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Diary from Your Fat Friend

TW: Fatphobia, Negative Self Image

By Shelby LarsenPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

You stand in your closet, turning from side to side, sucking in your "stomach." I watch from my perch on your bed. We both stare at your reflection in the mirror, and I dread the question I know is coming.

"Do I look fat in this?"

"Of course not." I try to hide my frustration. You look amazing. As always. Your stomach is flat. There's nothing there. I simply don't understand what you're so concerned about.

As you fret over your outfit and worry your date might think you're fat, I think about how much space I take up. If you look in the mirror and see fat, what do you see when you look at me?

~~~

You show up at my house in the evening, boasting about how little you've eaten today. I remind you that food is important. Your body needs fuel to survive. You're only hurting yourself in the long run by starving yourself.

Inside though, I'm jealous. Why can't I skip meals? Why am I so hungry? Why don't I have the will power you do?

After you leave, I cry over my dinner. Disappointed in myself for being unable to operate the way you do and disappointed in myself of being jealous of someone hurting themselves.

~~~

I go most of the day without eating - just like you! I didn't mean to, I was just busy. I feel proud, I feel skinny, and I feel sick. I eat a small dinner, hoping to avoid a binge.

I secretly want to brag to you, but I've been lecturing you to eat, and I'm also ashamed over the pride I feel. I go to bed feeling confused - and nauseated.

In the morning I step on the scale, and I'm up from my last weigh in. Defeated, I'm secretly angry at you for being thin and beautiful. When you want to lose a few pounds, you hit the gym, eat less, and suddenly your clothes fit better.

Why can't I do the same?

~~~

You call to complain that you have no "good" photos of yourself. I listen to you go on and on about your double chin, your fat arms, your thick thighs, and your stomach. I don't believe any of it, but I try to be supportive.

Forty minutes later when we hang up, I stand in the mirror and think about all of those things on me. Do you not look at my big fat body and feel skinny in comparison? Because when I look at you, I feel twice your size - which I technically am if we compare your size 10 vs. my size 20.

~~~

I've spent years trying to focus on positive aspects of myself. I've overcome some serious self-image issues. I stopped equating fat with ugly. Fat is just a descriptor. It's not a bad word. I want to leave the negative connotations at the door.

I try to eat right so that I feel good. I go to the gym to get stronger and to keep up with my dog. Those are the things I want to focus on.

I hate that I still let other people's words affect my thoughts, my actions, and, most importantly, the love I have for myself.

I hate that I've let you in my head - letting your poor self-image infect my own.

I hate that our society makes us feel worthless if we don't meet a specific standard. If our weight, our hair, our makeup, our wardrobe, or our attitude doesn't meet their expectations - then suddenly we're less than?

~~~

I don't blame you. We're all victims of the media. We're either too fat or too skinny. Too loud or too quiet. Too tall or too short. Too feminine or too masculine. The list is endless. If we play their game, we'll never win.

So a challenge to everyone reading...

Remind yourself and those around you: we're all beautiful. Each and every one of us - all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Sincerely,

Your Fat (& Beautiful) Friend

beautybody

About the Creator

Shelby Larsen

Warning: I love messing with your favorite fairy tales.

I've loved writing most of my life. In college I made it my passion, but once I reached the "real" world, I stopped. I'm here to find my creativity and get back to my passion.

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Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (18)

  • Dr. Jason Benskin28 days ago

    Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Alexavierabout a month ago

    very good story

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a month ago

    We are so hard on ourselves. Never realizing what our negative energy puts on those we love. Great reminder. Congratulations on your top story. Happily subscribed

  • Bluepicksabout a month ago

    nice keep doing what you are doing

  • shanmuga priyaabout a month ago

    Congratulations 🎉 on top story.

  • angela hepworthabout a month ago

    This spoke to me on such a level as someone who was always “the fat friend”. Having skinnier friends fretting over being fat and having that affect your own mentality and insecurities is something a lot of us know all too well. It’s a horrible feeling, but it’s no one’s fault. I wish we could all accept our bodies for what they are and how much they do for us, yet society tells us not to. Amazing work here.

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Every person is unique in his own way Try to accept yourself as you are Coz God has created to everyone perfect 🥰

  • ROCK about a month ago

    This is such a broken part of womanly sisterhood; no matter our shape or size we need to support one another. There simply is no way to contribute as a whole to society if we are busy comparing ourselves to one another. Sad but true reflective piece.

  • Dharanidharan T about a month ago

    Nice 👍, keep your work.

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    and then Ozempic changed everything..

  • Golam Kibriaabout a month ago

    Write more stories like this

  • Alexandria Stanwyckabout a month ago

    I love the message behind this. I still struggle with my body image but it was worse when I was younger. It took me a while to understand that a healthy shape is different for everyone and should be based on much more than your weight or BMI.

  • Alexander McEvoyabout a month ago

    Having never once in my life had a good thoughts about my appearance, this resonated deeply with me. I had a friend who would disappear if she turned sideways but always moaned about how “fat” she was. Didn’t stay friends very long. Not that I have any real self esteem, but being around people like that somehow makes me feel worse. I’m glad you’ve found the strength to love yourself :) maybe I’ll learn one day Congrats on Top story!

  • Jaye Poolabout a month ago

    Very good piece. I can resonate.

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Very inspirational piece with so much depth and truth to the media and it’s dirty relationship to “health” and its standard of beauty

  • Lena Folkertabout a month ago

    Well. First time I’ve logged into vocal in months. And this is what I read. My own words poured out onto the page as though I wrote them. I’ve been failing this test so much lately. A gym membership paid for for a year but my fear of being judged too strong to go. Trying to eat healthy but so overwhelmed with self loathing I get too depressed and binge eat to make the pain go away. The cycle continues. And so much of this influenced by the people around me complaining about how “fat” they are. Like doing that around me is their surest form of affirmation bc we both know what I’ll say. Well deserved top story love.

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Oh, I loved this piece, especially the ending!! Thanks for doing it.

  • Denise E Lindquistabout a month ago

    Thank you for sharing this Beautiful!❤️ I definitely relate.

Shelby LarsenWritten by Shelby Larsen

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