Shahirah Ahmed, Wardrobe Stylist + Fashion Blogger at ShahirahAhmed.com
Age: 28| Shoe Size: 12| Hometown: Sacramento, CA
“God didn’t give me these feet for no reason, so why not put them to good use!”
In high school, I stacked my shoe boxes on the top shelf of my bedroom closet, strategically hiding the description against the wall, so no one would see the “SIZE 10 MEN” in huge print on the bottom right corner. Now that I’m thinking about it, I must have been hiding the size from myself, thats how disgusted I was for having such huge feet. All of my friends knew and were completely apathetic that I wore a larger shoe size, but I just couldn’t stand the fact that I did, I was extremely insecure. I hated my big feet, wishing they would disappear or magically shrink over night. I hated that I couldn’t borrow shoes from friends and vice versa and I hated that I didn’t have the same options most girls had when it came to buying cute “girlie” shoes like pink gelly sandals.
At 13, I fell in love with Air Jordan tennis shoes, being that my other options were orthopedic looking granny shoes or men’s flip flops. Buying any ‘ol pair of shoes from Payless Shoe Source would have been social suicide, so thankfully, I found the best options of shoes that helped me feel more secure with myself.
When asked what size shoe I wore during any situation was followed up with what felt like, I had a mini heart attack. Going to the skating rink or out bowling was never a pleasant experience due to my anxiety of having the whole world hear me requesting a size 10 mens because a size 12 women’s was non existent everywhere. Attached to my insecurities was this irrational fear that people would know my worst secret. A secret I went through elaborate lengths to cover up, so I could feel like a normal girl.
I don’t remember the exact day I let go of my inhibitions but becoming secure within myself has been a relief of so much pain. I can’t hide who I am. Now, at 28, I volunteer the fact that I wear a women’s size 12. I use my shoe size to connect with women around the world that share my struggles through my blog,and share where women can find fashion forward shoes in larger sizes. It’s not easy having larger feet, but I’ve grown to accept them and work with what I have! God didn’t give me these feet for no reason, so why not put them to good use!
Want to see more of Shahirah? Be sure to follow her on Instagram @shahirahahmed