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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 341 comments. Post your own!

Lady.J.xoxo said...
today at 8:34 am:
Amazing! Definetly can relate 
 
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. said...
Jul. 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm:
This article was beautiful. And I have insecurities about my body too. Maybe not in the same way... but I understand what you are saying.
 
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James6737 said...
Apr. 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm:
Well I looked and looked and read and read this comment and I like it
 
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MalorieThis 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...
Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm:
Simpley amazing.
 
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HiddengoldTee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm:
Beautiful story!
 
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SunshineKarmaGirl said...
Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm:
You are very talented!! Check out my story You Know My Name Not My Story in the "Other" section
 
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KaTie98 said...
Sept. 26, 2012 at 8:56 am:
First when I started reading your story, I got a bit bored and did not understand the point of it. But when you got to the point I started getting interested and when finally you got to the end it made the boring part worth it! You are a very good writer but what you need to work on is making the beginning more exciting :)
 
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katie98 said...
Sept. 19, 2012 at 8:40 am:
This is very well written and you give a good view of how the world really is! I don't think that it's a bad thing to use size 12 at all, it's actually normal. I didn't get a lot of the first paragraph though and didn't think you were getting to the point but when you got to the point it was really good! You are a good writer. 
 
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Plethora said...
May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am:
I love how your piece makes a point without blantantly stating it. Well done!
 
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Black_Tiara said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 9:21 am:
Really nice.... But dont worry... Be nice to people & don't giv a damn bout wat they say.... eventually ppl will realise your worth... cuz ppl don care bout anythin but personality... atleast dats wat i do... n i luv d way u write :) keep smiling!
 
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curmudgeonThis 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...
Jan. 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm:
this continues to be one of my favorite pieces ever =]
 
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theavatar said...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm:
this was awesome, and like the majority of other comments said, it does give a very open perspective on the struggle with weight that many many people face :)
 
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Nora2012This 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...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm:

i love the double meaning title. the only thing you should be worried about when people whisper is that they are jealous of ur amazing writing :D

 

 
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Villangel said...
Dec. 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm:
I absolutely loved this, especially because I could see myself in in it, but don't fret, a size 12 is nothing to worry about, it's beautiful even. Plus, it's good to stand out, like your writing.
 
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Internal-Love said...
Dec. 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm:
You say so much in only a matter of words
 
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ADifferentKindOfPrincess said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm:
This is very well written. I wanted to cry. I have the opposite problem-I do fit in a size zero. Most people don't. Some used to think I had an eating disorder. It sucks, I know.
 
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LivingMYLife said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm:
i went from a size 16 to a size 7 to a size 13.  its not worth it...
 
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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. :)))
 
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elephantshoes said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm:
Loved the article by the way!
 
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Lady-Milano said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 4:56 am:
well said,great article.
 
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