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Let Them Eat Cake

(by Kresha Richman Warnock)

I’m the adult who still won’t open the package of Girl Scout Thin Mints unless I can give most of them away, because I would finish off the box in one or two sittings. I can’t remember when I didn’t think of myself as the fat sibling. It didn’t seem like the pressure to be thin was equally leveled on my brother, as a boy, or my sister, as the baby. The three of us are all retired now; each has dealt with some kind of food and body image issues all our lives.

I don’t know why we were so obsessed with sweets. We always had them in the house, had dessert every night, but were just supposed to practice some kind of magical self-control. As a child and teen, I could not keep myself away from the cookie jar of forbidden fruit, but because of the family rules, I always did it secretively. The extra pounds served an exclusionary purpose in my mind: fat=ugly=failed girl.