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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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This article has 344 comments. Post your own!

tiedyeelaine123 said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:19 am:
It was sad to hear your story, but you should be content with your size, everyone is made differently.
 
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akatheshizz said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:18 am:
Your story was moving. Don't worry about fitting in, because what is best is you being yourself. Not everyone is a size seven, so be strong(:
 
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justme said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:16 am:
I like how you described your dinner and i can relate to that all the girls in my school think the same way just stay true to your self.
 
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Breathe.Live. said...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 11:10 am:
This is such a good piece of writing.
I love everything you wrote.
 
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Panda500 said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 6:54 am:
omg read my story nightmare of depression u will luv it
 
Breathe.Live. replied...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 11:11 am :
I read yours it was so good!.
 
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Addiekins said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm:
im a size 13 and no one believes me. the size doesnt make you who you are. the style does though. lol but im sure they were cute pants
 
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DustBunny said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm:
I have a hard time trying to feel good about myself because of weight too. I feel embarassed to go shopping for clothes. I hate feeling that way, but it's hard when everyone around you has a skinny waist and a tiny butt, while you are elephantine.
 
DustBunny replied...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 10:11 am :
Studies show that in 2008, girls as young as seven and eight put themselves on diets. The media is bombarding us with the message to be skinny. It's destructive.
 
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LilLizzyBeth said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm:
You sould like you would rather be a smaller size to fit in with the other girls, but dont worry about them. Be who you are and dont let a silly thing like a jean size get you down. Be proud of who you are! I, personally, am not as small as most of my friends, but they dont care and neither do i. If friends are true friends that wont care about silly things like that and neither should u
 
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GemValley250 said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 11:10 am:
I agree. You sound a uncomfortable with yourself, but don't be. Lots of people feel this way, but don't let it get to you! The outside dosen't matter!
 
GemValley250 replied...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 11:12 am :
By the way, i was supposed to say 'you sound uncomfortable with yourself'. Sorry about that slight error!!(:
 
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jsub5 said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm:
Your writing is is very inspirational
 
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BobTheTransFormer said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm:
this was good and funny because it was talking about a bigger big girl. And the struggles she faces.
 
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suckit21 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm:
hahahaahahahahahahha
 
Dead and Alive replied...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:23 am :
What is so funny
 
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Sophia-Lynn E. said...
Sept. 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm:
Wow! this was such an amazing peice! I look up to you to be brave enough to talk about how uncomfortable you feel about yourself. but please do remember everyone is beautiful in there own way :]
 
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gabbers88 said...
Sept. 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm:
I had a similar problem when I was in 4th grade. I am really tall 5 foot 2, taller than all the girls in my class. I was a size 14 and cautious about that my size was different from everyone else's size. They were all 8's and 10's and i felt like i was a fat freak. But now when i look back on pictures i was really skinny but just tall, I shouldnt have let that problem consume myself. Everyone is different.
 
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freewriter_123 said...
Sept. 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm:
You shouldnt feel so self concious! Even though I havent seen you im pretty sure that your wright isnt as bad as you say it is. Even though I cant realte (I cant even fit into a double zero yet and i'm 14!) I have friends who have similar problems.
 
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Macx14 said...
Sept. 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm:
Don't get down on yourself about that!! Anyone that laughs at you or anything like that is below you and not worth your time. Great job writing!!
 
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