Fat Girl in a Green Bathing Suit

Standing in the kitchen, my thick thighs rubbing together underneath my skirt, I am slowly working the premade pizza dough to stretch.  It came in a plastic bag, this dough, from one of those “Cook At Home” meal box programs, the kind you try because you have a coupon for a free week and then ultimately pay for a few more weeks because you forget to cancel the service (because it costs way too much).

The meals I have ordered from this service are touted as both “healthy” and “vegetarian”, which are not, in case you didn’t know, synonymous terms in the least.  I know this because I am primarily the latter (a vegetarian) and aspire to be the former (health concious)—but it’s a difficult reconciliation.

I want to be healthy.  I try to be healthy. I don’t eat much meat but I eat a lot of cheese and brussel sprouts.  And spinach. I read ingredient labels; I put back the bread where the first word listed is enriched. 

I drink a green smoothie every morning. Whir, whir. Pulsing the blender with my fingers, add the chia, the flax. I like the taste, the texture.  The green. I imagine the antioxidants swerving through my veins, Go Go Gadget Vitamin E. 

Of course, I also eat dessert.  Everyone knows there’s not much meat in dessert. And I really like dessert.

If you’re into that sort of thing, perhaps you can judge how much I like dessert by the way my thighs rub together. You can judge how much I like brie by the soft wobble of my upper arm, the part that keeps on waving long after my hand has signalled by hello. You can judge every part of me that you see, if that’s the kind of thing you like to do.

If that’s the kind of thing you like to do, I won’t judge.

But what about the spinach?  And the smoothie?  Do you see my love for flax seed in the strong sloping hardness of my back?  Are you looking at the whites of my eyes and the thickness of my hair, a braid down my back, a silver dollar sized hunk? Can you see my sturdy bones? The pinkish hardened healthy half moons of my nails?

It’s not about the way you look.  I’m concerned for her health. 

But really, can you really judge how healthy a woman is by the thick, fleshy curve of her hip? Does being a size 12, 14, 16 alone really mean my days are numbered? Is this the only answer that matters? Those who want to judge, are much more apt to assess my healthfullness based on the number on the inside of my bathing suit versus the number on the paperwork from my doctor’s lab—they believe the measure of a healthy woman is the measure of her thighs. Forget science. Forgo numbers. Screw you, doctor. It’s modern beauty we should worry about.  This tells me all I need to know about this woman. 

If you are into that sort of thing, if you are the type to make a judgement based only on what you see, then you are not really my type at all.

It’s her health I worry about. It’s not about the way you look. Oh, but it is. It’s about the way YOU look at ME.

In a dress, as I sing karaoke. In soft pants, as I order some spaghetti. In my bathing suit, my beautiful bathing suit, at the ocean.

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When you look, what you don’t see:

I’m strong. I can teach an eight year old girl to ride a two-wheeler in one Saturday afternoon and carry in 6 bags of groceries in one trip from the car.

My brain is fueled by flax seeds and sometimes chocolate croissants—it writes essays about love and sex and skin and kindness and dresses and teenagers and addiction and death and gratitude.

Sometimes my thighs rub together while I knead pizza dough.

Sometimes I am the only one in the house strong enough to open a jar of dill pickles.

Once I carried a bed up two flights of stairs, all by myself.

You can’t find those things, these intangible things, in the thick knot of flesh above my knees.

So they do not matter.

Here is what matters:

A girl at the beach whispered “I like that fat girls bathing suit!” when I walked by.

I swam way out to where the waves drowned that girl’s voice.

Then I swam back in again.

I am the fat girl in the green bathing suit. It’s emerald, really, against the porcelain slope of my flesh. Green like a mermaid’s fin. All this flesh, my glorious oyster.

“They only make this suit for fat girls.” I said quietly to that girl, as I sifted my way back to my place in the sand. And her face turned red, but I smiled kindly at her anyway. Maybe she didn’t know I could hear her. Maybe she hadn’t meant it with disdain. 

I smiled at that girl.

Sometimes the careful measure of my words, the beautiful measure of my style, the growing measure of my strength and my character is far greater than the size of my hips.

If only someone was interested in judging that.

 

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144 Comments

    • Thank you so much Jenn—I feel wonderful and confident, writing about it is like my therapy (so cheap!). 🙂 It’s such a process though (the confidence).

