By Jenna Sol
From Radiance Spring 1998
I am eight years old. I live in Oakland, California, with my mom,
my dad, my brother, Jody, and my cat, Piewacket. There are a lot of big people in my
family, including some of my favorite aunts (who aren't my real relatives, but they are
special to me and I love them, so I call them my aunts). All the people who live with me
in my house are big. We have a lot of fun together. We do lots of fun things as a family:
swimming in a nearby lake, going to amusement parks, and spending special days at our
Once, when we were at Great America (an amusement park), my father could
not get on a ride because they said he was too big for it. So he had to wait for us. He
was mad: it wasn't fair that he couldn't take the ride. They should make the rides so that
all people can have fun on them. I felt really bad about him not being able to take this
ride. It was a really scary ride, and I wanted to be with him.
One time at school, some kids called me fat. I said, "You're so
skinny, you could hide behind a toothpick!" They ran off. I told the teacher, and she
put them on the bench. I felt bad being called a name.
I feel fine being how I am in my body. I have many friends because I'm
friendly. Most of the people I'm friends with are skinny, but they don't care that I'm
chunky. We just play. The man who lives across the street, Peter, is an inventor. He makes
pens and pencils. He's even going to make a new pencil with a fat woman on it! He likes
people of all body sizes. I like using the word fat. I definitely like fat cats, fat
kittens, fat puppies, and fat dogs. They're cute.
I like soccer, which I can play very well. Except sometimes I miss the
ball. I'm good at tennis, but am still practicing. We play dodgeball at school; I love
dodgeball and I'm really good at that game. We once did creative dance in school, which I
liked, and no one said anything bad about me. The teacher really liked me a lot.
I think it's really stupid that people go on diets. It's not good for
you unless you're fat and sick. That's the only time you should go on a diet. Stay how you
are. You shouldn't make people go on diets. I know I shouldn't say this, but when I see
people on TV telling people to go on diets, sometimes I say, "Go to hell!" I get
really mad. They show pictures of how people are before going on a diet, and I think they
I think you should talk back to anyone who makes a mean comment to you
about your body. You should say, "I don't care how my body is. I want to stay how I
am and be healthy." And then walk away.
I have a friend at school who's really special to me. I stand up for
her, and she stands up for me, too. She says, "Don't talk about my friend like
that!" when anyone makes fun of me. And I get really mad when she is called names.
I am proud of my body. I can run really fast, but sometimes I can't run
long. I can kick a ball good, and throw a ball good.
I like my dad because when it's a very cold night, I can lie on his
stomach and it's like a soft pillow. I love snuzzling with my mom. And when my brother and
I are play-fighting, and I punch him in the stomach, it's nice and soft.
I like looking at copies of Radiance. It's cool. I like looking
at all the beautiful fat women in it. I'm glad to be in it now, too. I like going over to
Alice's to work for her. She always wants me to draw cat pictures for her to put up on her
walls, cabinets, and refrigerator. I like working in her office and seeing all the covers
of Radiance, pictures of her friends, and pretty sculptures. I help put together
things for mailings. And I like it when we go out together and play and have lunch.
In closing my story, I want to say, Good-bye and do not go on diets,
because they aren't healthy. Love people how they are, and don't call them names. To moms
and dads of fat children, I want you to know this: Kids need love, however they are. ©
JENNA SOL, eight years old, lives in Oakland, California. Her mom,
Shirley Sheffield, has been involved in many size-acceptance activities for about ten
years. Her dad, Ron Sol, participates in some of these activities as well.
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