Be Honest: Are You Obsessed With a Random Body Part?

For example, I have this thing with feet.


I wouldn’t exactly say I have a foot fetish because nothing about toes turns me on. Nothing about anyone’s feet gets me going, if we’re being honest — which we are, because this is my big Honesty Month “confession,” but my interest in feet does border awfully close to obsessed. I stare at everyone’s feet, all the time, in shoes and out of shoes, socked and not socked. By “everyone’s” I mean my fellow women’s. Men, get yours all the way away from me with your long-ass nails. Super gross.

My thing with feet, my need to study what they look like, is centered around the shape of my own. Forever and ever, I have had bunions, which have only gotten knobbier and crankier with time.

People love to point them out to me as though I’ve never noticed. I repay them by detailing my my mother’s pregnancy, how I flipped over in her stomach and sat on my feet as a womb-baby, thus misshaping them forever. This makes people very sympathetic, which I like, so I leave out the time a podiatrist told me my bunions are genetic.

Whatever. The point is that my feet do not please the eye, which is fine — they’re fine! I’m lucky they exist, work and tolerate all that they do — but I don’t think they’re very attractive. Worse than that, they make certain shoes look bad. Ballet flats never look dainty on my feet. They look like sheets tangled around a squirming sleeper. Penny loafers look like dark brown croissants on me. Some heels are designed in such a way that, if any fabric cuts right at the bend between bunion and toe, it looks like two little boner chubs poking out. It’s as unfortunate as that sentence, I’m sorry to report.

My bunions have caused enough friction to burn holes in sneakers, boots, mules. They have made it impossible to wear certain sandals without cutting off the circulation to my toes. When people are like, “Oh, I just slipped these things on,” I’m like, “Oh, I JUST JAMMED MY WALKABLE BONES INTO CASKETS AND SUPPRESSED SCREAMS.”

But enough about me, this is about other people’s feet (other women’s feet), and how much I can’t stop admiring them. What I see when I stare at your flippers on the subway, if you catch me, are the feet I could possibly have in another life. I’m imagining if yours match those of Connie Britton if she were to play the cinematic version of me in a movie. I’m likely wondering what it would be like to wear flats without feeling like I’m tap dancing in pastries. In other words, I’m fantasizing, for sure, but not like that you creep.

In the name of honesty, and avoiding work on a Friday, want to join my strange train of thought and tell me in the comments section the body part of other people you admire from afar?

If it helps to get your brain jogging, I am also into staring at: hands, jaws, nails and hairlines. Oh my god, don’t get me started.

Photo by Patrick Demarchelier/Conde Nast/Contour Style by Getty Images.

Get more Pop Culture ?
  • Iza

    I have some sturdy old-country style ankles/calves. The kind very useful if you need to haul water up hill both ways for your mules. As a result, I am constantly admiring others’ lower legs.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i love your description of your legs. you should thank them for this ability!!

    • Kiks

      I have a sturdy old-country “German farm girl” body. Like literally I am 6’1 and I have hips and thighs and an ass. In my 20s I starved myself down to 135lb (which isn’t even that crazy low) and I was just bones sticking out everywhere. I wasn’t meant to be tiny. My genes don’t allow it. I have finally accepted this.

  • Lovisa

    LEGS. Legs, legs, legs. Since puberty, I have been very unfair towards my own legs because of their sturdiness (we’re talking above average girth from thigh to cankle), but I’ve sort of embraced them now. Be that as it may, I still can’t help staring at people with shapely, dainty, skinny legs. Not with the same envy as before, but with heaps of awe.

    • Alice

      I’m that creep who watches sports on TV and gets excited when professional athletes have thighs that round at the top inside like mine.
      Mine are ok below the knee but my thighs, they’re only appreciated by my grandma.

      • theysayshycity

        Watching women’s soccer does something for me, like…..spiritually. They’re strong as hell, but they’re generally not skinny, and they’re amazing! And for a minute I feel better about myself too

        • gracesface

          Totally watched that a women’s soccer documentary for this very reason!

