How You Carry The Weight

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 21:57 -- mg010

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The other day, I was talking about how much I weigh

and how this affects my life,

and the person I was talking with said something to me.

She said

“but you carry your weight so well.”

At 200 pounds, five foot five, eighteen years old-

 “You learn to carry it.”

I responded softly.

 

You learn to carry the weight

by pouring through magazine articles

that say they will teach you fashion;

make-up; social skills-

self-confidence.

 

You go online to learn how to handle a smudge brush,

how to crimp your eyelashes

and pluck your brows.

You find comfort in controlling the liquid liner,

in making your eyes look bigger or smaller,

and contouring your face using foundation and highlighter and toner.

 

You learn to avoid Hollister and Abercrombie

when you are not yet thirteen years old,

and later on in life know to walk right past

Urban Outfitters and Wet Seal

because they only carry up to a size large.

 

You find joy in fashion

by shopping at stores that carry your size,

that add Xs to the Ls like kisses.

You shop with your mother because she won’t lie to you like your friends do

when you try on something that makes your legs look big,

or your stomach more round.

 

And when your mother becomes too conservative,

or too outdated-

you learn how to shop alone.

 

You stop yourself from responding to people who tell you

“You are not fat”

with

“If I am not fat, then why does the bed only creak when I jump into it?”

“If I am not fat, then why am I out of breath just walking back from class?”

“If I am not fat, why can I grab my stomach in fistfuls while other people can barely pinch theirs?”

Instead you will shrug your shoulders,

let your mind scream but your mouth smile,

suck your stomach in and say

“I guess.”

 

You start reading books about boys falling in love with girls

and try very hard not to remind yourself

that the girls in the books are skinny,

and so are the boys,

and that books are not real for you,

and never can be.

 

You make friends with nice girls

who will not make fun of you,

and will not push you out of your comfort zone

of skirts that cover your thighs

and bathing suits that hide your stomach.

 

You avoid being even just friends with boys

the same way you avoid those stores-

because most teenage boys don’t carry thoughts in your size.

And it gets tiring being a matchmaker

for someone who sees you as not a different sex,

but a different species.

 

 And you start to hate your hands

because they do not look hold-able.

You start to hate your lips

because they do not seem kissable.

You hate your hips even more

because they do not appear touchable.

And then you just-

STOP.

You force yourself to sidestep the idea of relationships,

because you do not feel dateable.

 

You avoid the mirror altogether on bad days,

when your body starts to push out of your clothes.

You force yourself into sweatpants and sweatshirts

and place your big, fat body in front of the television

and watch the lives you will not lead,

and try not to go out because honestly?

It feels like shit to be seen.

 

You stare into the mirror on good days

and give yourself a long, hard look,

inspecting the nice parts of your face.

Maybe it’s your eyes, the way your hair falls,

your nose or how evenly spaced your forehead looks.

You remind yourself of what everyone always tells you-

a fat girl sure can have a pretty face.

 

You find comfort in words

in other people’s success stories

in plus sized clothing sections

in a whole twenty four hours you didn’t think the world was staring at you-

in the two seconds the cute boy was, and smiling.

 

You carry the weight by keeping your chin up

-because if you look down,

people will see you have two.

 

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