, around 1220 AD. According to George Gordon Coulton's book Life in the Middle Ages Bertold references the fetish in one of his writings from the early thirteenth century.
Online, foot fetishism is often associated with ironic memes. Images featuring foot fetishists usually involve said characters asking the reader for pictures of their feet. Jokes involving the fetish also can involve presenting it as a sort of taboo, like with the original image for Acquired Tastes (see related memes below).
On November 9th, 2006, Urban Dictionary user curiousity added the definition for "foot fetish" as "A sexual attraction to usually women's feet." The definition (seen below) accumulated over 1,000 likes in roughly 14 years.
There also exists an actual online community revolving around this fetish, with specialized artists, and several public image boards. Some fictional characters are a recurrent source of inspiration for foot-fetish fan art, especially those who have a habit of walking around barefoot. Such characters include Bea from Pokémon, Corrin from Fire Emblem and Toph Beifong from Avatar: The Last Airbender, to name a few.
The Feet Pics, Darling
The Feet Pics, Darling is a copypasta used as a caption to characters creepily smiling, as if they were addressing someone they had a financially based sexual relationship with and were demanding pictures of that person's feet (shown below). Along with the spread of this line during 2018, it seemingly influenced the Ironic Doge Memes around December of the same year, to the point when foot fetish became a recurring gag in Doge's characterization.
Acquired Tastes, also known as Boobs-Ass-Feet, is a four-panel exploitable webcomic by artist StoneToss in which two men, dressed in T-shirts labeled "Boobs" and "Ass," reluctantly shake hands and throw a disgusted look at the third man, hideously disfigured, drooling and dressed in a shirt labeled "Feet." Since February 2019, the comic (seen below) has been circulated as a "Things I Don't Like" exploitable.
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino, as well as its spoonerisms, such as "Tarantined and Quented by Writtin Directino," are lines used as an ironic reaction to various media which display feet (shown below). This usual reference to Quentin Tarantino is derived from the director's own foot fetish, which is often displayed in an obvious manner thorough his filmography.
Dan Schneider's Nickelodeon Scandals
Dan Schneider is an ex-author for Nickelodeon sitcoms who was fired from the company on March 26th, 2018, as a result of a number of sexually connoted scandals, including many related to his foot fetish. Most notably, on September 13th, 2013, he published a message on the official Twitter account of the series Sam and Cat, encouraging its fans to tweet photos of their feet with dedicated messages. This viral marketing campaign, allegedly, was a ruse to supply his own foot picture collection.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fake Nudes
Ocasio-Cortez fake nudes refers to an image displaying the lower body of a woman in a bathtub, which was uploaded on the /r/drama subreddit on January 5th, 2019. Three days later, a Reddit user, who happened to be a member of the imageboard Wikifeet, debunked the photo by claiming the toes of the woman in the picture didn't match Ocasio-Cortez's toes from official photographs. The outcry caused by this alleged attempt at ruining Ocasio-Cortez's public image was partly overshadowed by the oddity of the whole event.