        • Alice

          I live in Europe so for me football is super banal and not impressive ahah.Give me some gymnasts, ice skaters or pole jumpers and I’ll be amazed by their skills! Also love watching judo, strong women and no opportunities for me to be a creep!

    • Adrianna

      Same here. I dunno what it says about the world that I became focused on my thighs being bigger than the girl’s next to me at age 7.

      But the main part of my legs that I still dislike at age 28 is the inner sides of my knees. People who develop fat on that part of their body know what I’m talking about. It’s not even the size, but that it’s not a smooth “line” along my legs

    • Amelia Diamond

      i like thinking of awe rather than envy. i once read this ny times article about how the more often we experience aw, the more likely we are to be kind and empathetic

      • Lovisa

        Yes, it just feels kinder, doesn’t it? I’ve come to realize that being envious of someone else’s body just tarnishes my confidence in my own. It’s better to just think ”Wow, that person is gorgeous. I’m so lucky I get to see such a gorgeous being.”

    • Same! except with calves specifically. So weird. I have sturdy, athletic legs and I think my calves are strangely shaped. I don’t have cankles, but my calf muscles stretch a little further down my legs than most, so I always thought they were cankles growing up. Now I’m always looking at men’s and women’s lower legs.

  • Hayley

    I too have weird feet – I have bunions on both feet, but the real kicker is that on my right foot, the toe next to my pinky toe is shorter and set back further than my other toes, so any “toe cleavage” producing shoes look absurd on me because my whole mini toe is just hanging outside of the shoe.

    • Amelia Diamond

      that photo is NOT OF MY FEET good god if those were my feet i’d start a nude account for them

      • Hayley

        Oh please I stalked your Instagram to determine that your feet are nicer than mine!

        • Bo

          This is a pickup line

      • jinap

        I’m late to the party, but what are the shoes in the main picture above? They’re fantastic!

  • Lauren

    Backs! I have scoliosis and although it isn’t noticeable to anyone other than me, I always stare at women with smooth, flat backs………..NOT CREEPY THO

    • streats

      Backs are dope. I think I have a nice back and used to wear backless things quite often. I’m a wimp now and get too cold.

    • OMG I have scoliosis and got spinal fusion surgery about a year and a half ago to correct it! New favorite (also NOT CREEPY) thing to do: scout for women with scoliosis surgery scars. I think they’re so awesome and I love mine!!!

      • Alice

        I have scoliosis but have never had surgery but the scars look super cool. I once saw a girl with an elegant back revealing black dress and a thin scar along her spine and it was so cool and elegant. Hope your surgery gave you a less painful life!

      • Lauren

        Did you have pain before/is it better now after surgery? I’m considering it!

        • I fortunately was not in much pain before the surgery–the main reason I decided to get it was because doctors said that it would get worse and cause me pain in the future if I didn’t correct it. My curve went from about 64 degrees to 12 degrees, and there’s definitely a noticeable physical change. In my experience, the pain of recovery was worth the result!!

      • Emily

        I had the surgery and have the scar – rarely does anyone notice it though! i have to actually point it out to them. people do comment on my good posture though 😉

    • Katie

      Same here! I had scoliosis from when I was 12 (now 22). I had spinal fusion surgery 2 years ago and as a result can’t bend my back (but it’s such a non-problem compared to the pain I had pre-surgery) so it looks like I’m always trying to have good posture. So now I sometimes notice people with a perfect posture and wonder if they had the same surgery – it’s so random

  • streats

    Clavicle/collarbone. Something about them is so elegant to me. If I want to feel sexy that’s what I reveal these days as opposed to legs or anything else. On other people too I find them fascinating and alluring. I think it’s the symmetry but also the way they’re kinda like antlers and that to me is very regal or strong or something. Also, good toned arms; it’s not necessarily a sexy thing (but on a person who’s otherwise sexy to me, that subtle muscle definition definitely adds bonus points). There again I think it’s the symmetry and strength.

    • Jessica

      OMG they are so like antlers!

