Pyshechka: Excerpt From A Body-positive Novel About Teenagers

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Pyshechka: Excerpt From A Body-positive Novel About Teenagers
Pyshechka: Excerpt From A Body-positive Novel About Teenagers

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Popcorn Books released American young adult bestseller "Pyshechka". His heroine is a schoolgirl who learns to accept her body, despite the condemnation of others. Willowdeen wants to prove to herself that she is worthy of love and respect, no matter what size of clothes she wears. Although "Pyshechka" is considered a novel for teenagers and is dedicated to "all girls with fat booty", many readers will surely recognize themselves in the heroine, regardless of age and complexion. We publish excerpts from the book.


We close late on Fridays and Saturdays, so my mother is already asleep by the time I return. Turning off the lights and locking the back door, I tiptoe down the upstairs corridor and check to see if Mom is asleep. Listening to the quiet snoring from under her door, I slip into Lucy's room, carefully avoiding the creaky floorboards and examining the stacks of her belongings.

It's full of all sorts of nonsense like a bunch of newspaper clippings about people and places that I will never know about now. How angry I am with all these little things - everyday trifles that I did not have time to ask Lucy about! Well, for example, why did she keep a note about the meeting with the author of the cookbook in the local library?..

Her funeral was terrible. And not just for obvious reasons. Half of Clover showed up because they had nothing else to do, damn it. It seems to me that everyone expected to see Lucy in the coffin - a kind of warning to all living things. But the sad truth is that we couldn't afford a non-standard, wide coffin because it was too expensive. And although my mother had a real hysteria because she did not provide her older sister with a "decent farewell", we had to cremate Lucy.

Sometimes I forbade myself to do something

really important, and all because of fear: what if someone looks at me

and decides that I'm not good enough. But you don't have to worry about such nonsense

I don’t like to remember the funeral. I love other moments. For example, how she first brought me to a dance when I was in third grade. The swimsuit barely fit on my protruding belly, and my thighs rubbed against each other, no matter how I tried to persuade them not to do it. I was too fat. I was too tall. I was not like the other girls waiting at the entrance to the building. After I flatly refused to get out of the car, Lucy moved to my back seat.

"Will. - Her warm voice enveloped like honey. She tucked a naughty curl behind my ear and fished a napkin from the front pocket of my dressing gown. - I have wasted a lot of time in my life. I was endlessly worried about what others would say or think of me. Sometimes - because of sheer trifles like going for groceries or to the post office. But sometimes I forbade myself to do something really important, and all because of fear: suddenly someone looks at me and decides that I am not good enough. But you don't have to worry about such nonsense. I've already spent all the time allotted for such nonsense for both of us. Go dancing. If you try and it turns out that it's not yours, I won't bring you here again. But you have to try, do you understand?"

I studied there only until the end of autumn, but, apparently, it was not about dancing.


With my laptop on the pillow, I sit on the couch across from where Lucy used to sit. Mom pushed her glass-covered crown over the middle of the mantelpiece to make room for Lucy's urn. This little gesture reminds me that Mom is more than just a beauty pageant winner.

She carries it around with an iron on waxed paper, gluing some decorations to a coarse cotton tablecloth (apparently for a formal dinner).

“I saw an ad for this special the other day,” she says and flips through the channels until she finds MTV.

The camera follows a girl walking through a snowy neighborhood. The girl is quite large, and her belly hangs over her jeans. I instantly understand what will happen next.

I hate it when they show fat on TV shows and films. Because the world is ready to put up with a fat girl on the screen only on the condition that she is either infinitely dissatisfied with herself, or someone's best friend is laughing. So here I am - neither one nor the other.

Meanwhile, we are shown a completely ordinary human life: the girl walks, eats. The announcer's voice is heard off-screen:

“Sixteen-year-old Priscilla from Bridgeport, Connecticut is sweet tooth, but her life isn’t sweet.” Priscilla was teased and ridiculed since childhood, and she decided to end her excess weight. She doesn't know yet, but MTV heard her soul cry. - The camera zooms in on Priscilla's ass. She has this type of figure when the butt seems to taper downward, which makes it seem as if panties are stuck in the ass.

Then the frame is replaced by a splash screen - a purple screen with a name stylized as a rejection stamp: “TRANSFORM ME: TIRED OF BEING FAT”.

I glance over at Mom, but she is consumed with the props. On the one hand, I want to go to lock myself in a room, on the other, to learn about the future fate of Priscilla the Wretched, so I still stay. If it turns out that Priscilla is having even more difficult times, then at least I will leave with the feeling that I am more fortunate than the poor thing.

Mom and I are nothing new: she put me on countless trendy diets when I was not even eleven. She and Lucy always fought over this. I overheard their long arguments from the first floor, which then died down, then flared up again (it was assumed that I had been asleep for a long time).

I don't need to look at my mother, I already know that her eyes are in a wet place.

In such shows, she most of all loves moments like “THIS IS YOUR LIFE! TAKE YOURSELF IN HANDS AND LET YOURSELF LOSE!"

- She's still a child! - exclaimed Lucy.

“I'm worried about her health,” Mom retorted. - You know what I mean, Luce? I don't want her to grow up …

- Someone like me? Come on, Rosie! You don't want her to grow up as big as your little sister! Lord have mercy, she sees me every day; I think my existence is already serving her as an eloquent warning.

- Remember how we got it when we were little. You haven't forgotten?

Mom never talks about childhood, as if her memories begin in high school. But she was big. Like me. And I was ashamed of it. However, in the summer before ninth grade, she shed her baby fat like snakes shed their skin. Lucy at that time was already in the eleventh, but luck did not smile at her.

By the time I entered high school, my mom's diets gradually faded away. I don’t know by what miracle, but it was clearly not without Lucy's intervention.

On the screen, an aggressive tiny woman (as it turns out, her personal trainer) rushes around the corner at Priscilla, who has come to school. Despite the fact that Priscilla herself signed up to participate in the show, she goes into hysterics, locks herself in the closet and cries to hiccups. Finally, the coach manages to enter, and we see the "good cop": she makes a wonderful motivating speech. No, seriously, I myself am feeling elated - really, I don't understand why all of a sudden.

I don't need to look at my mother, I already know that her eyes are in a wet place. In such shows, she most of all loves moments like “THIS IS YOUR LIFE! TAKE YOURSELF IN HANDS AND LET YOURSELF LOSE! ".

Immersed in my thoughts, I watch the screen with half an eye, but when they show the morning workout on the school treadmill, it is impossible to tear myself away. The coach drove the girl around the stadium so that she starts to vomit right into the stands - and, of course, exactly when the full male football team comes out to the stadium.


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