I heard this story when I was a child and felt so connected to it. Being a girl, I was scolded for having big feet. I was always ridiculed and laughed at during family gatherings. Oh, how I longed for the shoes of my dreams whilst on a shopping spree but was faced with the judgemental eyes of the
shopkeeper, remarking, “Shoes for her? Impossible.”
Every shopping trip became my most dreadful experience. My uncle called me duck feet, in calling so he thought he was being funny but no one knew how I carried that burden with me. I flattered myself using the same story that I’m a peacock and it doesn’t matter if my feet were big, it was my wings that caught the world’s attention.
I always listened to Cinderella’s story, and got scared by my fear that I’ll never find my prince because the shoe would never fit. Then one day, I was attending a family function and was at my ethnic best. I had the prettiest kurti, salwar and matching earrings ready but when time came for the footwear, I wore my sports shoes .As usual I was met with the snarky remarks of my relatives but that day, it was just too much for me. I felt like The Comedy of Errors. I remember crying in my pillow after coming home that day. All the memories came crashing onto me, like the Amazon river hitting a daisy; the shopkeeper’s remark, my mother’s taunt, my friends’ laughter. I just wanted to cut my feet in half so that I could have smaller feet. And I could finally have shoes that’ll fit.
The next many months went into googling methods and household remedies to make your feet smaller. And believe me when I say, I tried them all. From tying my feet into tapes, wearing shoes a size too small, no matter how many blisters and cuts I get. I tried them all. None of them worked. I was crying when my mom came to me.
She said, “When you were born honey, I took you in my arms and kissed your feet. For me nothing in the world was more beautiful than the daughter I beheld. You were to me God’s prettiest creation ever. And you still are my beautiful, perfect little daughter.”
From that day to this day, I keep reminding myself, no matter what others think, what you think about yourself matters the most. Those who love you will still love you regardless of your flaws and if you accept yourself maybe you’ll find the warmth you were looking for.
2 nd semester, LHMC