    • Amelia Diamond

      i love clavs too and they ARE LIKE ANTLERS

    • Senka

      Me too! And upper back. Much better, more mature version of sexiness than plain old cleavage or donning minnie. Ankles can be super sexy too, especially if seen peeking from cropped pants or longer midi skirt.

  • Eliza

    Ugh, jawlines. I am obsessed with other people’s sharp, perfect, angular, jawlines.

  • Andrea Raymer

    I always look at peoples knees! mine collapse inward from an injury and hate the way it looks when I walk. I am sure conscious of my walking because I try to train my muscles not to do that. I always notice if someone else has the same issue.

    also shoulders/upper arms. I tell people that I have wide shoulders making it difficult to find jackets that fit. that is a lie. my shoulders aren’t that wide, I just have fat upper arms. They look very rounded and sloped and I hate it. I always notice everyone else’s

    • Amelia Diamond

      when you wore that blazer to do your hamilton rap i thought that jacket was BEAUTIFUL ON YOU

  • theysayshycity

    Shoulders and traps. I started lifting and I can’t un-see them on other people. Weird thing here is that I actually really LIKE mine, it’s like I’m looking for validation that I’m allowed to like them (yes, I realize I’m part of the problem).

    • Divya

      SAME! haha you are not alone

      • Clara

        Me too! How do you accentuate your shoulders when not at the gym? I don’t have much of a natural waist and small boobs and always think it’s kind of hard to make sculpted shoulders look good when not in gymwear. Do you think halter tops might be the solution?

  • Amelia

    FOREARMS. don’t ask me why- I really don’t understand it myself.

    • Senka

      They are kind of pretty when they are pretty, so I get it. 🙂

  • Caitlin Crow

    Oh god, yes–hairlines fo’ sho’, particularly at the temple. Also upper arms, jawlines, skin texture, and teeth. Insecure about all 5. (ugh)

    • eizhowa

      The things I obsess the most about in others are reflected by my own body hangups as all! I think it is very common, actually..

  • eizhowa

    Ears with no earlobes, thin ankles & good knees, crooked boney noses (on both genders), the gap between the eyes (if that counts). And teeth with personality, like a hint of canine teeth 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond

      i loveeee canine teeth! my friend has fangs and i call them her sexy teeth

    • Julie Rogers

      WOW I have canine teeth and always thought I should’ve had braces. I’ve never thought of them as teeth with personality!

    • Bo

      I have teeth which slope inwards very slightly like Lindsay Lohan or David Bowie. Is that a thing? Whenever I see other people with a similar dental trait I struggle desperately to formulate a way of asking if we should start a cult together

      • eizhowa

        I like teeth like that as well 🙂 I believe Kate Moss has a few teeth that point inwards as well.

  • Abi Newhouse Vaughn

    Calves. I always look at calves because I’m so weird about my own. And thighs. So legs in general. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked mine, and I think that’s why I look at other’s legs? Why do we do this?

  • Caroline Fallon

    “Some heels are designed in such a way that, if any fabric cuts right at the bend between bunion and toe, it looks like two little boner chubs poking out.” – I am laughing out loud

  • Haley Nahman

    Ankles and ears!!!!

  • Ashley

    Upper arms. Sometimes, I cannot buy a top that otherwise fits because it does not fit over my over-sized upper arms. Not to mention my occasional KP up there. How are some people given smooth, thin upper arms? Also, why am I so weird?

    • Bo

      glad somebody in this comment section mentioned KP, which incidentally can go to hell

    • Senka

      I have the same problem, upper arms I simply can’t make peace with. But I’m working on it. I don’t love them, but if it’s hot I’ll wear spaghetti straps top or dress, because life is too short. I envy women who are otherwise bigger than me on their skinny slender upper arms.

  • sam

    hands for SURE as a direct result of my hands being really gross and fat knuckled.

  • Jennifer

    Amelia, have you been reading my diary?! I’m the same with women’s feet! I admire them bc mine are not so cute either. Oh well, like you said, they work just fine, take me where I need to go and can out run and out dance my friends with cuter feets. I also pay attention to calves, perky full breasts, nostrils and thumbs!