      Reply
      • Nicole, if you are FAT then, I must be a planet! Sweetheart you are beautiful! And I love the green swimsuit but, unfortunately my days of Misses sizes are gone, gone. It probably doesn’t come in a Women’s size. I am very fortunate that my husband loves me and remembers what I once looked like in high school, before kids, divorce, night shifts, and loss of family. I am blessed. Let people say what they will…I wonder if they are as happy as I. God bless you Nicole! Keep writing.

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    • I do agree so much with this answer, bravo !
      I read this post in French, and I loved reading it again in English.
      It seems to me that you look wonderful in your bathing suit !
      Kisses from France <3

      Reply
  1. That’s a gorgeous bathing suit. I love anything green.

    Great post, also. I try to eat healthy but I also love sweets, so it can be a battle. And ditto on Jenn’s comment – you don’t look like a “fat girl!” 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m okay with being a fat a girl, sometimes it makes me laugh to think of how I’ve embraced it on the list of “things that I am” just like my messiness and my sense of humor. My husband hates it when I say it—he really just sees in me, someone he loves. That makes me love myself more.
      This bathing suit—I could not love it more. I might marry it. 🙂

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      • PLEASE DO NOT SAY YOU ARE FAT!! You are beautiful, curvy, volumptuous, womanly – exactly what a REAL man wants. Only men who are really attracted to little 12 year old boys like stick girls with no boobs or they are afraid that “SOCIETY” might make fun of them for having a real woman as their partner instead of what the ridiculous new “NORM” is!!

        Reply
  2. You looked amazing in that beautiful bathing suit. I see nothing but a smart, strong, sexy woman in that suit. I was there remember, so I know what I say is true. As for that person who said that, well fu#@ her. She was obviously jealous because what she saw in you, she only wished she had herself. XO

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  3. You are not fat. Society has forgot what real women look like. We have gone from admiring Marilyn Monroe (sz 14) to double zero sized twigs who live off Adderall and diet coke. I would rather eat my dessert and wear the green, mermaid bathing suit with a smile!

    Reply
    • Every woman is a real woman regardless of size. Implying otherwise is divisive and hurtful. Judging a woman for being skinny as some “twig who lives off Adderall and diet coke” isn’t any better than assuming a larger woman has no self control or is unhealthy. Both are unkind, and both are prejudiced. Women need to support each other and build each other up if we’re truly going to make any changes in combating unrealistic standards of beauty. Attacking each other is not the answer.

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  4. I love dessert. I’ve begun reconciling the fact that I’ll never be thin so I’m just working my way toward healthy. And dude..you are so not even close to being fat. You look great and I love the bathing suit.

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    • Anyone loves dessert is someone I need to spend more time with. Especially because there are is such wiseness in this comment. Healthy is < than thin for sure. I'm inching my way there, bathing suit by bathing suit. <3

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    • Alix—therapists are my favorite people in the whole world because I was raised by two of them! 🙂 Thank you for this—the reinforcement feels like just a little therapeutic sign that I’m headed in the right direction. Rock on, friend!

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  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous writing from someone who sounds as beautiful on the inside as she looks on the outside.

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    • Man, I’m just going to cry my way through this. How kind are you? Thank you, Jessica. That’s about as perfect as any comment can get. <3

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  6. I have a very similar suit in fire engine red. Also only for fat girls. And your description of wobbly arms? Lord, but that’s a thing. I try to focus on how I, too, love green things — and kickboxing and yoga, and how I run because it makes my endurance better and I can do it for the cost of shoes and a good sports bra, and that my sometimes size 20 jeans tell you nothing of my roundhouse kick or my healthy bloodwork.

    But mmm… desserts.

    Thanks for this.

    Reply
    • I would see your roundhouse kick and think—my lord, that girl is strong and amazing and inspiring. That’s what I would think, just like you thought about the green things I wrote about much more than you focused on the negativity that creeps in and out of this post (and my brain). Because we see those kind of things in people much more than we see thick thighs. And that makes us terrific. It makes you terrific for understanding EXACTLY what I wanted to say. <3

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  7. I love this, exactly how I feel. I absolutely loved your comment “They only make this suit for fat girls.”

