In the short story “The Fat Girl” by Andre Dubis, the main character Louise is followed from the time she is nine years old up until she has her own child. Her mother ruins her self-confidence at a young age saying to her “you must start watching what you eat” (Dubus 320) when she was only nine years old. Her father is just about the only character in the story who accepts Louise for herself. “She’s a growing girl” (Dubus 321) he would say to her mother when she would limit Louise on what she could eat. Louise has dealt with an endless conflict of how other people feels she should look and eat. Louise is being opposed by society.
Louise’s mother is one of her biggest critics. When Louise was only nine years old her mother told her “in five years you’ll be in high school and if you’re fat the boys won’t like you; they won’t ask you out” (Dubus 320). Her mother has already convinced her at such a young age that she will be heavy if she does not eat right, “You must start watching what you eat, I can see you have my metabolism” (Dubus 320). Her mother makes her eat salads for dinner as Louise would constantly eye the pantry. Louise always sneaks food under her shirt when her mother is not paying attention and eats it outside or in the bathroom. She hides candy and snacks and eats them late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Something she would could continue to do all through high school and college. During her childhood, Louise’s mother made her daughter feel unworthy and unattractive because of her weight (Korb). If Louise’s mother would have accepted her and let her be when she was younger maybe Louise would not have grown to be so worried and concerned with what everyone thought about her weight.
Louise feels the need to befriend girls who are not fat, feeling she will be less judged by society by doing so. In high school Louise’s friends are two skinny girls, Joan and Marjorie. Although they are not fat, they have their own insecurities within themselves. This could be one reason Louise feels so comfortable around them, because they also have something they are unhappy with. Joan and Marjorie do not seem too much concerned with what Louise has going on in her life. Though they were her best friends they did not know of her secret eating behind her mother’s back. Marjorie says in the story “You’re lucky you don’t smoke; it’s incredible what I go through to hide it from my parents” (Dubus 322). Though Louise does not smoke, she knows exactly what it is like hiding something from parents. They never ask about her weight, or life at home. They themselves do not understand why Louise is big because in public it looks as if she is on a diet. “She never eats,” Joan and Marjorie say of Louise (Dubus 322). After high school Louise did not hear much from her “best friends.” They were not really best friends, more of just people there with her throughout her high school journey.
In college Louise choses to befriend another thin girl, Carrie. They...