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The Things They Never Told Me

They always told me that no one would ever love me because I was fat.

Of course, the words they chose sounded more like “Oh, honey, I think that’s a little small for you” and “Well, maybe something in our accessories section will work.” And they would watch me pitifully return to the corner where they had all the expensive gems that they knew I could never afford. And if I was really lucky they would whisper about me too.

As if I didn’t already know that the largest size they had was really a size ten. As if I had no clue that the things I could afford were specifically tailored to fit the body of thin, unrealistic barbie doll body types.

And as I got older, and the middle schoolers would joke about “fat hookers” and “chubby chasers”, I also got sicker. I would forget who I was for long hours, trying to find ways to fit my rotund stomach into outfits that did absolutely nothing for my curvy figure. I would waste all my time trying not to look hungry in front of my friends, for fear that they would offer me something to eat. When the truth was, all I wanted was food, but the thought of eating in front of my beautifully proportioned friends was so terrifying that I suppressed every urge until I got home, where I could scarf down all the food I wanted without worrying about what everyone would say.

But honestly, what hurt the most was not that they had irrational expectations for my breasts and buttocks and stomach. What hurt the most was that they never really told me. What hurt the most was that while I was crying myself to sleep, trying to imagine what I would look like ‘if only I were thinner’ they were busy lying to me. Because even though the words “no one will love you because you’re fat” never came out of anyone’s mouth, I heard them every day.



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