Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Big Fat Truth

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Big Fat Truth

Article excerpt

Inch by measured inch, she hints:

daughter, you grow fat.

Words she cannot say aloud.

Would be abuse. Unkind. Not motherly.

Instead, she buys her a bike, running shorts, roller skates,

raises eyebrows at the second helping,

frowns at the bikini, stocks

the cupboard with healthy snacks,

rents Fast Food Nation, Supersize Me.

She is trying, as mothers do, to stave off meanness:

name left off birthday invites,

seat not saved at lunch,

tight circles of girls she can't squeeze into.

She would not have her daughter starve.

But when her daughter comes in tears

and asks; Is it true what they say? Am I fat?

What else can she do but restate the lie:

it's the inside that counts,

not the cover. …

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