    • Amelia Diamond

      just ur brain

  • Jazmine Diaz

    Oh my goshh….Fingers! I am obsessed with long and thin fingers with slightly oversized knuckles (think salad fingers #rustyspoons) with long nail beds without fake nails of course. Also same with skinny wrists and collarbones, to which i blame my sister for having both. Watches and bracelets just don’t look as nice if they do not dangle a bit. And of course jaw and necklines a la Keira Knightley, like how could you not!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      KK’s neck, man.

    • rien de rien

      I’m so with you here. Graceful hands, defined jawlines, and necks all the way. (+1 for the salad fingers reference, too.)
      I also love scouting out good noses. I don’t mean a cute, delicate, or even necessarily attractive nose. But a really good, strong, distinctive nose with some character. Think Adrien Brody or Patti Smith.

      • Sugar Bones

        Patti Smith’s nose is a true icon.

      • Senka

        Biggish noses are sexy. In my humble opinion.

    • Kiks

      I was blessed with perfect long oval nail beds, people comment on them all the time. I rarely wear nail polish but when I do I cannot stop staring at my hands.

    • Robin

      keira flipping knightley….

    • Senka

      Skinny long neck is great in theory, terrible when you’re trying to wear a coat or a blazer. I can’t wear either without looking like shrunken head. I do have small head too.

    • Abby

      As a owner of some real stubby fingers, I obsess over nice hands (particularly if they have rings on)

  • Sonia

    FINGERS! The longer and knucklier the better.

  • Andrea

    Butts! I was teased for my small tush when I was younger, both by friends and mostly well-meaning aunts. I’ve gained both fat and muscle in my behind thanks to conquering my eating disorder and falling in love with weight training (yay for both!), so it’s not flat anymore, but it’s not the super big and round butt that everyone wants these days. I literally am always looking at women’s asses–at the gym, on the train, waiting at Starbucks.

  • Maren Lindquist

    I love my calves. I am always trying to accentuate them, so I’m hesitant to try wide leg pants.

    • Senka

      Wide leg cropped ones are awesome. Best of both worlds and so cool.

  • fortinbras

    My fingers (and hands for that matter) are like little sausages – tiny, squishy, and puffy at each knuckle. My fingernails are also really small, so it looks weird when I put nailpolish on. So I guess I’m obsessed with long fingers and fingernails, because they look so refined, while I have the hands of a toddler!

  • Vee

    wrists and ankles. so so so pretty

  • bananarama

    forearms and hands on guys for suuuuure

  • Alli

    HAIR, hands, and smile lines around the eyes

    • Alli

      oh also shoulders

  • Teeth. I had perfect milk teeth, but my adult teeth have been nothing but a pain. As my teenage dentist told me, my teeth are too big for my mouth. I am generally small so I feel like they just look so enormous compared to the rest of my body. I had to go through all the orthodontic torture devices – retainers, braces, I even had to wear headgear at one point. I genuinely wish I could shrink my teeth. So I get jealous when I see other people’s nice, proportionate teeth.

  • streats

    Oh also thighbrows. Not that it’s a thing I see regularly on other people but if I see them on instagram/Pinterest or on myself I just love the curved lines that are created

  • Amy L Campbell

    filing this next to your instagram bra story in my basket of LOLS!

  • Rosie

    When I was a teenager, life was all about having big boobs and a small butt, and researching endless ways to pump up the former and slim down the latter. Nowadays, it’s all flipped – big boobs are so last century, and you need a nice round boo-tee. I am lucky to have a medium sized and reasonably toned bee-hind, but I have always been so envious of small boobs.
    I know it’s probably the other way round if you have small boobs – but oh, you don’t know the struggles of finding the last unpadded 34D, or trying on beautiful tailored dresses that you just can’t stuff your giant unhelpful tits into. I really hope if I have children one day, they appreciate all the breast milk I have been designed to deliver to them (although apparently breast size doesn’t really affect milk supply that much, so they really are just useless fat deposits, which make it harder for me to breath when I run).

