|Not me, but might as well be.|
Extensive research by me shows at least one in three Oprah shows* are dedicated to weight - gaining weight, juggling weight, losing weight down the back of the couch and finding it again three months later. The world is seemingly obssessed with weight problems! But this is not another sob story about why fashion magazines should be banned and supermodels burned at the stake. Ok, correction: this IS a sob story. But it's not about weight. It's about feet. My BIG feet and how much I hate them.
I am a tall girl, 5'11", and lovingly referred to as "in proportion" by my mother. This means that I am a) not as slim as I could be and b) in possession of rather long limbs and appendages. By appendages I mean hands and feet. Let's not get all Miriam here... My feet are size 11 Australian (42 European), which roughly translates to REALLY FREAKING BIG everywhere else. And frankly, I'm sick of looking second-rate in the footwear department.
Oprah's so obssessed with fat cells - what about foot sizes?? Have you ever seen Oprah shedding a tear for all the poor unfortunates who can't find their size at Betts and Betts? How am I supposed to remember my spirit when my shoes are so ill-fitting I can't even remember my own name? You see, gentle reader, no one is prepared to dedicate themselves to the cause of the plus-sized foot.
Girls (and I know you're out there), you are not alone. I know what it's like to act my shoe size and come off more mature for it. I understand the heartache of owning a pair of boots that may very well be a snug fit but that could probably double as a spare room with en suite if the occasion arose. I can appreciate the embarrassment of being able to snorkel rather well sans flippers. And yes, I admit it - I can comfortably wear my boyfriend's shoes. That is, at those times when I actually have a boyfriend. (Foot fetishists need not apply)
Anyway all this is good and well (except maybe the bit about the en suite), but what really gets my goat is that chicks like me with size 10+ feet are COMPLETELY UNRECOGNISED BY SHOE RETAILERS!
If you are a female and happen to have feet larger than size 10 you better get used to men's sneakers because unless you're prepared to shop dawn till dusk and fight tooth and nail to find something else that's pretty much all you're going to get in my city. And forgive me for being cynical but black nubuck cross trainers are not my idea of evening wear.
For those of you lucky enough to have feet somewhere in the 6-10 size range, this is a typical conversation between me and a shoe salesgirl:
ME: Hello. I'm looking for a nice, stylish shoe in a size 11 please.
SALESGIRL: Oooh I don't think we have anything like that. We only go up to size 10, and we only get about 2 of those in anyway. It's amazing how many people ask for larger sizes!
ME: So..do you just tell them all to sod off then?
SALESGIRL: Yes well we do try our hardest to cater for the freaks, that's why we have one size 11 in these big old fawn coloured sandals that not even your grandma would wear. They'll be in the back storeroom covered with cobwebs from two seasons ago. Would you like to try those?
ME impales SALESGIRL with a shoehorn and sticks a bottle of Waproo down her throat.
Get this - when I asked for a size 11 knee high boot at a shop in the city recently the only shoe the girl could offer me was a sandal. In winter. Now, call me a troublemaker but if you can only provide one whole section of the market with a summer shoe at the beginning of winter you're hardly on top of things in the world of footwear are you?
And you can forget about those 'specialist' shoe shops for 'hard to fit feet' unless you're only in the market for a nice pair of hush puppies or gold slippers.
I AM AT MY WITS' END, GENTLE READER!!
Suggestions for ginormous-lady-foot-shodding are welcome.
*statistics may be made up