Between chubby and thin lines



by Gabriella Mayer


Staring at my phone,
an open browser on a page
talking about Ashley Graham bathing suits
It’s the luscious taste
of the first Pumpkin Spice Lattes of Fall.

My fellow women are in an organized movement
in favor of falling in love with themselves,
uninstalling Photoshop from their self-esteem.
The beginning of the end of the Middle Ages.

In every picture of high-waisted jeans and crop-tops,
I fall in love. 
In every admission of stretch marks, I spread lavender oil over my thighs.
And yet, every picture contains someone plus-sized and tall.
I am not tall. My body sticks out with no long legs to make up for it.

On the BMI scale, I am technically borderline between overweight and obese.
I can find my 12 to 14 sized clothes in most stores.
I can find high-waisted jeans and feel sexy
As long as my shirt is long enough people won’t stare at my convex stomach.

This observation came to me long before I was put on diets as a preteen,
family members sitting me down saying “You look pregnant”
before I had my first crush in middle school
on a tanned blond boy with blue eyes
who pretended I never existed.

This is the thing:
I'd rather you put me on a pedestal
and worship me like the deity I know I am 
than you cowering on the ground in name of 
the pagan as you see me.

I’m not Ashley Graham. 
I’m not Gigi Hadid.
But this body as I know it
has carried me in the arms of good health
long before health was based on the width of a tree.

I stand tall among the sycamores
and welcome the renaissance of grecian bodies.
Rays of sunlight now sprout branches from my arms
like the celestial body that makes my life eternal.
I am rightfully part of the starry bodies of Earth.

CONVERSATION

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