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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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PaintTheRoses said...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm:
Your story is told in a beautifully personal way, and it takes real courage for a writer to so prominently display her insecurities. I'm sure you already knew that though. What you need to know is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a size 12. Did you know that the average woman in America is 5'4" and wears a size 14? There are tons of people (myself included) who wish they could be your size, so embrace yourself and your beauty! :)
 
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JacMur94 said...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 12:26 am:
I love this story, I can relate but in a different way, please write more! 
 
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SerraAngel said...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm:
I'm very thin and I hate it people called me 'twig' althrought sixth and seventh grade.
 
SerraAngel replied...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm :
so it's not because someone is fat or skinny some people just think everyone has to be just like them. My best friend and I got in a fight today because she doesn't want to be seen talking to me.
 
justthtblondie replied...
May 30, 2010 at 8:06 am :
Wow, that's the stupidest thing i've ever heard. If she doesnt want to be seen tlking to you shes not worth your time.
 
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Terry said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm:
You make us so sad since your writing becomes our Cloze Test and we've all been confused!
 
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kaylor elizabeth said...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 10:24 am:
 hey i wear a size 11/12 two and everyone makes funn of me becausssse im fat but really im not aand i just ignore it all because the people who make funn of you arent your friends so dont worry bout im one of the biggest kids in my class its not a big deal so just ignore them girls
 
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Nala96 said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm:
I love your story....or is it an essay? well, whatever it was it was great. Keep wrting! :-)
 
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ivyhopegirl said...
Apr. 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm:
Your writing was beautiful. I liked it. 
 
ashleyt replied...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm :
agreed  ggg
 
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liy_garcia said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 1:21 am:
amazing. i felt like i was sitting down and having a conversation with you. i know what that feels like. isnt it the worst? to always feel on your guard? always feel left out...
 
Nala96 replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm :
i agree....feeling left out is the WORST!
 
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emo_nerd951 said...
Mar. 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm:
That was really amazing!!!  It bothers me when people talk about others like that though because they may know nothing at all about the people they are talking about.  Great job!!!  Keep writing from the heart!!!!
 
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D3N~Po0ki3SaUR:3 said...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm:
I personaly hate being skinny. I wear a size zero and I hate it. In my opinion it is better to weigh more and have more than just skin and bones. If I had my way I would be a size 12 or size nine. But sadly, I an't gain weight. curse this high motabalism!
 
SerraAngel replied...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm :
I wear 0 too.
 
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yeaaiitsemilyx3 said...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm:
this has an awesome message! it was really good, i like the amount of adjectives and your choice of words. nice job! :)
 
~EmilyC~ This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm :
I agree...you use just the right amount of words to get your point across and they are the right words too. I can relate to this as well, except I wear small sizes. My problem is that I'm tall and also thin so I can hardly ever find something to fit. I'm starting to be happier with who I am, and I hope you will be too. It's great to be yourself, though everyone wants to fit in.
 
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fiftiesgal467This 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...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm:
i loved your adjectives! very creative. Powerful message, too. nicely done!
 
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Mz.Bryennie said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm:
i wear a 11/12 too! and im fine with it aslong as your healthy with a good appitite[and ilearned from my dad as well]
 
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Emmalee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 8:25 am:
Wonderful. :)
 
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