On vacation, my family had dinner with my grandmother’s friend. At the end of the evening, he told my grandma that I was pretty but that he wished I would smile more. My family thinks I got flustered because I was embarrassed by the compliment, but I was really angry at his wanting me to smile more. I don’t care about the compliment. At a party later in the week, the same man told me that he thought I could use a little more sun. Ugggghhhhh.

After we got home from our trip, my brother told me that he had talked with my uncle, who’d said, “Katherine’s a pretty girl and all, but she looks inactive.” Davis proceeded to tell me that I was looking a little bigger than usual and that I should try “walking it off.”

Now it’s Sunday night and Davis says I need sun. My mom agrees. “You need like 15 minutes of sun a day to get your vitamin D,” she says. I tell them that I’ve been going outside and lying in the sun from about 5:30 AM until as late as 8. They press further. This isn’t about vitamin D; this is about how I look and their wanting the right to comment on it frequently.

Later in the night, I bring up people always commenting on me gaining weight and how pale I am. “No one even thinks about how you look that much,” Davis says. “Getting sun is just an easy way for you to feel sexier.” I scoff. He doesn’t get it. This isn’t about how I look right now; this is about people commenting on how I look and thinking what they say should matter to me. It doesn’t matter at all. ♦