Wearing the Shoes

29 Jun

Feet aren’t typically beautiful body parts and yet most of the women I know are embarrassed by them. That’s most women including me, actually. For me it’s not just that my toes are strangely shaped but they’re slightly wider than most and they turn bright red or purple at untimely moments, making sandals and heels especially tricky to wear. Not all heels flatter the wide parts of my feet and peep-toes are nearly always out of the question. Leaving my toes exposed is always risky because I’m anxious that my freakishly-colored feet will draw the wrong attention. For a long time, I’ve decided not to care about buying pretty shoes unless I need them for some kind of special occasion. In the winter, I either wear straightforward boots or berks and in the warmer seasons, I wear a comfy and reliable pair of flip flops. None of them make people look at my feet and that’s always been comforting.

I went shopping with my mom last weekend, though, and as usual, I couldn’t really talk her out of buying me something. Reluctantly, I decided shoes were the only things I had more room for but then I got myself in a pickle; I couldn’t decide between a simple and casual wedge and a dressier, floral pair. I knew that I liked the floral pair more from the moment I saw them but I could only think about how they might make people look at my feet. The practical pair were similar in a lot of ways but didn’t draw attention. Then I had to decide…am I a girl with feet worth admiring? Am I worth admiring at all?

I have a hunch that lots of us go through this thought process when we shop. It’s not as simple as what we like but what we think matches our value. I always pick clothes that I think I can “pull off,” but isn’t that another way of saying I’m not worth the style I really love? I’m not just talking about shopping for your body type or a style that matches your personality. What I’m really getting at is that feeling when you’re attracted to something you know could work but you think, “I’m just not that girl who could wear a jumper,” or, “my legs are too ugly to wear that skirt.” I see it all the time. Women embarrassed by their stomachs, their arms, even their knees. How did we get this way? I can bet that no one’s ever come along and told you that your arms aren’t sculpted enough to wear that shirt or that your dress doesn’t match your personality. I can bet that you saw other women looking “better” in something similar and felt bad about yourself. Those feelings, at least most of them, come from the inside and not anything that’s ever happened. The only person who’s ever noticed my feet turn red is my mom and…well, that’s just her job.

I deeply believe that we decide how beautiful we are by first feeling that way and that no one else can actually make that happen for you, even by saying so. Have you ever had someone say, “You’re looking pretty today,” and you’re like, “Really? In my gym clothes? I’m not even trying today. Tell me I’m pretty when you can know I’m dressed up.” I’ve told my husband similar things several times. I tell him only to say I’m beautiful when I actually feel beautiful because somehow it makes the times I’m trying feel less special. I should definitely be more appreciative anytime he gives me a compliment and somehow this led me to discover that I don’t truly care how other people think I look. I just care how I feel. I don’t know if it can be the same way for everyone, but somehow I hope it is possible that it’s a universal truth. I hope women can be beautiful whenever they feel like it no matter what their body looks like. Maybe then we’d be braver. We could buy the tunic we’ve always stared at in the window. We could deserve flowery shoes every day.

Be comfortable. Be proud. Feel pretty and wear the shoes.

Believing in you,



One Response to “Wearing the Shoes”

  1. Anonymous June 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Love…love…love these shoes! Pretty!

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