SSL Sole Spotlight| Virginia of Big Bang Shoes Talks the Model Life
Shoe Size: 11| Age: N/A| Country: Spain
My name is Virginia, and I have an 11-shoe size. My feet were no problem until I reached puberty. I have always been pretty tall. I was one of the tallest kids in my class, but my feet were okay. So, about age 13, I can’t remember exactly, I had an American 9-10, and my struggle began. I couldn’t find shoes my size, and I started to feel frustrated. I also began to not like my feet so much. I still remember going shopping with my mom and finding nothing. The good news was that I loved sneakers, boys’ sneakers, and I had no problem with that.
And then, I was a teenager and started going out and also began to be interested in fashion and nice shoes that I couldn’t find. So, every time I found a pair of shoes, it was like a party for me. So, I learned to be patient looking for shoes and take good care of them.
I live in Spain, a country well-known not only for the weather and lovely food but also because Spain is a country of quality shoe manufacturers. As I began to travel, I realized bigger shoe sizes made in Spain were being sold, and I was always waiting to travel to find nice things.
I began to work in fashion. Sometimes, the shoes fit, and other times they didn’t. But, you smile and do your job. I also got to know other girls with big feet. I had always talked with one girl about opening a shoe store for us “big foots”, so when she found out that I started a blog she couldn’t believe it. Sometimes, you have to take action if you don’t like the way things are. My mission now is to find shoes and share them with the world. The main objective of my blog, Big Bang Shoes, is to normalize the fact that women also have big feet. We need the shoe manufacturers to realize that we are here, and we don’t want boring shoes. We, too, want the crazy heels, flippers, sandals, boots, etc. We are happy with our bodies and want to wear nice shoes just as everybody else. So, I focus on finding new brands and shoes that you can actually buy in-season. And if the shoe is from a past season (that happens when it’s an iconic shoe or my own shoes), then I share that also. I also encourage people to write and share where they buy shoes as well as interview people.
SSL: As an intl. model, are you often accommodated with shoes in your size for shoots/campaigns? If not, how have you navigated your modeling assignments with ill-fitting footwear?
Well, it is very difficult to find your shoe size even in shoots/campaigns. Good news is that clients overseas (I live/work mostly in Spain) are used to work with women with bigger sizes, so it is “normal” that the stylist gets your shoe size. Usually, before you work, your agent would send all your measurements to the stylist, so they have your clothes and shoe size. But, sometimes, there are changes and no time, so you have to work with a smaller shoe size. I just wait to put on my shoes when they say, “Action!” If it’s a runaway (catwalk), you just go for it. Even girls with smaller sizes don’t get their shoe size, so you get used to walk in smaller shoes but just for short periods of time. Then, you can find us all walking barefoot.
SSL: Have there ever been any embarrassing footwear moments that you can recall while traveling or on-set?
Not really. I think what makes me embarrassed are some brand new comments about the size of my feet. But believe me, that doesn’t happen nowadays. I learned to love myself just the way I am, and I’m proud of every bit of myself. My queen size feet get me everywhere, are good dancers, and can kiss a**. Haha!
SSL: Do you find other models to have footwear US sizes 10+?
Yes, I do, and they are all beautiful and have a great sense of humor. Finding other women that share your shoe size makes you understand that you are not alone in the shoe struggle. You become more confident and don’t feel like a big foot anymore. You just don’t care that much about the size and spend time sharing shoe brands and stores to go buy shoes.
SSL: What advice would you give to other Queen Foot ladies on being confident despite their larger shoe size?
Always love yourself. Always be kind to yourself and others. Your feet are perfect the way they are. Mother Nature is wise, so you have big feet for a reason. Don’t focus on the superficial. “Nice”/”Ugly” are only a point of view (Except for furry flipflops! Ha, ha, ha! Just kidding!).
Be patient when looking for shoes and be creative. Don’t be shy when you don’t find your shoe size. Let the shop assistants know that you need a bigger shoe size. Simply speaking up is powerful. Maybe, next time, they will consider getting bigger shoes. Use the Internet to find shoes. There are blogs and websites that are dedicated to us (e.g. www.bigbangshoes.es, www.specialtyshoelover.com, etc.)
Check out all of Virginia’s shoe finds @bigbangshoes on IG.