“You’re not chubby,” a very thin girl with beautifully curly hair said as she greeted me for the first time.
“No, it’s just that Dean tends to be a chubby chaser and I’m surprised that you’re not chubby.”
“Oh, uh…thanks, yea, but Dean and I are just friends. I have a boyfriend. He invited me to your youth group and it sounded fun so, yea, I’m here…as a friend.”
I wasn’t sure what to do with this conversation as a girl of seventeen; actually, I still don’t know what to do with it. This girl clearly was not trying to hurt me; she just didn’t seem to have a filter, something I also forget to use on a regular basis. No, it wasn’t her words that stung, but something stung. I was actually very flattered that her first thought of me was that I wasn’t chubby. Just months before I had put on, what my mom called, “womanhood weight”: the weight in which I left my girlish figure behind. I now had curves, curves I detested. I could no longer wear those super trendy cargo pants because they were supposed to be slightly baggie and my butt just would not quit. My t-shirts now clung to curves that I hadn’t had before and I missed the boxy shape I had sported the summer prior. So being called, “not chubby” was a huge compliment to me, especially since I didn’t think any of Dean’s past girlfriends were chubby. But somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered, “If Dean typically dates chubby girls then maybe that is why we are just friends, because I’m not chubby enough to be a girlfriend? Oh well, I have a boyfriend, it doesn’t matter.”
But it did matter. And now, 11 years later I can say that I was head over heels crushing on Dean, despite the fact that I had a very nice boyfriend. I wanted to secure Dean’s affections, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let go of my boyfriend’s. But I knew that IF Dean wanted a chubby girl, I would never let myself become chubby just to gain his affections, I was way too vain for that. So, I was able to push the thought of Dean as a boyfriend out of my head.
I’m going to spoil the Hollywood High School love story and skip to the end, which is really just the beginning, after months of flirting and fighting, Dean and I finally realized it was time for us to give this dating thing a try and we kissed under the stars… And although he made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the whole world, in the back of my mind I wondered, “Does this mean I’m chubby?”
It’s a silly thought really, but if I’m going to write this I’m going to write the full truth, because hey, otherwise what’s the point? This silly little thought was the question that I had been living my life by.
I asked myself that question almost daily, “Does This Mean I’m Chubby?” years before Curly Girl said that I was not. And her words actually gave me some solid ground for a week or two. I remember that week. I took a picture of myself in my bathroom mirror lifting my t shirt slightly and pointing to my belly button. I remember thinking, “I like my belly button.” For a solid week or two I liked who I was, because someone said I wasn’t chubby.