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  8. Thank you. Thank you. This is powerful … healing …comforting. This line made me cry: “Once I carried a bed up two flights of stairs, all by myself.” I am my harshest critic. I am the judger. I am the whisperer. You’ve given me something to think about, to hope for: To remember to look at all the things that I am that the mirror doesn’t show.

    Reply
    • Had to stop to weep just a little before I could even muster up the words to respond to the simple beauty in what you wrote. Isn’t it funny, how that—the carrying the bed up the stairs, can seem so simply heartbreakingly wonderfully sad? Even now, 6 months after I did it (and I really did it!) I remember how powerful I felt as I lugged that bed in my son’s room, how I thought about how wonderful that I was thick and strong and breathing all heavy—but I did it! You said it just right—it is all the things that the mirror doesn’t show that really really really count. I wish I could figure out some way to shine a light on them. Just being able to read something as wonderful as you wrote here is enough to remind me to look deeper. Let’s both promise to look deeper. <3 <3

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    • I feel so wonderful in that bathing suit. Isn’t it wild it took four kids and 36 years to be able to feel good about myself in a bathing suit, at the beach? I so appreciate this, Debbie. Thank you.

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  9. I could have written every word of this post–except for the green smoothie thing! 🙂 I love this post so much. I exercise; I love vegetables and quinoa and flax seeds. I also adore desserts and I’m sick of people judging, assuming I am lazy ( I wake at 5 almost every morning to exercise and then I work all day long), I have no self-control or am a slob. Thank you for writing this post.

    Also your bathing suit is gorgeous!! Where did you find it????

    Reply
    • It isn’t the least bit fair, Patty and I’m glad you wrote this. I am so so so sick of the assumptions, too. I’m doing my best every day and while I don’t (we don’t) have to justify anything to anyone—I don’t understand why no one gives me the benefit of the doubt. Especially when I always give the benefit of the doubt. I guess I just want you to know—-I would not think those things of you. I would just share my love of quinoa with you and exchange recipes for brussel sprouts. <3
      The bathing suit is from Modcloth and it was the nicest thing I've done for myself in the longest time. It wasn't that much, maybe $70--I think you should treat yourself to one too---something tells me you deserve it. xoxo

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    • Oh, oh, oh—I feel like that alone is enough for me to believe again in the supreme strength of words (and confidence). It’s a powerful thing you gave me, Carisa—to know that what I was feeling when I wrote these words came through. I feel so blessed.

      Reply
  10. You are lovely and witty. I thank you for being a thoroughly entertaining and inspirational voice.
    Where did you get that beautiful bathing suit?

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    • I love this suit! They have it all sorts of colors at Modcloth—-I really do feel like a mermaid in it. Thank you so much for taking the time both to read the piece and to comment—it means SO MUCH! <3

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  11. When you live your life worrying about other people’s opinions you are only limiting your own life and potential while in most cases not having any impact on them. Of course you should strive to be healthy, and weight is a component of that, but look in the mirror to see the person you want to be not what others expect of you. Good Luck!!!

    Reply
  12. Nicole so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I loved the story and thank you for sharing it. I am in love with the girl in the beautiful green bathing suit 🙂

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    • I’m so glad you stumbled on it too—thank you so much for READING my story! That girl in the beautiful green bathing suit is someone who I’m getting more and more comfortable with being. 🙂 Can’t wait to check out your blog, too, friend. <3

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  13. Gah! I wish I was as “fat” as you! ;). (Which is so ridiculous!). You are gorgeous and so is your suit. Thank goodness you can see past shallow comments. One of my favorite quotes is – “You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.” I loved this article and can’t wait to read more!

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    • Dawn, your quote just so inspired me. I was kind of hiding out, laying low and not sure what to expect from the comments on this piece over on Scary Mommy. And you know what, shame on me. After I read your comment I snuck over to be brave enough to read them. And whoa….The empowering sense of women lifting other women up just threads through those comments—they were protective and careful and reasonably defensive over standards that call “average” women, “fat”. So thank you for that. You reminded me to have a little faith today. <3

      Reply
    • Amen for the truth—and amen for you reaching out and sharing such kind support to me. Thank you so so so much!

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      • Oh my goodness! This is awesome! I never make comments on any articles I read, but I saw this on msn and it lead me to your blog! You are a phenomenal writer and I’m sure someone I would love having as a friend! Keep it up, this kind of transparency mixed with your sense of humor is a powerful combo!!!

