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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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lol101 said...
Aug. 30, 2010 at 2:17 am:
amazing writing.. it was truly inspiring. I really loved who you described the battle at dinner time with your dad stealing your food before you could blink. It made you realize how she had insecurities to begin with. I also loved the scene at the mall when she felt like the girls were talking about her. I could feel her insecurity and pain. I could feel her longing to be accepted. Absolutely brilliant. Keep writing
 
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Atticus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm:
Very well put this entire scene. I like how you describe the dinner table and how you describe everything. I personally do not consider 12 as fat and it's sad when people believe it.
 
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Chakra,C. said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 9:12 am:

That was fascinating. I admire your straight-forward narration which gets the point across easily. Most people don't relize that they don't need to stuff in a lot of unnecessarily complicated words to tell a good story, fiction or not.

I liked your description of the family dinner time: "I learned how to eat from my dad: fast and without thinking. In our house, the dinner table involved battle, with the chilren on defense. One false move and our dinner would be snatched off our plates ... (more »)

 
Chakra,C. replied...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 9:15 am :
Oh, sorry. i didn't realize that I had posted it twice. My bad.
 
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MylittlesecretsThis 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...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 12:38 am:
This was amazing.  I'm ecstatic that someone has finally been able to capture how it feels to be ostracized because of size.  Good work.
 
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Katie_Potatie said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 11:35 am:
Its perfect. Wow. Amazing. I...I love it..=)
 
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DifferentTeen said...
Aug. 8, 2010 at 7:56 am:

I loved how its not a typical girls point of view, very different. Great Job, keep writing!

Check out some of my work?

 
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MercedesXO said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm:

 I love this. I wish it were a bit longer, because I really appriciate your writing. great story with a lot of feeling and truth behind it.

id love for you (and anyone else reading this) to read and comment on some of my work telling me what you think! especially my poem

'Tortuer of a King'. appriciated:)

 
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pageturnerThis 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...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm:

Nice article. I know exactly how hard it is to find clothes that are right for me.

 

 
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DeadPeopleKinndaGrl said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm:
This is goo. Great job! Plzzzzzzzzz everyone give me some feedback on my work. I really need and appreciate it!!! Thanx (:
 
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writergirl13 said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 10:17 am:
It's very realistic and true, but it is also written with character and emotion. I like it. :)
 
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sarakate said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 6:51 am:
i like it :) it has a realistic edge on girl's body image, even at a young age. I would either up the age or change the sizes around a bit because that did seem a litrtle off, but overall it was very good. keep writing!
 
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fml.says.it.all said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:59 am:

a size 7 is 3rd grade. now that's anorexia if u were a 12 in 3rd grade that's normal. You're not fat. My mom would buy me pants w/o trying them on. She'd be like, "you go up a size each yr until u reach junior sizes then we need to figure out ur size."

so Kindergarten size 6

first grade size 8

and so on...

 
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hi my name is earl said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:20 am:
this is a good story
 
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cnasty22 said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm:
I feel the exact same way i have been overweight for years and i hate how society puts out this image that we all need to be a double zero. i learned after awhile if people cant accept me for who i am then they arent worth my time. your artical made me connect to exactly what you are trying to say(:
 
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Macx14 said...
Jul. 20, 2010 at 9:00 am:
DON'T stop writing like this! You could become very popular writing about the struggles of being a young woman, especially self-image because it's a rare case when you find a girl who hasn't had any insecurities about her body. You writing is fantastic:P
 
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MeganSeesStarsThis 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. 13, 2010 at 9:33 pm:
I dont honestly think the author is in third grade.? I think its being told from a younger P.O.V
 
lunar_moon replied...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 1:53 am :
You're right. If you look at the author's page, she says that she is in her freshman year of College.
 
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Natalescence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm:
Great article--short but sweet. As most people have already said, it's very easy to relate to. Nice job!
 
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teen_queen said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm:

wow, good job! I mean, I can kind of relate, but I'm super skinny, which is bad. sometimes my mom thinks I might pass out. 

Hey, please check out my story, Love or Drama (It's called Love or Romance but its supposed to be called Love or Drama), also the chapter where Brittney arrives in seattle and meets nikki, matt and kim is chapter 2. The chapter where they all talk about stephanie is chapter 3. TeenInk.com/fiction/romance/article/228711/Love-or-Drama-Chapter-2/.

 
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