It all started
On a sunny day
Walking by the brownstones
After seeing a play.
I was eight
When I said I wanted to be an actress.
And I didn’t shut up about it.
It was a dream,
And then my grandmother said to me
As I walked under one of the little trees
And the sun shone through the leaves
“They’ll never want someone like you.
You’re too big. Loose some weight.”
That didn’t stop me, though.
I just said I would play character roles
Like Tracy Turnblatt.
But it sent something else spiralling.
And it still hasn’t let me reach the ground.
I wasn’t ever actually fat.
Though I said I was.
I was just a little bigger
because I didn’t loose my baby fat until I was fourteen.
My self-consciousness manifested itself toxically.
But sometimes it was just “a thing”
Like I would have to be at the bottom of a human pyramid.
If I was strong, then nobody would notice I didn’t look like the other girls.
I could out-push up all of the boys.
But I was afraid to be picked up
Or go in the air
Because I thought I would crush whoever held me.
I refused to climb things
And refused to let people carry me.
I still don’t like it.
I can’t sit on people’s laps.
I always have to be the biggest one in the cuddle line.
Because even if I’m only one hundred and sixty pounds
And they’re a thousand
I went through a phase where I told myself I looked beautiful
Even though I did not believe it myself.
I wore tight clothes under baggy clothes
And told myself I looked like a princess.
But all I could see was my stomach
The little folds under my armpits
The baby fat that still had not left me.
Even when I lost 25 pounds in a single summer
And everyone was worried
I still felt fat.
I hadn’t done anything but exercise and go veggie,
but it worked.
And I kept it off for a year.
But now it’s back and I hate myself.
The first time I came across Bulemia
Or binging and purging
Or not eating
Was in the sixth grade when I read “Pretty Little Liars”.
And I’m ashamed to say that I thought
“Why can’t I do that?”
And wanted to puke.
I dreamed of sitting over the toilet
And puking my troubles away.
But I could never do it.
And I’m not sure if that makes me lucky or not.
Because I may not have puked,
But I still want to.
Every day I tell myself I’m not going to eat anymore,
but I get to about three o’clock and eat so much I almost puke.
And instead of being scared,
I’m ashamed I was not strong enough to go through with my convictions.
Even if they are to starve myself.
I want to be strong,
But not large.
Because even if I’m as tiny as a twig,
I will still be a gargantuan
In my head
It only gets more confusing when you find out
What I found out last year.
That I’m not a girl even though to the rest of the world I look perfectly like one.
I did not want to think about it
And at the beginning it was great
As long as I got rid of my breasts
Those horrible lumps on my chest
I could be happy
There were no beauty standards to be held up to my enby self-
But I was wrong.
The tall skinny white boy androgyny followed me everywhere
It made me worse.
During the summer I go to a sleep away camp
With all my closest friends
At the beginning I didn’t have any
And then they were transient
And then they weren’t at all.
They were all beautiful
But I was not
I would only wear one-piece spedo suits so I could cover up
For years I wore tankinis and board shorts because I thought if I covered up I wouldn’t look so Huge
Wearing a bikini was a huge thing for me
After years and years of hating my stomach, I embraced it for one summer.
But my mother did not like it.
She said I was showing too much skin and she did not get it and she never wore bikinis so she didn’t understand why I wanted one.
My mother didn’t understand a lot of things
Namely, that what she said did not translate that way into my head.
What my head understood was
“You can’t wear a bikini
It’ll snap in the water because you’re too large to
Deserve the skinny girl icon bathing suit
Because you’re not skinny.
You’re huge and ugly.
Nobody loves people like you.”
And even though I knew that that was not what she was saying
That’s how it felt.
Changing rooms have always been hell.
I can stare in its mirror for hours and not see myself.
I trained myself not to because
For years I could not find clothing that fit me
And it broke my heart.
I went kids, women’s, juniors
Because stores make the assumption that just because I’m twelve means that
I am a tall, skinny curtain rod
Who has a big boobs
But not a big anything else.
I used to stare at myself in the mirror with violent hate
“How does this look on the mannequin?”
Because making my body not my own was the only way to see beauty in it
When you’ve already been to fifteen stores
And all you have is a white t-shirt.
But more complications came last fall
When I realised
After months of putting it off
That I was mostly a boy.
If it’s possible, my hate became hotter
And I try so hard but
I can’t look myself in anywhere but the eye.
Below my collar bones I am not myself.
I feel disgusted, ugly, loathing
When I think of myself in the mirror
When I’m not in baggy clothes to hide my curves
Or smushing some part of myself to make it go away.
I pull up my love handles to get rid of my waist
I press down my breasts
And even still,
Whenever I look at my reflection
I still see my stomach
And nothing else
And I want to cut it, along with all my fat, off.
I used to dream of diet pills
That would open a small black hole in your stomach
So you wouldn’t gain weight.
When I realised how fucked up it was,
But I still want them.
I want them for the ability
To go to a party and be nervous and turn to food because there’s nobody to turn to
And not feel like I am a demon for eating chips
To come home from a hard day and turn to chocolate
Without hating myself as I munch
I want to be able to enjoy life
Without thinking so much about how I look
Because everyone knows that the day I look like a man
It’s back to sundresses and sandals for me,
At least among friends.
I spend all my time telling others that they are beautiful,
Because I’m good at hiding
And I know they are too
And I know that they need it
Because I need it too
And there’s nothing in this whole world
I wouldn’t do
To make them feel better
At home in their skin.
Because one day I want to love the body
I was given by fate.
And I want them to join me.
In what I perceive to be bliss.