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        • Sarah! Thank you for this! I have met the most amazing people through the process of writing, especially essays like that. I’m so glad you’re here and that you took the time to comment. It means so much truly—personally and professionally. <3

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  14. I’m glad for you, that you have this outlook, and I’m pleased you wrote it. It matters and I can see it’s already made a big difference to a lot of women to hear your words. I’m still pondering them for now, but I echo the ‘you’re not fat’ comments others have made.

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    • Thank you for this. And for reading and giving, what I can tell is special, thought to what I wrote. I value that above all. <3

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      • I’m struggling because I’m (currently on the right side of, but still very much someone who slips into the mindset of) a person who recently had an eating disorder. So I look at you in your beautiful swimsuit and I don’t see fat – I see a lovely waist and pretty-shaped legs and nice boobs, and all things that I wish I had, but I don’t, because when I look at myself most of the time all I see is fat. So when you got called ‘fat’ and owned it, it made me a bit sad because I think I’m bigger than you (especially around the legs and arms, which I hate, hate, hate) and that means that I’m also fat, and that causes a difficulty in my brain which is very challenging to override.

        I think that your post has done a lot for the feelings of a number of people who got here before me, and even though you weren’t fishing, I’m glad that this has been used as an opportunity to build you up and take a sensible look at beauty and body shape…I just wish my brain would accept your premise – well, any of them. It seems a much healthier way to be.

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        • I knew you were trying to figure out just what you wanted to say and you said it so incredibly fairly and kindly—I’m so glad you did. The “fat” part has never ever bothered me. Not even the word, I probably use it in a way that pushes it toward non-use if that makes sense. And honestly, after I got a divorce 3 years ago, I just came to this place where I decided I was going to like myself and all of myself. What I most wanted to convey with this piece was that there were so many things that could be seen in me—how thick my hair is from all the flax I eat or how strong my shoulders are from lifting up four babies—and what someone chose to see was something slanted so impossibly negative. I know you got that, too. So it’s kind of weird to have so many wonderful people tell me that “I’m not fat” because I think they felt I needed that—and I love that so many women have come together to lift each other up, because I didn’t think I was (or care very much if I was either way).
          You know what’s really strange though? To read comments debating on whether I’m fat enough to even think I’m fat. I’m 5’4 and 181 pounds , I guess I’m lucky because I carry it well but that’s not “thin”. I have friends way more thin than me who see “fat” when they look in the mirror and I just can’t challenge that part of them that “sees” that.
          I’m rambling, you did such a nice job stating your feelings so succinctly—I wanted so badly to find a way to give that back to you. But here’s something I know know know I can give back to you for sure: I think you’re kind and you’re careful with your thoughts and judicious with your words and in my world those are the most beautiful, perfect things I can think of to be.

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          • Thank you – I try hard to be. I try hard to remember that not only is there another human being on the other end of the screen, but that further people will possibly read the exchange, and as much as I don’t want to cause upset or hurt, I also don’t want to come across as a dick. So there’s that 🙂

            Genuinely, though, I find that the best way to engage is to respond with honesty, and that’s what made me deliberate over how to answer this post…because the feelings in me were so strong that I knew I wanted to say *something*…I just didn’t know how. It needed considering.

            I think the silly thing is that 5’4 and 181lb is considered ANYTHING! That winds me up (a little) about blunt tools like BMI, because the way your mass relates to gravity has nothing to do with your health or muscle content or whether or not your body is suitably functional. I’m glad you chose to focus on those other things.

            Your body is fit for the purpose of living, and THAT is what counts – that it houses your spirit in a way which allows you to love and care for the people who are important.

  15. I felt the heat of my tears rolling down my cheeks as I was swimming away from that voice with you, and even more so when you replied to her with a smile. I imagine your thoughts and what it was that you had inside of you to reply the way you did. That confidence you have in yourself to be so resilient is to be admired. Thank you for putting into words the emotion of those like myself (nicely described as “such a nice person, with a big heart”) this was so beautifully written, and definitely puts a fire in my soul to get back to writing, the cheapest most fulfilling form of therapy! You are so right!

