We live in in the post-human world augured by William Gibson. Need proof? Look at all the freakish examples of plastic surgery on TV. Does Heidi Montag look human to you?
So why can’t prosthetic legs become the next must-have fashion accessory? Like, tonight I’ll take the Birkin bag, the Tiffany bracelet, and the sexy black pull-on leg (complete with sexy black attachable high heel).
The concept is the brainchild of Israeli industrial designer Aviya Serfaty who, noting that prostheses are almost always made for men, set out to craft a limb for women. And their love for accessorizing.
So Outfeet is smaller and more ergonomically suited to the musculature of women’s limbs than you typical steel pole, with a lightweight carbon-fiber frame and a curvy, V-shaped calf.
Then it comes in three looks: one for day wear (above), one for evening wear (up top), and one for working out (below). The evening look even has a bendable foot that can slip over a kitten heel. Oh la la!
“Outfeet addresses amputee women who still would like to overcome the trauma and lead a colorful and sexy life,” the designer says.
The idea that prostheses should be customized for women’s bodies is a good one. Ergonomic design, from chairs to medical tools, is almost always based on a male physique, to women’s detriment; in prosthetics design — the most intimate ergonomic challenge — it’s an especially grave oversight.
But the market — and lack thereof — is the problem preventing ideas like this from becoming a reality. Oddly enough, women make up a tiny percentage of amputees, even discounting people who’ve lost limbs in combat. (Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputation in the United States, and it disproportionately affects men.) So even if designers wanted to sex up women’s prostheses, they’d have a hard time finding any one willing to cough up the R&D dollars in the first place.