It is an age-old statement of a woman's beauty: small feet are more attractive. This belief has gone on for generations and in many cultures, it is still culturally unacceptable for a woman to have large feet and be considered beautiful. However, there could be something more than a shallow belief behind this idea. At the root of every feature we seek after for beauty, there is an under grain of health that goes with it. From the beginning of humanity, good health has always been appealing. So the question is no longer “are small feet prettier?”, But are they healthier?

The root of this discussion dates back to early ages. Attraction has always been based on health. Before medicine was as advanced as it is today, people would look for certain visits to help decide overall health. Health was a greater deal in past generations since their priorities were more fixed on producing children and raising families. If a person had healthier looking features, it meant they were more likely to produce healthy offspring and live long enough to care for the children.

This literally mean that the healthier you were, the more attractive you seemed. This has a lot to do with because the old belief was that smaller feet are more attractive. Large feet are not necessarily unattractive but specialists like Jeremy Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University at Albany, New York, believe that the reason smaller feet are attractive.

Since bones begin development before puberty, large feet are thought to be a result of poor nutrition and stressful environments during childhood. These factors are said to cause a child to go into puberty early and the larger feet are a side-effect. Having endured a stressful childhood or poor nutrition during formative years are believed to cause bad health in the future, though there is not a guarantee that early puberty and health issues as an adult are associated with each other. Meaning that a woman with smaller feet is not guaranteed to be healthier.

Other reasons a woman could develop large feet at a young age are genetics and potential height. Bone structure is not a great enough reason to decide the overall health of a person. Women with small feet are not necessarily unhealthy, they are just believed to have had better nutrition and environment in their formative years. As with any health concern a good diet, exercise and regular check-ups will help keep a woman in good health; small feet or large!