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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!

MrsLadySlimShady said...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm:

We're two of a kind. My mom drags me out shopping all the time. She's a stick, while I'm 30 pounds heavier. My self-esteem? Um, none.

Since I don't have much of a fashion choice, I have (without my knowledge), become a tomboy. I wear basketball shorts, T-shirts, and whatnot. T-shirts- my comfort clothes look weird on me now.

This was absolutely amazing. Keep writing. 

 
VirginieC This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm :
your weight or style doesn't define who you are, kids these days can be really mean, but there's definitely people like you who would love to meet you
 
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WritingLoverForever said...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm:
I...am just at a loss for words right now. This is truly amazing. I know exactly how you feel--self-conscious and embarrassed about your body. I've always struggled with that, because I have a very low self-esteem. It doesn't help that people at school have called me fat on more than one occasion. I'm not the biggest girl out there, but I'm not the smallest either. But I'm big enough that I can't wear T-shirts because I bulge way too much in them. It sucks, and I can totally relate to wha... (more »)
 
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kitkat95 said...
Dec. 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm:
wow that was reaaly amazing i cant say i know how yo feel because ive never struggle with weight but i tought it was from when youu were in high school ar now its so shocking to hear how kids feel about thier wwieht
 
Haleyelizabeth replied...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm :
i have never struggled with weight, but i think that i can kinda relate - not with weight, but i dont have many good friends. 2 close ones, i never have really gotten picked on that badly but i know people do talk about me. i wish i didnt have crooked teeth. :/
 
softballfreak42This 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. replied...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm :
Great story. i can definitely relate, since i'm not the skinny toothpick on the block...
 
kitkat95 replied...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm :
You dont have to be skinny to feel great about your self 
 
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reenay_95 said...
Dec. 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm:
i remember when i was younger, elementary age, i was always bigger than the other girls. i was wayyy taller and just grew up faster. i wasn't overweight, but i've never been skinny either. but as time went on, other girls got bigger and i felt a lot better. i remember being ashamed to say my weight or pants size, but not anymore.
 
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. said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm:
wow i loved this article being overweight is nothing to be ashamed of i am one of the "skinnny" girls at school at trust me we dont care what size you wear as long as it looks good on you loved the article
 
silentvocal replied...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm :
this is no doubt true. Yes i do like this article a lot, especially because you can't quite find where it is going, and that the simplicity speaks so much. you write very much in character which is wonderful. this is very real-that is what i like. i know those annoying comments about size, as i am always called "Anarexic" when i know very well i am just rite. people say a picture says a thousand words, i often think vise-versa. and this is what a literature peice should do, paint, and put togeth... (more »)
 
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Olivia said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm:
it is a good story. Especially for People who think they need to be the same. No One is the same, no one is perfect.!
 
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t.hampton said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm:
this is really nice, i actually felt the way she would feel throughout the narrative
 
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wspencer said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm:
Yeah this article is true about some girls because they dont want to fell ashame about wearing a big size but they just need to be there self's and chill out with all the haters.?
 
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laughsalot said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 9:49 am:

i can relate their is alot of pressure to be skinny

but just remeber you are who are

no need to change that 

 
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moon_light_writer said...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 11:02 pm:
But I am a size small in shirts.
 
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moon_light_writer said...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm:
I feel the same way as you do. I wear a size 11 in pants.
 
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emmacxoxo said...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm:
it can go the other way too, i was a 00 for so long, i was wasting away...it made me feel isolated and everyone constantly made comments
 
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SkyDeerThis 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. 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm:
It doesn't matter what size you are- remeber that.
 
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amtpinkpandaThis 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. 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm:
except in my house if u served yourself to much you had to sit there and and finish, full or not.
 
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amtpinkpandaThis 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. 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm:

can completely relate

i havent been a size seven since i was 4

 
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