Growing up in a society full of pressure on having the "perfect" body can be difficult. Hiding what you eat, covering with layers of clothing, or even isolating yourself completely from others are all effects of a low self-esteem regarding body imagine. In the short story, "The Fat Girl," Andre Dubus, depicts how judgment on one's physical appearance often leads to a low self-esteem in the future, even at a young age. A negative perception towards somebody can have a great impact, especially when it comes from the ones who are closest to them. "It was started when she was nine. You must watch what you eat, her mother would say" (pg. 62). Louise's mother was the first person to warn her about her weight. She was constantly being watched by her mother, which made Louise feel uncomfortable which eventually led to her secretive eating. Her mother was worried about her daughter's weight, not for her health's sake, but about boys liking and dating her daughter. We see this when she says ".if you're fat the boys won't like you; they won't ask you out" (pg. 62). .
In life, there are people we know who should be in our lives and people we know shouldn't. At what age do we learn the positive and negative aspects of certain types of friends? Louise had two best friends in high school. Joan was thin and flat chested, and moderately attractive. Marjorie was thin as well, smoked a lot, had a delicate laughter and was shy around the boys because she was smarter than them which didn't make them very comfortable. They weren't concerned about Louise's eating habits. They never intervened, asked her why she didn't eat or help her. As stated in the story, "She never eats, Joan and Marjorie said of Louise", which means they were aware there was something wrong, but they just minded their own business about it. They would always think of her as the girl who was intended to be overweight, "Sometimes she got through the cafeteria line with only a salad.