“One Day Without Shirts” Taking Toms Shoes a Step Farther
- Article by Gwen
- March 22, 2012
It’s the same old story. You’re at a party checking out a girl. You wish her clothes were more revealing…of her character. Sure, she’s nice. But,is she willing to give? Toms Shoes, the most charitable for-profit organization, has the answer.
Toms Shoes has the dream business. They sell you half the stuff for twice the price. Then, once a year, they allocate a day in which you don’t use their product at all! The shoes themselves are some sort of unholy mutation of your grandfather’s old loafers and those recyclable shopping bags. But, they are more than shoes. Toms Shoes are a message.
Toms Shoes has been successful in part because it adapted its business model from one of the most successful organizations of all time: the Catholic Church. Both TS and the CC are fueled by guilt. “Guilt tax” is extra money paid by overprivileged people who feel bad about all the suffering in the world, but not bad enough to actually do something about it. The Toms logo reassures the world that you have paid your debt for that Gucci handbag, and some kid in Africatistan or wherevs gets new shoes.
Once a year, just to show that we are super serial, we kick the suffering into high gear. Catholics have Lent. Toms Shoes have “One Day Without Shoes.” On April 10, college students everywhere will get their feet a little dirty in order to really feel what it is like to be a barefoot child in a third world country. Our naïve classmates, compelled by our fungal odor and Mother-Theresa-esque glow will ask, “What the hell are you doing, dude?”
“Ah,” You will say, serenely. “I gave away my shoes to poor, barefoot children. Well, I still bought a pair. And, like, they’re at home next to my club shoes but this is to raise awareness for, like, barefoot kids. Well, not the ones I gave my shoes to…but the other ones.”
Still, a shoeless person on a college campus could be mistaken for a walk of shame victim, or just one Jamaican clam bake away from remembering where he put his moccasins. It is time to expand upon the good work of Toms Shoes. Think back to every commercial for charity you’ve seen on your 52” flat screen. The poor children featured on TV don’t have shirts or North Face jackets. How are they going to get into an Olive Garden looking like that?
Every poor child’s bare chest is like a blank slate for our brand names. It is a landfill in which to put our first world guilt so that we can cover it up and let the future generations worry about the consequences.
This is why April 10th should be the first annual “Day Without Shirts” for the children. Perhaps we can strike a deal with the Chinese factory that makes Toms Shoes and have them make equally uncomfortable and unappealing shirts for donation and personal moral confirmation. Then, we shed them as a statement against children not having uncomfortable shirts.
Going “Topless for Tots” is a surefire solution toward awareness and action for these poor children. It’s like Mardi Gras, but for a purpose! Sorority girls can paint their letters on their (completely real) bonbons with pride. Men can shave their chest hair in the shape of the child they are saving from half nakedness.
Finally, we can all be proud of the difference we made in these poor children’s lives. Because no child should have to look at his Toms Shoes in the mirror and ask, “Do these match my areolas?”