A new illustration inspired by an article from Seventeen magazine, that I clipped and saved in – wait for it – 1986!

Original article, Seventeen magazine, September 1986

I have been extra tall since, well forever, and the lament of that is shoes. Nothing makes me want to slew my favourite cuss words more, I tell ya.
Height comes with big feet. Mine are a size 12 and dang proud of it!

There is really nowhere to get cute larger size shoes that don’t cost a few hundred bucks.
It’s been that way since the 80’s, when it was worse, most women’s shoes only went up to a size 10. I was a size 11 by the time I was 12, and slowly grew into a 12 as I got older.
I had one choice of a specialty shoe store that was older women’s shoes, and for a 12 year old? Depressing or what!
When all my friends had cute shoes with rainbows on them or shiny valley girl ballet flats, I had old lady beige shoes with burlap on the heels. Cries.

My favourite line: “You can always get men’s shoes!”
Do men’s shoes come in pink and sparkly? Cute and girly? Fashionable and chic?
Hell to the nope.

The confused looks when you walk into a shoe store and ask if they might possibly hopefully carry women’s size 12’s, it’s like you’re speaking a foreign language.
Yes now there are places like Amazon, where you can technically source more of a selection, but when reading reviews of said “extended range” (or my favourite-PLUS SIZE!- omg where to start on that one) shoes, it’s just not worth it for the unreliable fit or quality.

All I know is I’m grateful that I can work from home now, where my regular work “shoes” are my cozy warm socks in a variety of colours. Even though they are men’s (yep socks are an issue too goddammit) at least they can coordinate with my outfit, solid black never goes out of style.

And just as the writer of the original article says, no shoes can be the new vogue of footwear!

Thank you Seventeen for hearing us big foots all those years ago, it made me feel less like a mutant and more just like an extra tall person with extra tall feet.

#seventeenmagazine #illustration #bigfeet #size12s #the80s #cynthiafrenette