In the film „Idiocracy“, which was released in 2006, all the characters wear Crocs shoes. This is because the costume designer of the film had only a limited budget for shoes.
At the time of filming in 2004, the Crocs company was still an unknown start-up, and the now world-famous shoes were therefore extremely cheap. Moreover, costume designer Debra McGuire was convinced that Crocs would never really become popular in reality because of their – in Debra’s eyes – silly look. In the world of „Idiocracy“, on the other hand, the shoes were a perfect fit for the society portrayed, which was characterised by its stupidity and the decay of values.
Ironically, Debra McGuire’s assessment that Crocs would never become popular in reality because of their appearance proved to be wrong. For Crocs have grown over the years into a globally known and successful company. The shoes, originally chosen for their low price and futuristic but silly look, actually gained great popularity in the real world.
What is the film „Idiocracy“ about?
The satirical sci-fi comedy „Idiocracy“ is set in a dystopian future where the average intelligence of people has dropped dramatically. Joe and Rita, two people from our time, are transported 500 years into the future by a failed experiment – and end up in this dystopian future. In this new world, they are highly intelligent compared to the rest of the population. Joe is tasked with solving the nation’s most pressing problems. At the same time, he and Rita try to cope in this absurd world characterised by stupidity and irresponsibility.
What role do Crocs play in the film?
Even though Crocs were chosen as footwear in „Idiocracy“ mainly because of the limited budget and the personal assessment of the costume designer, they fit perfectly into the context of the film. In the dystopian future of „Idiocracy“, people have become dependent on consumption and convenience to such a degree that aspects such as aesthetics, functionality and quality are of little importance. Thus, the presence of Crocs in the film can be taken as a visual indication of the social changes and decay of values that have taken place in this dystopian future.
Does the popularity of Crocs in reality say anything about our society?
The fact that Crocs have become so successful in reality, contrary to the assumption of the costume designer of Idiocracy, raises the question of whether aspects of society in the film have parallels to society in the real world. The popularity of Crocs, for example, shows that many people value comfort and convenience and are willing to sacrifice aesthetics and design for them. Whether this can be understood as a critique of modern consumer society or is merely an ironic concatenation of coincidences is left to the viewer of the film.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that shoe fashion – and fashion in general – can certainly be an indicator of social developments and trends. In „Idiocracy“, Crocs can be interpreted as an indication of a society that places so much emphasis on comfort and consumption that quality or aesthetics are completely neglected. In the real world, too, shoe fashion can be a reflection of societal tastes and preferences, and give clues as to how a society evolves over time.