GORDITA

"Es un cariño," my mom says.

My dad says.

My aunt says.

My uncle says.

They playfully pinch my cheeks, the fat around my abdomen. Laugh.

"Mírate míja, no te da vergüenza?"

They look at me up and down, faces twisted with an odd mix of sympathy, genuine concern, and a hint of disgust.

"No miras como estás, míja?"

"No te gustaría ser más delgada?"

"No te sirvas tanto."

"Eso te vas a comer?"

"Otra vez, más comida?"

Their eyes track my every bite.

Judging. Weighing. Warning.

Screw them.

I'm happy with the way I look.

I draw strength from my curves.

I poke fun at my stretch marks, my soft and squishy protective layer, and of course I'm just kidding. Aren't I?

My friends tell me, “Don’t be ridiculous, you’re not fat,” and of course I agree with them.

Don't I?

I'm fat. Ugly. Disgusting.

How could anyone ever love me, looking like this?

I should lose weight. I might be happier, healthier, stronger. More beautiful.

"Solo quiero lo mejor para ti, míja."

"No es por como te miras, pero que tal si te enfermas?"

They're right to be worried. I could get sick.

I'm not healthy. I'm not natural.

I need to change.

But.

No.

Why should I do it for them?

Why should I let them make me feel uncomfortable in my body?

I hate them. I love them.

I don't know what I want anymore.

What part of my want, my need to feel thin is them?

What part of it is me?

Is any of it me?

I’m so confused.

"Ven 'pa acá, mi gordita chula, mi gordita preciosa."

 I smile.