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How I Learned to Love My Big Feet

Growing up, I always knew my feet were different. By the time I was in third grade, my shoe size was already creeping towards the double digits. My feet were a topic of fascination for my classmates, and not in a good way. The teasing started innocently enough—a few comments here and there—but it soon escalated into a daily routine of jokes and jabs that left me feeling self-conscious and embarrassed.

Middle school was particularly brutal. “Bigfoot,” “Clown feet,” and “Sasquatch” were just a few of the nicknames I had to endure. PE class was the worst. While other girls wore cute, trendy sneakers, I had to settle for whatever shoes came in my size, usually bulky and decidedly un-cool. I tried to hide my feet, tucking them under desks and curling my toes in when sitting, but nothing could escape the sharp eyes of middle school bullies.

I remember one particularly painful day in seventh grade. It was during a school assembly when one of the boys, Tommy, pointed at my feet and loudly exclaimed, “Look out, here comes Bigfoot!” The laughter that followed was deafening. My face burned with humiliation, and I wished I could disappear. That evening, I cried myself to sleep, wondering why I had to be cursed with such large feet.

My mom noticed my distress and asked me what was wrong. After much coaxing, I finally told her about the teasing. She listened patiently, and then she said something that changed my perspective:

“You know, honey, having big feet isn’t a bad thing. It just means you have a strong foundation. And a strong foundation is important in life.”

Her words didn’t magically erase my insecurities, but they planted a seed of resilience.

Over time, I started to see my feet differently. I realized that they allowed me to run faster, swim better, and stand tall. I also began to notice that many successful and confident women had big feet too. My mom encouraged me to find role models who shared my trait, and I discovered that women like Michelle Obama and Kate Winslet also had larger feet. This helped me feel less alone and more empowered.

The real turning point came in high school when I joined the track team. My big feet, which had been a source of ridicule, became an asset. I was fast—really fast. My teammates and coach praised my abilities, and for the first time, I felt proud of my feet. They were my secret weapon, propelling me forward and helping me win races.

One day, during a team meeting, the topic of nicknames came up. My friend Jenna suggested we all come up with funny nicknames for each other. I hesitated, remembering the cruel names from middle school, but then I decided to take control of the narrative. “How about Bigfoot?” I said with a grin. There was a moment of silence, and then everyone burst into laughter—this time, it felt different. It was warm, inclusive, and kind-hearted.

From that day on, I embraced the nickname. I even started making jokes about my feet before anyone else could.

If someone pointed out my shoes, I’d say, “Yeah, they’re huge, right? Good thing I have big feet to fill them!”

By owning the jokes, I took away their power to hurt me.

Learning to laugh at myself didn’t happen overnight, but with each joke I made, I felt a little lighter, a little more free. I realized that my feet, like any other part of me, didn’t define who I was. They were just feet—strong, capable, and uniquely mine.

Looking back, I’m grateful for my big feet. They taught me resilience, self-acceptance, and the importance of humor. I’ve learned that when you laugh at yourself, you invite others to laugh with you, not at you. And that makes all the difference.

by Sarah J



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