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  16. I came across this blog on scary mommy. I’ve book marked your site and am looking forward to reading more. I love your writing, I can feel your emotion through your words, not many people can do that without being annoying LOL. Way to rock that bathing suit! Still haven’t found the “fat girl” in the picture.

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  17. What exactly makes you fat? You don’t look fat to me..you look healthy and strong. I think the way society views women is completely wrong and poisonous to the young girls that look up to us. The most important thing is if your doctor says you’re healthy then you are healthy. Thank you for this post.

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  18. I think you look great, but I have to commend you for even going out in public in a bathing suit. I feel like no matter what you look like that is a scary proposition (at least to me). You know everyone is going to be judging you (not you specifically but anyone) in the suit. But then I think about not going out to the beach and that would be a hard thing to give up. So as Taylor Swift says you gotta “shake it off” and remember that you are beautiful and that’s all that matters.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth, thank you and you are SO RIGHT about how hard it is. My husband won a performance trip to Hawaii and I was so stressed about going—to have to spend a whole week in my bathing suit in front of my husband’s coworkers made me want to jump off a bridge. But once I got that suit and put it on, for some reason I just felt…beautiful. It made all the difference for some reasons, like I saw myself from the inside out. You’re right, all you can do is shake it off. The less we let stick, the less baggage we carry around. <3

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  19. Things I learned:
    1. You have a beautiful body. Some women just have skewed ideas about what constitutes as “fat”. (I find these are typically younger people, personally.)
    2. OMG that suit. STUNNING. *standing ovation that begins slow and builds*
    3. This is magnificently written. Sweet Tropical Fruit Punch Baby Jesus, you are a First Class writer. All this flesh, your oyster? Gurrrrrl… YES.

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    • Things I learned: 1) Beatrix (maybe the sweetest name in the world) is kind. 2) I totally *saw* that ovation in my mind and felt like it deserves a BRAVO on it’s own. 3) Hands down, you have given me the BEST compliment I have ever had IN MY LIFE. Why aren’t we best friends? We should be best friends and right now. <3

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  20. That Is a beautiful bathing suit and you LOOK AMAZING!! If you are considered a fat girl, then I am obese!!! I hate that people judge a girl always by how skinny she is or isn’t!! You look amazing!!!

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  21. It bothers me a little how many people are assuring you you’re not fat. That’s kind of not the point. You are strong and beautiful regardless of your weight! I know people are being kind but what if you WERE ‘fat’, or I am – foes that make us any less worthy? Good article!

    Reply
    • It’s a challenge—I know exactly what you’re saying. On one hand, I didn’t think I WAS fat and was writing more to say that there was so much more to see in me than my thighs, or my hips or my underarm boob. 🙂 On the other hand, I thought there would be a lot more condemnation or hard assessment of me (and my body), only because having written body type pieces before it seems to open a difficult treasure chest of emotion. But instead, there has been so much positivity and support—I’ve felt this amazing sense of women wanting to support other women—something I should be ashamed at myself for not believing would be true.
      Soooooo, I feel you and on both ends of it, is what I guess I’m trying to say in a round about sleep deprived way. 🙂 I am really grateful because I know you understood exactly what I wanted to say with the piece—thank you so much, Josie.

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  22. Here’s a comment all the way from Norway! You are not fat, but the girl commenting on you was right! That esmerald bathing suit was fantastic!

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  23. If you’re fat, I must be obese! I’m strong as hell, though! And my daughter is big like her mama and she’s strong as hell. That’s all that matters- we feel strong, we feel good. And we’re fabulous! So are you!

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  24. You look stunning, I don’t see the fat girl but I get the point, at the beach where there’s a lot of young not even fully grown skinny girls it is easy to get the “fat girl feeling”. About swimsuits, I actually love swimsuits not because I am the fat girl, I used to be very skinny and I preferd swimsuits as well then, its just so much more glamour in not showing everything. Love your article it is so honest and true.

