1996 (5th Grade):  Her name was Danielle and she called me "Hippo". Not affectionately either. The peer pressure in elementary school was oppressive, even for a child. Classmates were french kissing (I didn't know what that meant), Tom was calling me a "bitch" (my mom told me what that meant), I faux-voted for Bill Clinton because everyone else was (I felt SO guilty) and I wore orange socks which were apparently unforgivable even at age 10. The last thing I needed was someone to point out the fact that I wasn't slender.

1999 (8th Grade): I went to Sears in the mall to pick out a new dressy shirt (such a treat) and Mom let me do the shopping alone. I remember the shirt I chose so vividly: light lime green with elastic lined sleeves. After wearing it for a month, my Mom pulled me aside and said that I should get rid of it because it was "unflattering" on my arms. She started to cry and assured me that someday I would find a man that would love me for me, and not for the way I looked. I loved that shirt until then.

2005 (Freshman Year in College): The Mormon College I attended was marriage-centric. The girls spent their free time flirting and working out in the University's gym. I remember the mandatory gym outfits (baggy grey men's t-shirts and dark blue basketball shorts) that were supposed to keep you modest, but really just made you feel like a gargantuan cinder block. I would change only in the bathroom stalls. I look back on the pictures now and see how perfect I was, and I wonder how in the world my vision was so distorted. I kinda wish I still looked like I did then.

2010 (Trip to London): We were couch surfing with a Scottish lad and we went pub hopping, picking up his friends along the way. I distinctly remember cramming into a cab and arriving at a posh bar with paparazzi outside and feeling severely underdressed in my silly purple and white 50's day dress compared to everyone else's slinky black and gold. To further instill my unacceptability, one of the Brits turned to my rail thin friend and said "Now THATS what an American girl should look like!". Some random acquaintance defended me saying that I was okay too, but the comment was still throbbing in my head and I don't really remember what was said. Looking back, I realize that I was a "bella tourista".

2011 (Working in the Bakery): It was a weekday morning and my chauvinistic boss was blaring his usual shock jock radio show for a few hours. The radio jockey made a smarmy comment about how he hurt his back while having sex with a "fat chick" and I felt shame completely submerge me. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't look up. I felt so not okay. I let rude and crude men make me feel not okay.

2012 (Today): I stood up extra straight for the picture so my chin wouldn't double, thought twice about it and decided "fuck it". Body acceptance starts with me, and only me. Then it grows into a circle of friends and people that accept and love who I am. Then it expands into surrounding myself with media and role models that embrace and celebrate diversity and challenge the unrealistic norm. Then, and only then, can it sprout into a lifestyle that outwardly advocates for EVERYONES right to feel not just okay, but exquisite.

Take THAT Karl Lagerfeld.


  1. THANK YOU. I loved this post. It makes me think of all the shit I went through as a young teenager through, well... recently, when I finally became happy with myself. Sure, I'd like to be healthier, and maybe be able to find clothes more easily but it's not THAT hard and I feel pretty damn sexy most of the time.

    My mom told me to always 'suck my stomach in' because it 'makes you look skinnier' when I was like.. 10. I remember telling her that it hurt and she told me that I would get used to it...

    I was always the 'fat girl' though I was never too big. More busty and curvy than anything. Sure the girls I hung around with were stick thin with no boobs so I looked fat, but I wasn't. And I wish I'd seen that so long ago. Now I'm bigger than I ever have been but so much happier.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. It made me feel all kinds of awesome. :)

  2. great post! i look at pictures of myself from high school when my mom was telling me how fat i was and i felt awful and i can't believe how small i was! and i can't believe that i thought i was huge! isn't it funny how just a few comments can completely tear you down (and still be with you almost 10 years later?)

  3. I remember 3/4 of these pictures, when they happened etc. I miss living so close to you lady. I know my opinion doesn't count for much in the big big world but I have been totally in love with you since the day I met you (in your black shirt and black and pink pinestrip trousers, pink flower flats and blonde hair sitting on my dorm floor). I ALWAYS thought you were the most beautiful. I still do. This is how I describe you to my friends here: "Jes'ca, ya know, my bestie that lives in Tucson, the really beautiful, spunky one" :D I loves you lady.
    Remember that one girl (girlsss to be exact) that always made ME feel extraordinarily hippo-ish? I'm pretty sure it was because she was so jealous of us :)

  4. You are a rockstar and I definitely want to be your friend. I love this idea and would love to link up with you on a similar post about myself. I am really horrible at remembering things from my childhood on demand but I am going to start writing things down.

    Reading your experiences really struck a chord with me. I can't believe how insensitive people can be directly and indirectly. It so unfair that women are treated this way, even from such a young age. I hope it is getting better out there for young fat girls.

  5. This is a great blog and I think you are amazing.

  6. i just found your blog today, so i'm behind a bit on your awesomeness. but i loved this post so much. i've never been called out because of my weight, but i am jewish and have always been 'funny looking.' i've been insulted my whole life for the way i looked, and this post really struck a chord with me. i'm glad someone is brave enough to write these things and put themselves out there, and i love the mix of activism, humor, and fucking awesome food on this blog.

  7. Laura,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and YOU'RE WELCOME. I'm just glad that my experiences can strike a chord:)

    Welcome, and btw, I think you're cute as hell.

  8. You are OH so right ma'am! Thanks for sharing this. I think this has added to my love for your blog. (BTW - I have read every post this morning. You are making my day at work go by with a breeze.) I love your passion for life... It's amazing. Today - I am taking a picture and EMBRACING my chin! Double and all!


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