Skinny: An Ode to Self-Love

When I was a little girl, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up

and I would reply with skinny.

Why? To be beautiful of course.

I told my friends once,

I would give up my blue eyes to be skinny.

Like a parasite, the fat engulfs you,

Removes every part that someone could consider worthy

and then … then it puts you on display for the world to see.

To point at. To Laugh. 

Because here’s the thing:

I did not have fat,

I was fat.


She ignored me,

because I was fat.

He stopped talking to me,

because I was fat.

I believed him,

because I was fat.

I kept going back,

because I was fat.

Someone showing interest in me? It’s absurd.

Don’t be an an idiot

Don’t let it go.

Don’t worry about the wounds,

you can heal that,

just another layer of fat.


I never looked in the bathroom mirror when I stepped out of the shower,

not because I was scared to see my body,

but because I was scared to see me.

Scared to to be a woman, a sister, a daughter, a friend.

Scared to be a person.

That privilege is only granted to the skinny.

Someway, somehow,

my happiness is indirectly proportional to my weight. 

So if I have a good time,

would it have been better… if I was skinny?


I hear the compliments, the congratulations,

but I do not need it.

I don’t want you telling me how skinny I am

because I am not skinny.

I am Elena.

And she is so much more.


If you think for even a second that I lost weight because I wanted to be skinny, shame on you. The weight left the moment I stepped out of that shower, looked in the mirror, and told myself I was beautiful.

And so is that it?

She lives happily ever after, self esteem soaring through the clouds?

But the monster lives on.

He lives on the tiny display screen of the scale,

Peaks out of the corners of the mirror,

Dances across the numbers on the measuring tape.

He doesn’t speak often,

but when he does,

he yells.

And so I close my eyes and tell myself he’s a liar,

he doesn’t know any better,

he is weak.

I am stronger,

or so I tell myself,

it may be a lie, but let it be.

The saying goes: fake it ’til you make it,

and one day I will have made it,

but until then,

watch me stand up for myself,

tearing down the demons,

piece by piece.

Hear me yell,

at the top of my lungs,

you are beautiful.

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