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  25. I am so glad this popped into my fb feed. I am a dessert lovin, fat mommy that sometimes doesn’t love myself like I should. I am dealing with cancer, fibromyalgia and a few other fun things and beating myself up hurts more than any of those. Also if you’re fat.. That’s how fat I want to be. Thank you again

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  26. I just bookmarked your blog page so I could read them all. My niece shared one of your articles on her page and I just happen to like the title. With sincere interest, I read one of your blogs and then a second…now I am hooked. It will take me a while to catch up but, I will. You have a gift~

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Lisa! I can’t tell you how wonderful your comment it to me—I’m so grateful you enjoyed the piece and very grateful you took the time to comment. I’m sure I’ll have some funny stuff coming up this summer while I try to survive three months with my kids. 🙂

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  27. Modcloth should pay you for all of the positive PR you’re giving their suit. I want one too! And I’m 100% curvy; and even at my lowest weight, my “chub rub” never left. 😛

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    • You said it best here! You gave me goosebumps–I guess we all really do feel like the “fat girl” sometimes, in all the ways that are good and bad and in between. Love this, my friend. Thank you!

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  28. I first saw the headline “The Fat Girl in a Green Bathing Suit” followed by the photo, and then I seriously searched for the “Fat Girl”. What was glaring and obvious to me was a very lovely and beautiful woman who was wearing a really pretty suit. Well done. I have never ever left a comment any where, but I feel this is very important. I myself, love food and cooking – those things make me happy. Being happy makes a person beautiful!! xoxoxo

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    • Happiness really is beautiful—-I know I am drawn to people for the way I feel when I’m with them, not how they look. This is so important! You’re so right here, my friend.

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  29. I don’t see a fat girl at all – I see a beautiful girl, a strong girl, a girl having a good time. I love that you are strong and healthy and can carry heavy things and open stubborn jars. That is important. That is what our bodies should be able to do.

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    • The sweet simplicity in what you said is so true. That IS what our bodies should be able to do—it’s funny how we get all lost in the other stuff. But what we do with our bodies should be way more important to us than what they look like. Love this—thank you so much.

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  30. You’re gorgeous!! I’m so glad I found this article on yahoo. You hit the nail on the head – size is not the perfect indicator of health, and vice versa. Keep rocking your curves, girl!

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  31. Beautifully written & so important! I love your curvy look, & especially how you are embracing it!
    The best thing I ever did to ease my “thunder thighs (first time I heard that comment towards them was when I was 11/12)” fears, was to join a local burlesque troope. Who would’ve thunk!? Exposed thunder thighs, except for fishnets (over flattering dance tights of course) & topped w/ “high waisties” (aka black spanks undies), and a corset, on stage, in front of my community, would be so liberating!…..my fabulous Troope mates were a blessing there too, my family, and our wonderfully supportive fans as well!
    Thank you for sharing! This clearly is empowering for so many of us! Haters gonna hate, but we’ll keep shining the light on us….and them.

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    • Debbi—that is the best story ever! I want to find a troope by me—I would love that experience. And yep. Haters gonna hate, but you and me…we’ll just be doing us. <3

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  32. I have to say I flipped through the pictures looking for the fat girl first. Not finding one, I read your article. (I was planning on reading it but got distracted by looking first, but I digress.) We all are our worst critics, and why is it that its so much easier to remember all the negative things we hear about ourselves? (Usually muttered by another individual who’s either jealous or extremely insecure about themselves.) I think most women’s thighs rub together. I remember as a young girl (thinking she’s fat but was definitely not) being self conscious about my thighs rubbing together. The recent scandals of stores photoshopping the inner thigh area away so the thighs don’t touch certainly doesn’t help us have a normal well-adjusted body image. I think you look amazing and have a gorgeous figure- thighs and all! Btw I love the swimsuit, the color is amazing!

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  33. I loved your green suit. I don’t see you as fat. In fact we might be close to the same size. Having kids gives a woman a different build. I noticed my stomach is paunchy and my arms are flabby I gained weight everywhere but my stomach lol. I bought a bathing suit recently after a year and a half of having my daughter. I was so self conscious of stepping out of the pools dressing room but I sucked it up to have fun with my daughter. I got a lot of comments about my new mommy bathing suit. It’s blue lol.

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  34. I read the title and looked at the photo and thought “What!” The girl in the green bathing suit isn’t fat, she is normal, she has a lovely figure and she looks lovely in her beautiful emerald swimsuit!

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  35. I agree with the other ladies. I don’t see a fat girl in your pictures. You haven’t seen a picture of me. LOL Now I am fat. I love reading your blogs. I am glad I found your page! Thanks for making me smile!

