An early contender in the “Race To Be Somehow Worse Than 2016” contest, 2019 has come out swinging.
Already, we had some great news out of Florida with this gem:
But, nope, four days after that story was published comes the best headline of the year (seriously, I do not expect anything to top it): A Fake Nude of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was Debunked By Foot Fetishists
There are so many questions that arise from reading this headline, and like passing by a major wreck on a highway, you cannot help but stop and wonder. Who are these fetishists? Why are they experts on famous people’s feet? Who would put out a fake nude of AOC? Why would they want to do that?
None of those questions has a good answer.
Overlaid on the photo is the text “alexandria ocasio-cortez.instagram.post.9-3-2016.”
The image and text aren’t new—they’ve been around in this combination since at least last month, posted to Twitter and 4chan’s /pol/ political forums, as well as a handful of other subreddits and forums, including some dedicated to revenge porn and creepshots. The conceit here is that if you zoom in to the faucet reflection, you can see the photographer’s breasts, and if you’re to believe the text on the image, that’s Ocasio-Cortez.
But the person in the photo isn’t her.
We don’t know how many people actually believed it was her in the first place, and in some of the forums where the image was posted, people were already comparing feet and questioning whether it’s really her. But we know for sure thanks to a user on a site called Wikifeet, a site devoted to foot fetish photos of celebrities and public figures. There’s a small collection of Ocasio-Cortez’s feet on the site, from photos of public appearances where she’s wearing sandals or open-toed shoes. That user cross-referenced the r/drama photo with known images of Ocasio-Cortez’s feet posted on Wikifeet and determined that they are from a different person.
“I’m a contributor to wikifeet and even I have never seen a second toe like that!” Reddit user jokes_on_you commented on the post. They then linked to a known photo of Ocasio-Cortez’s feet and implied that the feet in the r/drama post couldn’t possibly belong to her.
There is an entire website of celebrity foot fetishists, and one of their contributors spoke to Vice via Reddit in order to explain in what is the greatest quote in journalism why he knows it isn’t AOC.
I asked jokes_on_you how they spotted the difference. “I’ve sucked enough toes in my life to recognize when something doesn’t look right,” they told me in a Reddit direct message.
That is how Tuesday, January 8, 2019, starts for all of you. You are reading this post because if I must suffer with this knowledge, then you must suffer with me.