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Fitting In This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I wouldn't ask for a dressing room. My mom always asked for me.
The evening before I had repeatedly risen from my seat and piled on excess noodles suffocated in meat sauce. Then I licked my bowl with the buttered garlic bread, leaving no evidence of the four servings I had inhaled. In the morning I would be forced to lie on my bed and suck in my stomach just to button my jeans. I dreaded school shopping. The sale rack, with its slender size markers, knew my number continued to bloat.

I learned how to eat from my dad: fast and without thinking. In our house, the dinner table involved battle, with the children on defense. One false move and our dinner would be snatched off our plates without warning and gobbled up by our father faster than we could blink. We soon learned to keep a hand up while devouring our chicken strips, and if Mom decided to cook that night we needed to hurry and get seconds before it was gone.

Only one pair of jeans I tried on fit. I lied and told my mother I could button every pair but only needed the jeans that lay guarded in my hands. We walked to the checkout.

I kept my head down as we passed a group of girls. They whispered. I glanced up only long enough to know my place. Their eyes cut at me, hands cupped over their mouths in secrecy.

***

The recess bell rang and I followed two girls in my third grade class out past the monkey bars to the fenced grassy area. We all wore the same clothes that year: khaki pants and polo shirts. Everyone was the same, or that was the idea.

“I like your pants. Where did you get them?” Marcy asked Alicia. I nodded in agreement, thankful they had removed their cupped hands and I could hear the conversation.

“Really? I like yours better,” Alicia replied.

“We should trade. What size are you?” Marcy asked.

“I don't know …” Alicia said, finding the tag in the back of her pants. “Seven.”

“Me too,” Marcy said.

***

I hid in line as I held the jeans, tag folded in so nobody could see the number inscribed on it was 12. I am not a size seven.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Tawanna D. said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm
Girl I thought you ab0ut to say that you were a size 18 or sum. A size 12 is nothying. You're beautiful inside and out. Tell yourself that everyday. :)))
 
elephantshoes said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Loved the article by the way!
 
Lady-Milano said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 4:56 am
well said,great article.
 
gemar said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

This article was very well written! It had very good literary elements and great points that i think we all go through at some point or another... This is so true and so sad to know that this world is like this. That was me. And in some ways still is me, so i know how it feels, although Im not OVERWEIGHT, i am still more of a heavier build than most of my friends. 

Very nicely written, i really enjoyed this article!

 
elephantshoes replied...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm
I have always felt heavier built than most of my friends also! I am certaily not OVERWEIGHT but I am not  a size 0 either. But I think that's okay too.
 
clumsyteardropper said...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm
that is just so sad, and wrong how you have to be thin to be in!  we should love anyone (including ourself) for who they are beyond the size number of the jeans they wear, or just how they look.  i used to take pills when i was six, seven, and eight... but now i choose to accept who i am wheather i like it or not :)
 
MadamMercy replied...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 10:49 am
i do feel that you are right people only think of what size you have to be to fit in well their shallow and its stupid you can be whatever size you want as long as you think that you are beutiful inside and out. people should judge you on  who you are on the inside not on the outside and even though you dont like them does not mean you dont have to respect them!
 
MissDarkCross said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I feel every girl/woman goes threw this. I use to starve myself to fit into a size 1 or 2. I'm over that now.

I wear a size 3-5..and I don't really care. Most girls who wear a size 0-2..look emaciated, which looks terrible.

I hope one day us girls will stop worrying so much about our pant size..and what not :3

 
freegoing replied...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 10:44 am
im with you girll.
 
open_your_eyes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Same for me. I used to think that i looked horrible going up a size from 1, but now i realize that curves look good on a girl, and i have to love the body i have, which is a size 5.
 
cieramist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm
Wow, I can really relate to this.  I have I guess a kind of similar problem but in a different way.  I'm a size three/four but I've always been excessively weight conscious. I'm a vegetarian, I work out almost everyday and I dance, too.  But I never feel small enough.  It's really been tough for me to always feel too big or not pretty enough - I think this really captures what a lot of people go through.  Great job!
 
LeahRae<3 said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm
The feeling of being left out because of something as petty as size or looks is something a lot of kids can relate to. Very nice way to portray it.
 
x.beth_mia.x said...
Aug. 30, 2011 at 10:51 am
I found that this article really made me think. It makes you realise the pressure that teenage girls go through. I think peer pressure also comes in to it at well. Well done and keep up the good work!
 
ShontelleSymone said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm
I find fitting in highly overrated. I will admit, I tried to fit in a couple times. I changed who I was for small minded people in a idiotic school that I don't even go to. The friends you make in high school won't be there in the future. Nine times out of ten, the friends that will be there for you for the majority of your life, will be the friends you make in college. Trust me when I tell you, being naturally skinny, fat, poor, rich, etc, dosen't matter. Because people are not always gonna lik... (more »)
 
october34 said...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm
I love this story! I'm naturally skinny because of my high metabolism but I'm still scared to share my weight. I mean whether you weigh a lot or little people still judge. It's not fair!
 
Angie.Hudak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm
I beyond love this story! I'm with yoitsme, I'm natually skinny. But I wasn't always. I used to be extremely over weight, but as I grew up, I thinned out a lot. I went from like a size 14 to 00.
 
FlashlevitationThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 4:38 am
that is a great story, really makes you sit and wonder....
 
WickedStarcatcher said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm
I really liked this! I think that everyone feels left out at some point in time-no matter how skinny they are or what size their jeans may be! This is so relateable and well written! :)
 
yoitsme said...
Jul. 3, 2011 at 5:35 am
This is great! I love it! I'm a naturally very skinny girl so I don't have a lot of issue with that. But you gave it so much feeling that I felt like it had happened to me.
 
nomore37 said...
Jun. 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm
You have such talent! Truly beautiful! Stay strong. and know that you are na amzing writer. Keep writing!!!
 
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