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Extra Large

A posterised image of a woman walking down a supermarket isle with a bag slung over

Large will not fit you.
She is scoping me, up and down, eyes
Flicking fast and darting away
From the roundness of my breasts
To the happy jiggle of my thighs.

“Try extra-large instead.”
The advice stings like a cut
Dripping with salty sweat
Burning with shame inside
Because everything is too big.
The jiggle is obscene.

But in the mirror, critically
Watching everything big,
Large, extra large, massive,
Assessing all that hugeness
With blazing eyes and firm chin
I find a clue.

Every day, I negotiate
With the curves and valleys of
My hips and breasts with clothes
To minimize, exalt, prettify.

Little compromises. Choices
Masquerading as facts.
That will not suit.
My body is a problem.

This curve is too round.

Something oozes out of
Every neglected, smoothed over
Imperfection of my body today.

I am extra large, but my
Definition is different.

Because after ages, I have
Learned not to give a damn.
My extra largeness is
Finally escaping from the pores
Of my tanned, brown skin.

My extra largeness is new found.
It is in the essence that runs through
My veins.

Go ahead, call me extra large.
This time I will smile.
It does not sting anymore.

This article was part of our August 2016 issue, Attire and Sexuality, and was originally published here

Cover image courtesy sekihan (CC BY-NC 2.0)