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Ashamed of flat feet

Posted by Jean on 10/19/02 at 03:17 (097857)

I know that quite a few of us PF sufferers are blessed with flat feet.
I wonder how many of you are self-conscious about them.I am now in my
forties andfor some reason,I am still embarassed to admit that I wear
orthotics...
It sounds silly, but I had to buy shoes yesterday, and I was terribly
embarassed to check if my orthotics fitted in the new shoes, because the
sales assistant was watching.I don't think she gave a toss, but I did...
I think it has to do with the teasing I went through when I was in my teens.

Any similar feelings?

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Suzanne D on 10/19/02 at 14:44 (097908)

Hi, Jean. I don't have flat feet, but I have LONG feet - size 11. When I was young, I remember disliking the song 'Clementine' because it had the lines about her shoe size being 9 and so having to wear 'boxes without topses, sandals were for Clementine'. And in my tiny town, it was very hard to find shoes when I was in high school (I wore a 10 then.) Going in a store which has nothing in your size can make you feel as if there is something wrong with you. And, being tall, I didn't want heels, so shoes were always a hard thing for me to find.

I guess an experience when I was in college got me over that self-conscious feeling about my feet and shoes. I met a remarkable girl who was probably about 4'8', in a wheelchair, with no use of her hands or arms or legs. Another student received workstudy money to take care of her physical needs in the dorm and cafeteria. Mentally, she was a whiz and consistently made top grades. And she WROTE with her FEET! Someone would place her notebook on the floor and her pencil between her toes and open her book for her on her wheelchair tray. And her handwriting was good!

I can remember looking at her every day in class and marvelling at her attitude and courage. She was always cheering up the rest of us! I guess my attitude about feeling embarassed about my feet changed more during that time than ever in my life. Not that I never have a self-conscious thought now, but the lesson I learned from her has stuck with me through life.

I'm sorry if this sounds like a sermon! I don't mean for it to. It just came to my mind when I read your post. Please don't be ashamed of your flat feet or your orthotics. I learned that from Myra many years ago, and I just wanted to pass it along to you. The smile on your face matters more than the orthotics in your shoes.

Take care. I hope this helped and didn't offend you in any way! I don't mean for it to seem as if I am making light of your feelings.

Suzanne :-)

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Kathy G on 10/19/02 at 16:50 (097920)

Hi Jean,

I have no idea if I have flat feet; I'm too dumb to know and the doctor has never said. I know I have some kind of arches because I can see them. I have to admit, I have some of the ugliest feet I've ever seen. Truly - you don't even want a description. The only time I ever felt subconscious about them, though, was when I was about 10 years old. I was very small for my age. I distinctly remember that I weighed 50 lbs and was 50 inches tall in fifth grade because the school nurse used to come in and weigh us and loudly announce the figures so her assistant could write it down. It was soon known throughout the three fifth grade classes that I was the smallest person in the grade! Anyhow, while I was very small everywhere else, I had these enormous size 8 feet. It was like, here comes Feet, where is Kathy?

I was fortunate because no one made fun of me and I think I just decided that it wasn't worth thinking about. I figured I'd eventually grow into my feet and I did, but it took until I was 21 to reach my full height of 5'5 1/2'. I'm very proud of that extra half!

As for the orthotics, I wouldn't feel ashamed of them. It's amazing how many people wear them. Shoe store clerks are quite used to them. So try and not feel self-conscious. I wish I didn't need them but they sure make my life so much more liveable!

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Julie on 10/20/02 at 06:52 (097946)

Jean, in my experience an awful lot of people (mostly female people) don't like their feet. By 'experience' I mean 15 years of teaching yoga in which I have seen and worked with hundreds of people and double hundreds of pairs of feet. Generally speaking, more women don't like their feet than like them. It's a shame, because feet are beautiful - yes, even flat ones (and long ones, Suzanne, and big ones, Kathy) - as well as miracles of engineering.

Self-acceptance, self-acceptance, self-acceptance.

As for being self-conscious about wearing orthotics, so many people wear them now that there's really no reason for that. It's like being ashamed of wearing glasses. And practically speaking, Jean, you should never buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on with your orthotics. Orthotics are only as good as the shoes they're worn in, and if they don't fit properly, you're in trouble.

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Richard, C.Ped on 10/21/02 at 08:33 (098011)

Why in the world would you be embarrassed to say you wear orthotics???? A properly made orthosis provides wonderful balance and weight distribution which in turn can provide proper alignment of the bones. Don't think that you are alone when you say you wear orthotics. I LOVE mine. I do not like going without them at all.

