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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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babigerl1194 said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm:
whoa thats young. but i think you realize why you are the way you are. maybe if you didnt eat so much. its kinda your own fault.... ya know. and you;re young too. im not trying to be mean...
 
Rina-with-a-k replied...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm :
Some people can't help that they're big. Some people are still big, even with diet and exercise. I know people like this. I think it's rude that you're saying it's all their fault.
 
shocking. replied...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm :
i agree with Rina, some people just cant help at. and with the talk of her father, maybe its genetic...
 
Aidyl replied...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 10:46 am :

I don't really think the point is that she's big and that it's a bad thing, I think it's that because of the way she looks she feels uncomfortable and has really low self confidence, and that it doesn't need to be that way. It's about how many pressures there are from the media and peers that affect young girls nowadays.

It's not that she's too young and it's her own fault. Which it isn't, little kids can't necessarily change their diet. I don't understand what you mean by "too young" ... (more »)

 
Aidyl replied...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 10:47 am :
sorry, I don't know why that posted twice.
 
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Lillybear said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 12:51 am:

Wow that was wonderful. And I really liked it. <3 It was really true.

-Lilly

ohh ps Im 12 :)

 
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Glambert4Life32 said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm:
so amazing. I can totally relate, this was awesome.
 
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emigini said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm:
i can totally relate, especially with the age factor. great writing; keep up the good work! 
 
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frnkplss55 said...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm:
Great job, I like the way you write.  It really makes people think about how hard it is for some to feel comfortable in their own skin, and that making fun of them is just that much harder, keep writing!
 
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JacintaT said...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 8:19 pm:
Oh my gosh, I love this. I love how short and simple it is, yet it shows exactly what the writer is thinking. This really got to me, in a good way. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.
 
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momentofweakness. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm:
the fact that the narrator was actually younger than i expected made the theme come across so much more effectively. this was inspiring and wonderful. great job! (:
 
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a.m.f said...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 12:51 am:

this is really good. i like it. it can really connect with everyone, even if it isn't over the issue of eating and pant sizes.  i really did enjoy this :)

and i know most people (including myself) may get annoyed with people advertising their work, but my new memoir "Gotta Love Support" just got posted, so if anyone has spare time, please look at it! i have a lot of pride in this one and i don't think you'll be disappointed if you read it! thank you so much and good luck to all of... (more »)

 
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EternalAlexandra said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm:
that was incredible, you are a truly talented writer . It had a plot lots of teens could relate to !
 
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BoneHead3 said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm:
I usally don't like the non-fiction but this was really good.
 
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ValenciaJett said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm:
I loved that it turned out to be a third grade narrator. It was much more powerful to experience the stress and shame of a younger narrator that has the same problem as many teens. Great!
 
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myworld10This 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...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 10:00 am:
Good job on the story. Keep it up.
 
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bubbles said...
Jun. 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm:
that was really good
 
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BlackKittie said...
Jun. 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm:
i like it.it gets to the point...you have a talent
 
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Alana H. This 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...
May 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm:
Wow. This is really good I like it. It gave me goose bumps. I like it because lots of people can relate and you typed how a lot of people feel. Really wonderful job. Thank you for writing this!
 
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BookOwl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 30, 2010 at 9:27 am:
This is really good. You need to write more please!
 
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