What Does It Mean To Be Fat?

The Establishment
The Establishment
Published in
9 min readApr 19, 2016

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By Amy Stephenson

I am a floating head attached to the most wildly unpredictable thing on earth.

II am 18 and I work at a record store in the mall and there’s an H&M directly across so I go there, almost every day.

I try things on — a wide leg trouser, a fitted jacket — and take them off. What I am doing is playing dress up, trying to figure out what my body actually looks like. I am a floating head attached to the most wildly unpredictable thing in the universe. I have a persistent fear that I will have gained three pants sizes since I was here yesterday, and simultaneously a desperate hope that my years of trying not to eat ever will catch up with me, and as if by magic my thighs will be a palatable circumference.

Presto, a mid-calf length twill skirt. Change-o, take it off.

I am 22, I live in Alaska. The girl who works in the office with me — Bethany — is gorgeous. She’s taller than me, with dark hair, wide-set eyes, and a Michigan accent.

She tells me she’s trying to lose weight; she can’t stand her body after giving birth to her son. My own mother frequently expresses the same annoyance. Bethany says her husband’s father calls her BOB, which stands for Big Old Butt.

I am a floating head…

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The Establishment
The Establishment

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