    Amelia, I wouldn’t worry about your feet because a) a lot of people have bunions and b) your hair is so gorgeous, I’m surprised anyone ever noticed your feet exist at all.

    • Sugar Bones

      “giant unhelpful tits”
      I relate deeply to this.

  • Sugar Bones

    Fellow bunion babe here, I think of my feet at sort of horned. They destroy all shoes in that zone eventually.
    But! But. I like the way they look bare. I don’t know, they have some definition or something. I’m into it.

  • lillian c.

    how has nobody said stomach? I hate mine so much and am obsessed at looking at everyone else’s. Instagram is a nightmare

  • gwendomouse

    I am (and have been since my early teens) obsessed with people’s hair. Mostly women’s. Especially long, glossy, smooth hair that forms effortlessly perfect messy buns or drapes around shoulders like an expensive silk scarf. My own hair is so coarse, curly and frizzy that elegant drapery is impossible. But I also always secretly judge people’s hairstyles, and the condition their hair is in.

  • Lynn

    I am obsessed with the skin on other women’s legs. The Venus commercials fascinate me to no end. I’ve never had smooth silky skin (think: tendency for ingrown hairs combined with the bad habit to overuse tweezers/a needle, and then add skin that scars easily) and in summer I catch myself staring at people who do. I imagine that if my skin were like that i’d be touching it constantly.

  • I don’t like my feet, either so when I see a woman with beautiful feet I envy her. Some people told me my feet are not bad at all but I can’t help, I don’t like them because they’re bony. I envy those who can wear nude sandals, those that show feet completely because I’d rather wear boots in summer than barely there sandals.
    And I’m obsessed with men’s hair. Hair is the first thing I notice in a man, it’s so important, for me. I notice women’s hair, too and I can’t stand messy, unkempt and dirty hair.
    I also have a thing with men’s legs and nose but what I really notice and totally makes me envy about, it’s super fair skin. My complexion is olive and I would like to be pale as the moon.
    I also notice hands, I don’t have a particular type of hands that I like but they must be neat and I can’t stand men with long nails.

    • Bo

      Oh GOD male nails are the worst. Keep those claws away from my tender areas thank you sir

  • Well, yes, goddamnit: I tend to hit’n’hurt my toes in a really, really painful way.
    Nothing unusual for a hoofy horoscope sign, but it HURTS so much (as in: right now).

    • Senka

      Fellow Taurus?

      • Nah, a Sag. And it still hurts.


  • John Caprio

    your feet are disgusting and no amount of writing about it will change that

  • Emily M

    I tend to look just above people’s eyeballs when I am talking to them face-to-face (who knows why but at this point it’s a habit) and I have always noticed when someone has a super deep eyelid crease. It’s such a small detail but it really affects the shape of the eyes!! My eyes are super deep-set and my eyelid crease is really evident so I’m always interested in looking at others.

    • Bo

      A girl from my high school home economics class once commented on my Facebook, without provocation, that I had “hooded/ageing eyes” (direct quote). Not sure what she meant but if I ever see her in the street you bet I’m going to push her into a muddy puddle whilst her crush watches

  • Bo

    Well first let me say how delighted I am by your obsession with feet, Amelia, because I personally have LOVELY feet. They are tiny and have been described by onlookers as “little mice” and everything about them is great, even the curly hairs that grow on my toes. So I’m good from the ankles down. I feel less sanguine about my upper arms, which are probably totally fine but I feel are too thick and altogether flabby and disinteresting. I always look at other womens’ upper arms and compare myself, on bad days my *entire self worth*, on the state of the muscles surrounding my humerus. Stupid I know, but my reality nonetheless

  • I feel you! My obcession is feets too! But… I have feets….all of them! Even my own!

