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397 pages, Paperback
First published September 15, 2015
I’m fat, but Millie’s the type of fat that requires elastic waist pants because they don’t make pants with buttons and zippers in her size. Her eyes are too close together and her nose pinches up at the end. She wears shirts with puppies and kittens and not in an ironic way.It's hard to send a message of body positivity and acceptance in others when the main character tends to skinny-shame, however contrite she feels about it.
Millie and Amanda together are basically one giant moving target that says MAKE FUN OF US.I don't sympathize with her. I want her to grow the fuck up and get over it. Again, a book should make me feel for the character; the only thing the interestingly named Willowdean does for me is grate on my nerves. It's not that I have a problem with her insecurity, it's that it is a constant part of her life and her narrative for a book that promises me a tough girl. It's that she is slyly judgmental against all the skinny pageant girls.
Amanda’s legs are uneven, so she wears these thick corrective shoes that make her look like Frankenstein. (At least according to Patrick Thomas.) When we were kids and she didn’t have her shoes yet, Amanda just limped around, her hips swiveling up and down with each step. She never seemed bothered, but that didn’t stop people from staring. The nickname thing is pretty lame if you think about it. Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster.
Cliques of girls sit at round tables with white tablecloths, the same ones my mother ironed in our living room last night. The legacy girls with mothers and sisters who have been crowned. Athletes trying to beef up their college résumés. The cheer table, which consists of anyone who does anything at a football game that doesn’t include a ball. And the theater and the choir girls, of course. All of them wear dresses. Like, Easter dresses. Precious little garden dresses with matching cardigans. While we are wearing nothing more than jeans and T-shirts.Because she's so superior, being normal. Being fat.
“Have you thought about the fact that I feel as out of place here as you do?”It's like El said. You can't pick and choose your message.
“You have to back out. El, for me, you’ve got to. Let me have this one thing.”
“What? Let you have what? You can’t pick and choose who joins the revolution.” She makes air quotes as she says “revolution.”
I hear the logic in her voice. I recognize the truth there. But if El entered, she could really win. And that’s why she could ruin this.
I know that fat girls are supposed to be allergic to pools or whatever, but I love swimming. I mean, I’m not stupid. I know people stare, but they can’t blame me for wanting to cool off. And why should it even matter? What about having huge, bumpy thighs means that I need to apologize?
“And who the hell was that twiggy bitch?” As soon as it’s out of my mouth I regret it. All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on. Fat. Skinny. Short. Tall. It doesn’t matter.
I've always been misunderstood because of how I look.
Don't judge me by the cover 'cause I'm a real good book.
“I guess sometimes the perfection we perceive in others is made up of a whole bunch of tiny imperfections, because some days the damn dress just won't zip.”
"If you're gonna go, then go
She said to me on the phone
So tired of hearin' all your
If you're gonna stay then stay
He's not gonna change anyway
So tired of hearin' all your
"There's something about swimsuits that make you think you've got to earn the right to wear them. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it."
"I shouldn't but I move to kiss [Bo]. My nerves hum and this moment when my body feels both chaotic and determined is what was missing with Mitch."
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose” -Dolly Parton
“All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on.”
Beautiful, he says. Fat, I think. But can't I be both at the same time?
"I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it."
“I terrify you”? The thought of it makes me feel bad, but it’s kind of nice, too. To not feel like the one who’s about the jump out of their skin all the time.”
"I think you gotta be who you want to be until you feel like you are whoever is you're trying to become. Sometimes half of doing something is pretending that you can."