I want to write a short story where the title is "She Got Fat." Start with that title and the first few sentences, something like, "Somewhere along the way, Marjorie had gotten fat. It hadn't happened all at once, but slowly, over the course of several years and two babies and however many Boston Cremes from Dunkin Donuts."
Or maybe it's not about Marjorie, but it's about that phenomenon that occurs almost exclusively on Facebook now where you connect with friends from high school or college or wherever and you haven't seen them in ten or fifteen years, and the first thing you think is, Oh, my God, she got fat. And also, Oh, my God, she got old. And "she got fat" and "she got old" can't be happening to me, because even though others might be balloon up around the face and getting this crusty middle age look, I can't possibly be among them because I'm still about seventeen years old. RIGHT?
In the olden days before you were able to digitally review your past and that of all of your acquaintances, was it only at high school reunions and funerals that you ran into people you hadn't seen for years and had that same experience? And so, then, the rest of the time, were people able to be in a little more denial about their age or looks, because they weren't constantly being nudged by reflections of themselves in the form of the former captain of the cheer-leading squad and her toad-like husband?
Most of the time, when I see pictures of myself, if they haven't been choreographed from above at a certain angle and with that really good lighting that you get in some of the higher end dressing rooms (lighting that makes you look gorgeous in any outfit, and that I wish I could carry around with my like an umbrella wherever I go), I don't like the way I look. I have this double take, like, That's me? That's my body? That's my face? Those are my crooked little teeth? Dear god. And that's when I go to take 150 selfies, erasing each one until I have a version of myself that's filtered and palatable.
This one only took about 10 tries.