Fitting In | Teen Ink

Fitting In MAG

By MonicaMS BRONZE, Providence, Rhode Island
MonicaMS BRONZE, Providence, Rhode Island
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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.

Similar Articles


This article has 348 comments.

Cuppacoffee said...
on Jan. 17 2009 at 1:08 am
It was well written, although weight is a bit of an overdone topic. Yes, a lot of girls struggle with weight and fitting in. We know. Society is conditioning girls to obsess over weight. We also know.

Akpp said...
on Jan. 17 2009 at 12:44 am
I am a size 7 also i like this story but the girlz could be nicer though but w/e'z

Haley said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 10:13 pm
OMG!This is a really good 1!

Joy said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 1:00 am
This piece was heart-wrenching and beautiful. I know how it feels for those scenes to take place in a third grade environment. Looking back on it, I'm disgusted by what our society has turned young girls-- children-- into. Third grade girls obsessed with weight. You're a beautiful writer.

spaznkool101 said...
on Jan. 9 2009 at 5:17 pm
I could totally see this happening. But it's kind of sad that some thing like this would happen in a third grade environment. I really hate the standards that society has set on girls that they have to be a certain size to look good. Can't they just look good where we are. To see third graders ridiculed like they're in high school really shows you how much they really see in our every day world. The sad part is what they pick up from all of it.

thefirstday said...
on Jan. 8 2009 at 1:41 am
This is brilliant. I'm a size 7 but it doesn't feel good enough.

BIGVision said...
on Jan. 1 2009 at 2:01 am
Great vivid I felt as if I was there. Lets keep up the great work.

MrTennis said...
on Dec. 31 2008 at 12:22 am
That's my best frannn!!!

I know someone who's published! lol