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  36. Absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for writing this, I really needed to read this today. I’ve been struggling with some extra weight since having my son a year ago and have been feeling crappy about my body. I am strong, dammit! Does it matter that I can’t fit into my old jeans? Definitely do not see a fat girl in the pic – we are our own worst enemies!

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  37. I saw this post on Huffington Post recently. I love it. I am a “fat girl” at size 14 and 200 pounds. I also get more than my 10,000 steps every day and have an active 45-60 minute exercise session 5 days per week (including running 3-5 miles 3x weekly). I would rather be fat and healthy than skinny and lazy! You go girl!

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    • Friend, you made the hairs on my neck stand on end. Rock on with your beautiful, strong, healthy self. Thank you so much for coming here and for the comment!

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  38. Oh Nicole, you are such an incredible writer. This was exquisite. You captured the essence of it ALL in your words, and imagery. My only disappointment, was seeing that GORGEOUS photo of you in your swim suit. You have a BEAUTIFUL figure!! (I know that this is obviously not the point-but really- you aren’t anything NEAR over weight.)

    Sharing this everywhere. 🙂

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    • Chris, what an awesomely heartfelt, kind and generous comment. I just want to be your friend and go everywhere with you—what a bright way to start my day here in Detroit. Thank you so much!

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  39. There is nothing–NOTHING–more breathtakingly beautiful and sexy than confidence (in men and women). I loved this piece and all the comments. Your beauty (i.e., sexy confidence) shines. Wear it proudly!

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    • Thank you Angela, I agree with you completely. And so does my husband, thankfully—which makes me feel pretty lucky. I’m lucky for such a wonderful comment too. <3

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  40. Actually, you might be overweight a little but not fat. I guarantee you Beyonce is fatter than you. Unless you really oiled yourself up and did an airbrush job for the photo, you look quite good. One question though, is it my punishment to read a mommy blog through eternity since you were so nice towards my stuff? 😉

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  41. Just going to say some of these comments are total bullshit. I was an athlete in college(not NCAA), had a 6 pack, stopped working out after, gained 60 pounds, currently midway at ~250. Every time I have cut to 235(6 pack weight) I get laid like crazy. Fat at 290, no one would touch me. It had nothing to do with confidence. Women are just as deep into appearance as Men. Posting a current topless pic(just in shape, no abs) instantly made my matches skyrocket, despite what women on there say.

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  42. I read this post about a year ago and loved it. thank you for writing such a beautiful piece. let me know when you write a book please

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    • Gabrielle, Thank you so much—-A book defintely has to be on my list of things to do. I’m so grateful for your comment, you can’t possibly know! <3

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    • Thank you so much, Devin! I struggle with the confidence still too—it’s a work in progress. Or I am? 🙂 I guess we all are. I’m so grateful that you took the time to read the post. <3

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  43. The BMI police were coming out at your article on Upworthy, and I can take one look at you & see that no, actually, you don’t have any increased mortality from your body fat – at least the fat I can see! Anyone of any size can have increased health issues from excess visceral fat. In other words, no, you don’t seem too fat at all. That girl who said that is sadly one of the brainwashed masses who have a skewed perception of female bodies. I used to be one of those. I look at female actresses I once thought of “curvy & thick” and smile; they’re all thin! Female body fat percentage is healthy up to around 32%, even higher as you get older. Also, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103483#pone-0103483-g001 I am way, way bigger than you, and my waist to height ratio is still fine and dandy. 🙂 This was beautifully written, by the way.

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  44. I shared your brilliant writing on FB then tracked back from Upworthy thru Scary Mommy to find the *strong, beautiful writer* who so succinctly captured the joys of dessert vs the health giving properties of the rest of our diets. So delighted to see the emerald swimmers “in person”. I live for the sea on the east coast of Australia but feel more comfortable in the water than out. In the sea I float, swim, dive with grace and beauty…on the beach I tug down the bum of my swimmers & often look down instead proud. But I buy swimsuits in shades of turquoise and green and purple patterns instead ‘slimming’ black – and I don’t love the beach any less for the eyes that see my size before my smile. Thank you x

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  45. I loved this article.. some people have a way with words to just pinpointvery clearly what other people find superhard to put in words. I also am ok to admit Iloved this because I wish Iwas able to express myself like you do and reading you makes me feel given a voice. I admire you, thank you for taking up writing.

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