Date of publishing: 06/11/2023

Does anyone remember putting on their first pair of heeled shoes? I do, and I was scared shitless. But I need to start at the beginning. The first time I saw men wearing heels was on Pinterest I think. I was looking up outfit ideas and suddenly saw this man wearing an all-leather suit and leather boots to finish it off. But these weren’t your regular old Chelsea boots, no, these were boots with at least a 7-centimeter heel! I was feeling so many things at once, amazement, confusion and even a little bit of jealousy. But why was I feeling jealous?

I think it started with the fact that I thought that I couldn’t wear them. First of all, where could I even find these types of boots? Let alone find shoes like these within my budget at the time. I think it was also, partially, some insecurity. “Why don’t I have the confidence?!” I asked myself. You know the feeling right? But it was mostly because I was scared of other people’s opinions. I used to be such a scared boy. Afraid to be myself, afraid to try new things I was even afraid that I would get beaten up every now and then. And this was even before I bought the boots.

Fast forward a few months. I was scrolling on on my phone like I often do. Looking through different clothing web shops because I was needing some outfit inspiration. All of the sudden they showed up on ASOS. Or well, sort of. The boots did show up, but because of my insecurities at the time I was too afraid to order them. Saving them to my list, I kept scrolling through the recommendations they offered. And there they were, my starter, Cuban heeled, leather boots. Without hesitation they were forwarded to my shopping cart and ordered within no-time. The day they arrived I was as thrilled as a child on Christmas morning. I completely shredded the bag that the box was in and the moment I saw them I was in complete awe. The shiny matte finish and the chunky heel were better than I thought they’d be.

You can imagine that me, as a 16-year-old boy was terrified to wear them to school. The first day I put them on I was so scared about what people might think, I almost didn’t wear them. I decided to “man” up and walk to the bus to be on my way to school. The moment I heard them tap on the sidewalk I knew I made the right choice. It just gave me a certain boost of determination to keep walking forward and not run back home to put on my sneakers.

I remember receiving so many compliments about my confidence and appearance that I had a “pretty good day” to put it lightly. But all jokes aside, it wasn’t all joy and happiness. The looks, name calling and negative energy struck me like lightning. It was a mixture of feeling acceptance and unacceptance. As a teen you can imagine what those feelings do to you. They scare you, make you feel like you’re not good enough or even that you’re not “normal”. But what exactly is normal? Walking around in a graphic t-shirt and jeans with holes in them? And believe me when I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! But it’s not me. I’d rather be looked at and shock people for being myself, then adjusting my personality to try and fit in the societal mold.

Fast forward a couple years forward. I’m now in my early twenties and I’m still living my life according to my own terms. Sometimes I think about what life would look like if I did listen to what other people had to say. Would I walk around like every other person? Or would I still have had the fear of judgement I had before? Thinking about these things give me a feeling of independence and make me believe that I AM a strong person, exactly for being who I am on the inside. I’m so glad that I’ve decided to believe in myself and trust my heart, because I think I otherwise would’ve lived a very sad and empty life. I’m now surrounded by people that love me for me. I walk around in even higher heeled boots, from vinyl to leather and completely developed my own style. Every day that I celebrate being myself I believe that I get one step closer to reaching my goal. Making every “abnormal” person celebrate themselves. If all those years ago I would’ve decided to run back home and put on my sneakers, I would not have made the sound when I walk that I do now.