Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

Custom User Avatar
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.





Join the Discussion


This article has 341 comments. Post your own!

babyblue16This 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. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm:
This is great. :) I can relate all too well. Fitting in is definitely a hard thing. But remember that you are beautiful, no matter your size. Beauty comes from the inside.
 
sweety luvs sunshine replied...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm :
thats so true i've always found thats' a hard thing to believe until this year because i'm finally starting to look at myself inm the mirror and say your beatiful to myself
 
poptart replied...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 9:29 am :
HI MY NAME IS POPTART
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
AMG29This 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. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm:
This is great. :) I can relate all too well. Fitting in is definitely a hard thing. But remember that you are beautiful, no matter your size. Beauty comes from the inside.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
passionfuture13 said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 8:48 am:
girl if this is true about you I totally know where you are coming from. I know the feeling and it sucks. im in an 18 now and i remember when i was a five.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
quad14 said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 7:47 am:
many people go through the same thing and feel that they dont belong and that they don't fit the appearance that others will approve
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Ainse said...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm:

I really admire your bravery to post this!  You are a great writer!  I'm very impressed at your strength, I am sure that not everyone would have the courage to do that.

Great article :)

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Jakethesnake said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm:
It's so cool that you are so free to post that. Did it help?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
bobmarley917 said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm:
I think it was brave of you to talk about what you go through on life
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Rileyy said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm:

I reaallly love this expericence.

That takes strength to post it. Good for you.

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
awesome said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 11:45 am:
jk, cool story though!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
gape horn said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 4:41 pm:

I like this one i have no idea whats its like to be smaller than everybody. Il like it and i express myself and you should 2

 

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
~Chastine~ said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm:

i never really had a problem with people making fun of my body. mainly they attacked me over my looks. something i cant really control. the best way that i learned to cope with it, is to think to yourself, your not the only one.

:)

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Katie1234 said...
Oct. 19, 2010 at 8:18 am:
I know this feeling. I live in a place where people obsess about weight. And I am no size 7 myself, and I honestly don't wish to be. I shouldn't have to change to get people to like me, and neither should you.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
cheerleader96 said...
Oct. 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm:

I was the same way when i was in 3rd grade and i was that way up till my 6th grade year. yeah, i got picked on and had all crazy rumors but i didnt care what people thought because i loved myself the way i was and so did all my true friends and family. Next time be proud to say im____( fill in the blank) you will actually feel really good about yourself! it worked for me

with love (:

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Zavery_ said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm:
A very unique type of writing. Interesting and lovely!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
vera57 said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm:
It amazing cause their are alot of girls who feel the same... Fitting in is hard. it really is but its almost where you have just stop caring you know? I dont know i just see it like that.. AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL, AND very well wriiten 4/4 stars.
 
Katie S. replied...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm :
Great writing! I loved this, and can relate.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
devils 92 said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm:

Thats a great piece of writing

 

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
google said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm:
I can't even imagine what you felt. I'm so sorry. But, now you can see that they are not and won't be your friends. Just wait, you will find someone who feels the same way that you do. And, just ingorne the girls whispering. Llike they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. :]
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback