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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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Corynn H. said...
Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm:
This was a pretty good story/article. I'm really sorry but I really believe that fitting in is more about who you are and not what you look like.
 
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shywriter said...
Oct. 30, 2009 at 12:33 am:
Simple, yet beautiful.
 
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Britt<3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 10:23 pm:
This is so awesome. I love it!
 
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firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 2:58 pm:
wow. very powerful!
 
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heartsday said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm:
so inspiring :) lovely writing, great idea.
 
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VampireDory16 said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm:
All I can say is wow. I've been there. Incredible piece.
 
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Emmalee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 11:16 am:
Been there.
 
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sb013 said...
Sept. 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm:
i love this! it is something that everyone can relate too. every girl has trouble with their "size". & they just got to learn to embrace it:]
 
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soccerfreak12 said...
Sept. 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm:
I really like your article!! I think everyone can relate to this. You should be proud that you are a size! Love you for who you are!!(:
 
Lola_Sveroski replied...
Mar. 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm :
This has been epic. I absolutely loved it!
~LoLa~
 
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writer24/7/365 said...
Sept. 30, 2009 at 6:37 am:
this is so good. i've been that girl when i go shopping.
 
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booboo said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 11:52 am:
i think every one can realte to this story but in different ways. you wil get threw it! we did (:
 
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BellaLuna said...
Sept. 4, 2009 at 9:48 pm:
me too! i know how it feels and i have walked out of a store in tears crying. im not anymore but ive been there
 
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ilikepie said...
Sept. 4, 2009 at 6:59 pm:
I loved your story. I've been through a lot of things similar to that, and now I'm used to it, I just ignore them, and smile anyways because I know I;m beautiful, and you are too.
 
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practicerandomkindness said...
Jul. 13, 2009 at 7:52 am:
This is so true and so well-written. I am "normal"(whatever that means) sized, but i didnt used to be and i know how u feel. girls worry about their weight and others' weight too much these days. keep up the good work!
 
phoenixqueen replied...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 6:34 pm :
I agree. girls worry about their weight too much (myself included) and it really isn't that big a deal.
 
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Anne R. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm:
i can tell you have siblings, because if this was fiction you would not be able to express how kids in a big family eat. ive got two brothers and thats why i eat so fast.
 
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thea22 said...
Jun. 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm:
this was great! u are u and thats what makes you unique.
 
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sallyloco said...
Jun. 22, 2009 at 2:37 am:
I know how you feel. I'm a seven but i'm NOT skinny believe me. At least you dont go to my school. All the guys go for size zero girls. I hate all of them. But one i think likes me!! *Giggles* i love your piece. It was published on bered.com did you know that? cool right?
 
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millz said...
May 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm:
I love this!!! Dnt be ashamed of your size cuz we cant all be sevens.
 
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