Dr. Ebonie Vincent is talking all about her new medical transformation series, “My Feet Are Killing Me”, which premiered Jan. 2 on TLC.
The show follows Dr. Vincent, a podiatrist based in Orange County, and fellow foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Brad Schaeffer, based in New Jersey, as they radically transform the feet of their patients and, in turn, help to change lives forever.
Explaining that the show goes beyond “sensational shock value” and goes “way deeper than what meets the eye,” Dr. Vincent tells ET Canada, “It’s the shock value that gets people in, but I think that the emotional and educational values are there, so that people want to watch and want to take the journey with us.”
Discussing the recent surge of interest in similar jaw-dropping reality TV programs, like the fan-favourite “Dr. Pimple Popper”, she says that viewers “are drawn to those types of shows because people like to be a little bit nosy,” but, at the end of the day, they also just want to see other people get help.
“Everyone, I think, is just rooting for that person who needs help and that’s also innate in us,” she explains. “We want to see people win, so I think this is a good [series] to show that victory for patients.”
With many of her patients in America appearing on the show with extreme foot ailments, from life-threatening foot fungus to too many toes, Dr. Vincent says that sometimes it is not up to them to wait until the very last moment to seek help.
“I think there is always a story behind why they wait,” she says. “Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s the psychology around like, ‘Can I even deal with the surgery component?’ And then there might be just a lack of access to health care. You know, a lot of times people just don’t have specialists in the area — don’t have a way to drive a car to get to someone who can help them. There’s that component, also. And then you never know what the person’s health is like. For instance, if [they] have a pre-existing condition preventing them from having surgery or a heart condition or anything that would be a source of danger to undergo a surgery.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to the internet’s apparent obsession with celebrity feet, Dr. Vincent recalls coming across a public forum on Facebook dedicated to people “weighing in” on celebrity’s “long second toes,” “corns on their toes,” and “bunions popping out of high heels.”
During the 2020 Academy Awards, Brie Larson was one star, in particular, who was criticized for putting her one longer toe on display in a pair of open-toe sandals on the red carpet.
Referencing this moment, Dr. Vincent says, “I think that people have such a fetish with shoes that it’s hard not to notice someone’s feet. And so, I think, there’s a happy marriage between a beautiful foot and a beautiful shoe and when that doesn’t make sense it kind of becomes the focal point. I think that’s kind of why maybe celebrities get foot-shamed, I guess.”