What is it like to be called "Big Foot"

Jasmine Sheriff

We know that things change but how drastically could this change be? In some cases, they could be as crazy as going from being called “big foot” to shopping in the kid’s section while you’re a twenty-year-old woman. This was my case since as a six-year-old, my shoe size was already a women’s size five. It made me miserable that I couldn’t find anything that my friends were wearing in my size. That wasn’t even the worst part; I had to deal with the kids at school asking questions. Why are you wearing those? Don’t you have light-up sneakers? I so desperately wanted to say, “yes, I have light-up sneakers,” but unfortunately women’s sizes didn’t feature those.

Some stopped at the questions, but some took it to a much worse level with the name calling. To a certain group of boys, I was known as “big foot”. It certainly didn’t help that we were reading about “Big Foot” in class as well. I just knew that every time we gathered around that classroom for reading time everyone was secretly thinking of me. Maybe not everyone, but as a six-year-old I definitely felt like a bright light was shining at my “big feet” for all to take a look. It was very humiliating and made me feel out of place because what else would I be thinking back then? Even though my parents reassured me that nothing was “wrong” with me and everyone has a different foot size, it still would’ve taken much more than that to convince me back then.

So, what did I do to get over my “big feet”? I wished upon a shooting star for smaller feet and it worked! Just kidding, it didn’t work but I did wish upon a shooting star. My “big feet” were an issue for me until that summer when I was no longer around the kids who made fun of me and the year after that, no one even noticed that I wasn’t wearing similar shoes as every other seven-year-old. Even though it was always a problem that I kept safely hidden at the back of my mind, it was no longer affecting me on a daily basis. Today, it couldn’t be less than a problem because maybe my wish did come true. At least eventually it did. My women’s size five feet never grew and here I am, fourteen years later, with the same “big feet” I had at six years old.

What I’ve learned through this is that a shoe size didn’t define me back then and certainly doesn’t define me now and the same applies to every tween struggling with a faster growth rate. Luckily for them, they now have options and won’t stand out while they pass this period gracefully. Me on the other hand, I got my wish and I could shop at the kid’s section. Where are “big feet” when I need them.

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