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Why I Choose to be Fat

Doctors have bullied me about my weight for years, but obesity has given me the armor I needed to survive.

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I have fought against myself for so very long, against everything I’d internalized: everything my father told me I was, everything my mother told me I couldn’t do; everything the kids at school told me I looked like, everything my (supposed) care providers swore I should be. I’ve laid down my arms. I will simply be.

I am not a pathology. I am breasts and belly that bounce softly with my every step, thighs that sweep each other, and a rear end that rolls along behind me like that final note after a song has ended.

Whenever I doubt myself, whenever I feel ugly, I turn to the one photo I have of myself as a child. I’m seven years old, and I’m beginning to plump up. My belly strains the fabric of my footie pajamas, but I am all smiles, fists at my hips in a Superman pose, a baby blanket cape around my neck. I’m starting to be teased at school, and the lunch ladies give me smaller spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, but I’m not ashamed (not yet). I don’t care about being beautiful or fitting in. In this moment, I know that no matter what happens to me, no matter what I’ll endure, I am powerful.


Laura Bogart's work has been published in various journals and she is a regular contributor to The Nervous Breakdown. She is currently at work on a novel.

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