Fitting In This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
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.

Join the Discussion

This article has 345 comments. Post your own now!

iloverondo_09 said...
Dec. 21, 2009 at 10:07 am
wow.... this is great, and it's.... real. Lol i thought you were going to end it saying how the girl lost weight and now she fits in or something like that but this was really good.
karla replied...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 12:32 am
lol nice hahaha and she prob did lose that weight
Natasha M. said...
Dec. 20, 2009 at 10:47 am
beautifully written. I know exactly where you're coming from. Everyone these days thinks that being thin is beautiful and it really isnt -- being beautiful is just being able to be yourself with confidence.
shreya replied...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 8:16 am
seriously, being thin is not the only option left..
i too feel left out wen my frnds go shoppin widout me cos they fit in da same size bt i dnt..
pls keep writin..
farah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 19, 2009 at 6:34 am
this is really well written :) very subtle and thought provoking. its unbelievable how much girls have to deal with this issue. dont ever let yourself get depressed about this. the more confident you are about your appearence, the better you look :)
smartgirl said...
Dec. 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm
My school is very small, and almost all the girls there are skinny. I have had a very hard time trying to feel normal around girls who could pull off size 2 dresses when I wore an 8 or a 10. Don't let it get to you! You should always feel confident about who you are, no matter how you look or how much you weigh. If everybody wore size seven pants, we would all look like clones! If you get teased about your weight, don't blow it off: take it cool, make a joke, and if you are really hurt... (more »)
*D!@mond* said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm
there is nothing wrong with being a a twelve and im shaped just probally have a nice figure..don't worry about what people think..keep your head up
thesilverrose said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 11:49 am
You are exactly the way G-D made you to be and nothing less. You are beautiful in your own way and very unique. Bless you and keep up the good writing.
Joyful_angel said...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm
awwwww.... that was really good writting! there is no reason 2 feel bad, a size 12 isnt bad. it is nothing 2 feel bad bout. beauty isnt just skin deep. i bet you tht u r beautiful!!! kep writting
Nathan C. said...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm
What I'm wondering is why you were concerned with fitting in in the first place. Normal is a terrible place to be. I do like that you're able to express your dissatisfaction so clearly though. Keep up the good work.
PurpleMidnight replied...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm
I think I understand what she's saying when she wants to fit in. Everybody at some point wants to fit in. My best friend's brother was extremely weird, always going out of his way to be different. We were looking through his yearbook and on his wish list the only thing he wanted was to be normal.
Yvaine_96 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 10:11 am
when i was 5 i did not know the meaning of fitting in and eventually had the most terrible time of my life. Nobody knows (except my bffs and u guys) even my parents dont know that i went into depression at the age of 6!! i dont know how i recovered but i did and more over i am proud to say that i have always loved my self and even now people laughs at me and i dont care. I hav the right to comment on them just the way they can comment on me.
sweetsugar said...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm
its amazing i love it your butiful in every way everone is different!
aakriti said...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 1:26 am
very well written...well it can be very nicely understood..often there are times wen we try to fit in things which we find hard to ..n dat maybe size or groups or friends for that matter too..but in the end it's our determination and not to lose hope in the end that matters
VampyGyrl said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 10:19 am
I love it! i can relate in many ways trying to fit in a size 7 when you're really a 12
Aastha`Duggal said...
Nov. 27, 2009 at 5:27 am
I can understand how you feel. Im in the same situation except im very thin.
I have a very fast metabolism and its not easy to gain weight. So, at 15, i tend to look like im 12.
And yeah, its really tough to find good clothes.
pinkjello1994 said...
Nov. 25, 2009 at 2:46 pm
I LOVED it =)
i went through the same thing, I battled with an eating disorder over it. Its not an easy thing for any girl to deal with.
peacelover said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 10:29 pm
I truly could relate to how you felt by trying to sqeeze into jeans and lying to your mom about them not fitting.. it happens to me all the time too. I hate dressing rooms because I always feel huge when I look into the mirror, but I just tell myself that everyone is beautiful in thier own way - you are too! Don't let typical skinny girls bring you down
megstar96 said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm
I LUV IT i sometimes feel the same way. I wanted to cry for the little girl
dylonmichael said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 9:53 am
i really like sucks being different than every one else but at the same time its kind of fun not being another copy of some one overweight and i am kind of ashamed of my self but at the same time im not... idk right now i am in the process of exercising more and eating healthyer to loose weight
flute_bandie1493This 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...
Nov. 12, 2009 at 10:42 am
I was the same way that year! still am! lol but I've come to love the body I'm in, and as i'm getting taller, i find myself thinning out a bit! im in high school now, but nothings changed since then on how ppl treat each other
Site Feedback