DURING THE YEAR OF RAPID WEIGHT LOSS, I BECOME UNCHARACTERISTICALLY EXHIBITIONISTIC by Amy Kiger-Williams

I’d like you to really look at me. You will see less of me that you would have seen before, but now I will let you look longer. This is where the inherent irony lies. As a consequence, you’ll see more of me than you ever would have before.

Undressing in front of a stranger is a vulnerable thing. Your scars, your roundness, your concavity: everything that was never up for discussion before is now fair game.

Bikini tops, wife beaters, hip huggers: these are all I wear anymore. The tighter, the better. Less is more.

Still, there is a comfort in the hiding. An oversized hoodie is a homebaked apple pie. It’s a pile of mashed potatoes with gravy, a bowl of Rocky Road, a buttered roll.

When you look at me, ignore the things I don’t want you to see, which is really everything.

When I shed a layer, I became someone else. 

And it’s easier to be someone else, even though there’s the maintenance! It’s unrelenting, staying where I am. I’m so hungry all the time for parts of the person I used to be.

When you turn out the light, this is when I will undress. I will imagine the scars, the roundness, the concavity, both mine and your own, and the darkness will envelop us, a hoodie, a pie, potatoes, ice cream, a buttered roll.


Amy Kiger-Williams holds an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark and a bachelor’s degree from New York University. She has also attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work has been published in the Yale Review Online, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Juked, and Vestal Review. She is at work on a novel and a short story collection. You can read more of her work at amykigerwilliams.com and follow her on Twitter at @amykw.

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