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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blwblw1 said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm
browneyedcat is right size dosent matter. i go through this everyday of my life............the whispering, the laughing, its not going to change just like yourself for who you are. trust me 12 is nothing...................try being a 16................
SarahW replied...
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
try a 24 on for size
blwblw1 replied...
May 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm
the girls that arent skinny just gotta stick together.....we got each others backs:)
belldandy said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm
i can relate  all the girls in my grade  are minature  martha  stewerts  so perfectly  fit well with cloths  it makes me mad because they look at me weird and iam NOT   fat .
browneyedcat said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 10:21 am
Look, size twelve may seem like a big number but lets be honest. A number is a number people. size does not change a person's personality and spirit. Don't feel bad for being who you are. Very beautiful story!!!!
IloveHimStill said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm
i go through that everytime i am at my friends house and they want to switch clothes
Radiah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 7:53 am
nice story. very nice but pretty sad for your character. hopefully its better currently ;D
Behind_Blue_Eyes said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm
it sounds like the girls parents have forced on her an eating disorder or somethinglike that. u did a great job
skittles:) said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

i have never had a problem with my weight, but i know that girl do poke fun of other girl. i kinda catch my self doing it sometimes:/ just prove to the girls that you are just fine the way you are. show them that you don't care what they think. im sure they have a insecurity about them selves. so don't let them get to you. your better than they are. Show them you dont care!

Great story though:))

Aderes18 said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

It sounds like this person has en eating disorder. 


computer geek2714 said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 9:32 am
I hate it when  I go school shopping expecially when you can't find any clothes to buy. But you did an ecillent job at this artical.
french toast said...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 10:23 am
I thought that your piece was well written. I could fell myself sitting at the dreadful dinner table all those sad nights
poptart replied...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 9:32 am
hi french toast my name is poptart!
mr h said...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 10:18 am
I thought your writing apealed to all kids when they were in third grade.
JustListen88 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm
I usually feel the same way. Its sad, because feelings like these come from comparing ourselves to others. Hold your head up high, and be proud, no matter what.
to.hold.the.sun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 12, 2011 at 9:36 am
I used to feel the exact same way. But a size twelve isn't fat. You're not either "fat" or "skinny." There's PLENTY of in-between. Just because I'm not skinny doesn't mean I'm fat. When I realized this, the world literally opened up. But this is great.
pmonarca said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm
I love this.  I was in the same position years ago, with the "skinny" girls laughing on the side, making fun of the fat bulging out from my stomach.  I still hate to try on clothes; you're not alone.
WritingJuliaThis 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...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 10:37 am
I think that everyone who reads this can somehow relate.  Nicely written.
LiviHatcher said...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm
This is truly amazing, ifeel the same way all the timee, but looks arent everything. you have to learn to love your self before any body else will, god blesss and amazing work:)
chlo1787 said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Believe me when I say looks are nothing. Personality is everything and I'm sure you have a great one.


I love the way this is written, it has a unique outline to it.

knolswimmer said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:26 am
Looks aren't everything.  Being a little bigger never hurt anyone; any one who says so needs to suck it up, look in a mirror, and realize that their lives are sadder than Requiem For A DReam
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