I walked down the hallway covered in doors and lockers and cement walls that made up the unfamiliar territory of Woodland Academy. Whispers fluttered back and forth as inked eyes flashed from me to the gossipers' friends. I knew it. They were the first two things anyone ever noticed about me—my height, and my weight.
I passed the seniors, the juniors, and finally arrived at the sophomore locker section. It seemed like all the real girls had been zapped away somewhere only to be replaced by a large contingent of girls who held a strong semblance to beanpoles. Why do they all look like this? Just last night on the news there was this whole big to-do about America's obesity problem. Is there anyone in between?
There are few words I can use to describe myself to you. Most of them include "stuck in the middle" or "a martial-artist's body" pertaining to my weight and "just below average" or "twentieth percentile" or my personal favorite, "short", regarding my height. I am four-eleven and weigh one hundred twenty pounds. The doctor's people say that most of it is muscle mass, but whenever I tell anyone my weight, they just nod their head and give me the look that just screams "the doctor says that to everyone."
Is there anyone here that's average weight? I felt like a seal swimming in a sea of goldfish. I have no problem with skinny people and no problem with overweight girls, but why is everyone in the known world obsessed with downsizing? Is anyone happy with her body? As I walked into the restroom, I overheard a gaggle of tall, pinky thin girls complaining about their weight. Can anyone be happy with who they are?
Unfortunately, I had gotten a top locker again, which made it incredibly hard for me to reach the second shelf. Several people giggled as I attempted to jump up and reach my schedule, only succeeding in pushing the piece of paper farther to the back with my fingertips. A hand finally appeared and gracefully handed me the long sought-after piece of paper. I looked up at the face to which the long hand belonged.
"Thanks." I half muttered, expecting her to laugh at me for being so short. No laughter came, so I decided to make conversation. "Hi, I'm Alex."
"I'm Sarah." She was tall, about five nine. We both giggled at our shy awkwardness.
"Are you new here too?" I asked, breaking the silence. Only then did I notice that she was built just like me.
"Yeah. Everyone's so hostile here. It's like they immediately cast me out just because I'm not exactly skinny…" She trailed off, trying to judge my reaction.
"I know exactly what you mean." I looked up at her and smiled. "But that's not what matters, is it?"
Her eyes lit up and I smiled inside, knowing that finally somebody understood how to look inside instead of out.