The Bathing Suit

5’2. Ha! Too short. Eyes too spread apart. Big Nose brigde.

Lets see… hmm…of course! Her teeth! Too crooked. Bit chubby, but it’s cute. what else. Ah! She definitely went overboard with the makeup. I mean… who could blame her? Hmmm. 5/10.

“RILEY!” my best friend Gianna yelled.

“U-huh?” I replied.

“You zoned out. Oh god. You’re rating people again, aren’t you?

She knew me so well.

My name is Riley Vain. I am 16 years old, 5’6, and currently 122Ibs. I live with my mom, older sister Emilia. My dad left us before I was born. Apparently, I’m lucky that he isn’t around. And lastly, I absolutely hate my life. But isn’t that the beauty of being a teenager? 

“Yeah..”

“Riley.” She said understandingly.

“ She is beautiful. What could possibly be wrong with her?”

“A lot of thi-”

“You know what? Don’t answer that..” Gianna cut me off. 

We continued walking. Too short. Flat face. Eyes too small.  Eyebrows too bushy. 8.5/10. 6/10. 4.6/10. All the rating, and the commenting were just swarming through my head. I couldn’t stop myself. 

Later that night at home, mom called us down for dinner. I didn’t take much.

“What, are you on a diet?” Emilia asked mockingly.

“As a matter of fact, I am.”

“Good!” My mom fired at me.

“Oh dear.” My mom stroked my face. “ What happened to you? Maybe Emilia just got my genes, and you evolved into your dad’s genes.  Riley, You’re really letting yourself go.”

I decided that I wasn’t hungry. So I stormed out.

“RILEY! GET BACK HERE AND EAT YOUR DINNER!”

“I’M NOT HUNGRY”. I slammed the door.

I stood in front of my mirror. Examining myself. Skimming my hands through my long torso. Squeezing the fat around my waists. As tears puddled my eyes. What would you rate yourself Riley? 1/10? No. That would be a compliment. How about -1000/10.I touched my face. Am I that ugly? I’ve never even seen what dad looked like. But Mom and Emilia said he was a hideous looking creature. Tears still rolling down my rosy cheeks. For the seventh time in the past 5 hours, I hopped onto the scale. “122.5”. Goddammit! I should’ve never ate lunch! Damnit Riley! Stop being fat! Standing on that scale always gave me anxiety. Did I gain? Or did I lose? Most of the time I remain in the same range 120-123. But whenever i gain, i go crazy. Somehow mom could tell whenever i gained a simple 0.5Ibs. So I got into the habit of one meal a day.But it isn’t only my weight. But just my appearance in general. I tried make-up. But Emilia said that make-up won’t work because my face is too ugly for it. Unfortunately. She’s right. Even in the dark, I can point out my flaws. Like I said… i hate my life.

The next morning Gia and I walked to school together. Most people hated school. But I found it quite nice. I was the perfect escape route. I just wish school was a bit farther from home.

“Oh, by the way Riley, are you going to Hannah’s end of the year pool party? Seems Like it’ll be fun.”

“Um. I don’t think so.” I responded.

“What?! Why not??” She whined.

“1, I wasn’t invited. And 2, I don’t know who Hannah is.”

“Gosh darnit Riley! Hannah was the girl from the mall yesterday!” She yelled.

“The chubby cute one with the big nose?” I asked.

“Ugh. Riley, I said I don’t want to hear that kind of stuff.”

“But yeah, that one. She’s really sweet and she wants both of us to go!”

“Um. Pool party?” I asked.

“Yeah! There’ll be food, drinks, a nice cold swim on a blasting hot day in the beginning of July!” She replied as her eyebrows raised up and down. 

“Um…I’m not sure.” I said as I wrapped my arms around myself hoping that I would sink into my own embrace and just disappear from existence. 

“Oh, my.” Gia added. “Is the famous queen of pointing out other people’s  flaws insecure?!”

Gia threw her hands on my shoulders. “ Riley! You’re so pretty! And even though you may not know it, you’re beautiful in all types of ways.  Your flaws are what make you beautiful. And that’s why I am still friends with your judgmental ass. And when we graduate. We can run off into our free lives and tell your Narcissistic, trash of a so called ‘family’ to just screw off! Go to this pool party with me!” She spoke passionately. And how could I resist her poor puppy eyes over exaggerating at me?

“Okay, fine.” I said.

“But I don’t have a swim suit,” I added.

“Don’t worry. I picked out a perfect one for you yesterday at the mall. While you were disgustingly rating people in that messed up head of yours.” She side smirked.

She showed me a picture of a really cute, baby blue bathing suit.

“This suit…” I replied. 

“Thank you. It’s really cute “I faked a smile.

This suit… This party. It was all just way out of my league. But the smile on Gia’s face was worth it. Her smile made me smile. So i was happy that she was happy. But just for the moment until I realized what I just got myself into.

That night I felt extremely motivated to just work out and not eat. Ok Riley. You have one month  to get into as best shape as you possibly can. Don’t screw it up! 

For the past three weeks I’ve been pretty successful with eating one granola bar a day and working out until i want to faint, then I would  purge, and get ready for bed. Everything has been consistent so far. But there was one problem. I still felt gross. At this point I dropped down to 110Ibs!But I felt bigger than ever. And my hair was still coming out. But there was no time to think about me. If i still feel ugly, that means that I’m not trying hard enough. 

For the next two days I decided not to eat the granola bar. I did not want to risk any weight gain. I felt really weak. I was tired just walking up one flight of stairs. I almost fainted. Gia just dragged me out of the school. And we ended up at my house. No one was home. Gia dragged me straight to my room and started digging around. 

“Try it now.” She threw the suit at me.

“I-I  don’t know if  I’m re-”

“ JUST TRY ON THE GODDAMN SUIT RILEY!” tears started rolling down her face. 

Why is she getting so emotional just because I didn’t try on the suit that first day.

I was comfortable enough to change in front of Gianna because we are close than Emilia and I will ever be. As I was changing… She just started crying aloud. 

“Gia whats wro-” She spun me towards my mirror.

The suit was too big.

“Oh.That’s ok, Gia. I just need a different size.

She was getting angry. And pulled up a picture of me from when I was 123Ibs. I then looked in the mirror. My hip bone was extremely prominent, I finally got that thigh gap I’d always wanted. Just now, I see why so many people didn’t want them. My arms looked like toothpicks, and my back was just horrific. What is wrong with me?! Why can’t i do anything right?!  I ran to the scale. Gia tried to stop me but I quickly stepped on. *102.3* my face lid up. I lost weight was all I could think. Gia then shoved me off and slammed threw the scale on the ground, and it shattered. 

“NO!” I screeched.

“RILEY. SNAP OUT OF IT! STOP LISTENING TO YOUR MOM AND SISTER! THE NUMBER ON THAT SCALE DOES NOT DEFINE YOU OR YOUR BEAUTY!

“We’re not going to that party.”

“Ok.” was all I could respond with.
Two months passed. It is now the end of the summer, and I’ve never been happier. And Hannah is hosting one more pool party. Which i am currently getting ready for right now. I tried on the swimsuit. It fits quite nicely. When we got to the party, everyone was so nice! This girl doesn’t have abs, but she’s wearing a bikini. Her legs aren’t shaved. She is way too over confident to be in that. No! Stop it Riley! Everyone is 10/10 for being able to come out here and wear whatever they want. Confidence isn’t something you can force yourself to get! And just like that that little evil in my head just shut up. Though i was still extremely self conscious. Gia told me that I didn’t have to take off the sundress I was wearing on top of my bathing suit. She was proud of me for just putting it on.  

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