  • Senka

    One thing about me I never hated are my feet. They are size 3.5 or 4 (depends how much I like the shoe) and slender, so most shoes options are good for me. My toe nail beds are round and nicely shaped. Partly thanks to genetics, because I have my mom’s feet, and she has her father’s feet, and they both always took care of having properly shaped and nice nails. My feet are my herritage, so I am weirdly proud of them.
    Recently I developed bunions, due to almost decades of wearing pointy toe shoes and heels. They aren’t that terrible though, and still don’t hurt too much.
    Strangely I don’t look at other people’s feet, or clavicles or any of the things I kinda like on me. I stare at their upper arms, because I always hated mine. I’m pretty thin, but since highschool I developed really strong biceps ( bigger than that of any boy in my class) and have always been self conscious of it. I try not to engage those muscles because I don’t want the quaterback look, especially with my skinny neck and collarbone. I also look at women with narrow hips with envy. Somehow, growing up, I learned that narrow is good, and wide is bad, and now I can’t get rid of that notion.

  • Jam Jam

    This reminds me of the time a woman’s feet caught my eye in the elevator (my eye travels from shoe to makeup, ok?), she had really high heels and not the trace of a bunion – the feet just looked so pampered and I wondered if rich ppl feet look so good because they’re taken care of or because expensive high heels are less likely to cause bunions. Anyway, I got to her face and it was Linda Evangelista! I’m not a ‘feet person’ but I can still picture those puppies.

  • Emily

    I’m interested in hands – especially when they’re delicate, or elegant, or strong. I also like my own collarbones, and strong jawlines on others.

  • Jay

    Girl, I hear you. I have this thing with feet as well. As I just don‘t consider them pretty. … like at least not mine (dancer background, long distance runner… you get the point…)

    And I love shoes though… But many of them just don’t work for me.

    Another thing: NOSE!!!! I had mine broken three times and while people tell me it is not that terrible I am super self-conscious about it, and always go for „ is their nose bigger/smaller/differentangled/cuter/weirder/whatever“ than mine?!

    Oh, and since the Kardashian’s its all over butts. And as announced many times. I cant serve with that…

  • Lindsey

    Mine is legs and stomachs because I’m totally insecure about mine. Like, why are my calves the same width as my thighs? That seems not normal. And I always look at women with flat stomachs like, TELL ME WHAT YOU DO TO GET THAT, I SEE YOU CARRYING THAT BABY, HOW DID YOU GET THAT STOMACH?!?!

  • Rachel

    cervixes (cervices? that sounds like services) are so cute. like round puffy lil donuts.

  • Renee

    I don’t like my feet, and that’s why I loooove sneakers, covers those uggos right up (I have bunions too!). Also this is not a body part, but an absence of one, I am just so envious of tall people, especially with long lean legs. They look so elegant and put together. My height is the only thing I am truly insecure about. I could use a few more inches.

  • Backs! Something about that smooth expanse of skin. Women with flat backs and men with muscular backs that you see the spine indented… so pretty

  • Bethany

    I think my hands are perfect

  • Slushee

    Amelia, I’m with you on the feet. Except not bunions, flat feet that developmentally compensated by the bone pointing out on the outside. And big. No flats for me! Sandals that cross over the sticky out bone only. They’ll never be dainty, so I dress to disguise/flatter them. That way I spend less time cursing them 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • I’m with you on the feet! I’m always highly intrigued to see what peoples’ bare feet look like.

  • Sophie

    Thank you for this article! I now have a new appreciation for parts of my body I didn’t even realise people admired! Hello long nail beds and round hairline. For me, I always love seeing a perfect cupid’s bow.

  • Julia Payne

    Skin! I’ve suffered a lot with acne in the past and am always admiring beautiful smooth skin. And not just on the face but chest and back too. Also lip pigmentation?! So jel of a naturally red lip.

  • Rebecca

    Legs, jaws/necks. I have long legs and narrow hips and despite being on the thinner side, I’ve never had very defined legs, so I’m always staring at girls with great legs. Also like others, Keira Knightley’s jaw/neck is gorgeous, but completely opposite my own round cheeks and softer jawline. I’m always looking at others tho because of my own history of body image and self worth issues. Tough to tone down the voice that says you’re not pretty enough.