This I Believe

Danielle - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 22, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in my big feet.

Every teenage girl I know loves shoe shopping. Not me. When I was about 12, I was diagnosed with a disorder which included big feet and embarrassment. No doctor diagnosed me with this disorder; it was a diagnosis I gave myself. I always felt embarrassed in shoe stores and hated that my feet had to be bigger than everyone else’s. I believe in my big feet; not because I wanted to, but because I had to.

I know there are many people in the world with feet much bigger than mine. But these big whopping things at the end of my legs still bother me. Every time I go shoe shopping I have to tell myself not to get excited. Many times have my hopes been high in finding that perfect style of shoe, only to find that the store doesn’t carry my size.

When I would go to shoe stores with my Grandma, she would go up to the sales clerk and say, “Hi my granddaughter has size 11 feet. Please bring all the shoes in that size.” I would feel the stare of other shoe shoppers go from my Grandma’s big mouth to my huge feet. Oh how embarrassing! My grandma never understood how embarrassing it really was for me. She would always say that I have beautiful, Big feet. “Gee, thanks Grandma,” I’d mutter sarcastically.

Not only did my Grandma announce to the world about my feet, but so did my dad. He has always had a good sense of humor, but sometimes he’s overdone it. When we’d finally buy some shoes after a long search, he’d joke with the store clerk how next time he will just buy me the boxes to wear.

I would go from store to store only to resort to getting men’s tennis shoes. How awkward I felt, to be in the men’s shoe section looking for something to fit. Over time I grew into these masculine types of shoes, I began to be more tom-boyish and I began to be myself. I realized that the size of my feet and the type of shoes I wore didn’t matter. I gained an attitude of life, which I am very grateful for. I don’t care what people think of me, I live life the way I want to. I don’t worry about the weird looks I get from people around me.

My big feet have taught me that no one can make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable unless you let them. Because of my big feet, I have learned that I don’t have to worry or care about what people say or think about me. I believe my big feet have shaped the person I am today. Now, when my grandma announces to the world that I have abnormally large feet, I just smile and wave.

I am my own self.

Me and my big feet.