In the practice of pedorthics, we see so many people that do not have foot problems. We work with high schools and colleges as well as semi-professional sports teams in this area. They want the orthotics to give their athletes and edge over the competition.

Dont be ashamed...be happy.
Richard, C.Ped

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Suzanne D on 10/19/02 at 14:44 (097908)

Hi, Jean. I don't have flat feet, but I have LONG feet - size 11. When I was young, I remember disliking the song 'Clementine' because it had the lines about her shoe size being 9 and so having to wear 'boxes without topses, sandals were for Clementine'. And in my tiny town, it was very hard to find shoes when I was in high school (I wore a 10 then.) Going in a store which has nothing in your size can make you feel as if there is something wrong with you. And, being tall, I didn't want heels, so shoes were always a hard thing for me to find.

I guess an experience when I was in college got me over that self-conscious feeling about my feet and shoes. I met a remarkable girl who was probably about 4'8', in a wheelchair, with no use of her hands or arms or legs. Another student received workstudy money to take care of her physical needs in the dorm and cafeteria. Mentally, she was a whiz and consistently made top grades. And she WROTE with her FEET! Someone would place her notebook on the floor and her pencil between her toes and open her book for her on her wheelchair tray. And her handwriting was good!

I can remember looking at her every day in class and marvelling at her attitude and courage. She was always cheering up the rest of us! I guess my attitude about feeling embarassed about my feet changed more during that time than ever in my life. Not that I never have a self-conscious thought now, but the lesson I learned from her has stuck with me through life.

I'm sorry if this sounds like a sermon! I don't mean for it to. It just came to my mind when I read your post. Please don't be ashamed of your flat feet or your orthotics. I learned that from Myra many years ago, and I just wanted to pass it along to you. The smile on your face matters more than the orthotics in your shoes.

Take care. I hope this helped and didn't offend you in any way! I don't mean for it to seem as if I am making light of your feelings.

Suzanne :-)

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Kathy G on 10/19/02 at 16:50 (097920)

Hi Jean,

I have no idea if I have flat feet; I'm too dumb to know and the doctor has never said. I know I have some kind of arches because I can see them. I have to admit, I have some of the ugliest feet I've ever seen. Truly - you don't even want a description. The only time I ever felt subconscious about them, though, was when I was about 10 years old. I was very small for my age. I distinctly remember that I weighed 50 lbs and was 50 inches tall in fifth grade because the school nurse used to come in and weigh us and loudly announce the figures so her assistant could write it down. It was soon known throughout the three fifth grade classes that I was the smallest person in the grade! Anyhow, while I was very small everywhere else, I had these enormous size 8 feet. It was like, here comes Feet, where is Kathy?

I was fortunate because no one made fun of me and I think I just decided that it wasn't worth thinking about. I figured I'd eventually grow into my feet and I did, but it took until I was 21 to reach my full height of 5'5 1/2'. I'm very proud of that extra half!

As for the orthotics, I wouldn't feel ashamed of them. It's amazing how many people wear them. Shoe store clerks are quite used to them. So try and not feel self-conscious. I wish I didn't need them but they sure make my life so much more liveable!

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Julie on 10/20/02 at 06:52 (097946)

Jean, in my experience an awful lot of people (mostly female people) don't like their feet. By 'experience' I mean 15 years of teaching yoga in which I have seen and worked with hundreds of people and double hundreds of pairs of feet. Generally speaking, more women don't like their feet than like them. It's a shame, because feet are beautiful - yes, even flat ones (and long ones, Suzanne, and big ones, Kathy) - as well as miracles of engineering.

Self-acceptance, self-acceptance, self-acceptance.

As for being self-conscious about wearing orthotics, so many people wear them now that there's really no reason for that. It's like being ashamed of wearing glasses. And practically speaking, Jean, you should never buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on with your orthotics. Orthotics are only as good as the shoes they're worn in, and if they don't fit properly, you're in trouble.

Re: Ashamed of flat feet

Richard, C.Ped on 10/21/02 at 08:33 (098011)

Why in the world would you be embarrassed to say you wear orthotics???? A properly made orthosis provides wonderful balance and weight distribution which in turn can provide proper alignment of the bones. Don't think that you are alone when you say you wear orthotics. I LOVE mine. I do not like going without them at all.

In the practice of pedorthics, we see so many people that do not have foot problems. We work with high schools and colleges as well as semi-professional sports teams in this area. They want the orthotics to give their athletes and edge over the competition.

Dont be ashamed...be happy.
Richard, C.Ped