New York Magazine: An American Girlhood in the Ozempic Era
By Lisa Miller
People have had opinions about Maggie Ervie’s body ever since she was a baby. Maggie, who is 15 years old, has lived her whole life in Marceline, Missouri, a town of just more than 2,000 people 97 miles northeast of Kansas City, reached by driving straight highways that traverse wide cornfields lined by white fences, past sale lots full of shiny blue tractors. Walt Disney spent his boyhood in Marceline, and Mark Twain’s hometown is not far away. The people of Marceline — many descended from farmers, railroaders, and coal miners — have grown up together, as did their parents and grandparents, which makes them a little more comfortable expressing themselves about one another’s business.
When Maggie was still in diapers, a relative leaning over her changing table made a comment to her mother, Erika, about how her “cha cha” was chubby, and when she was in preschool, the playground chaperone would regularly send Erika photos of Maggie’s behind — on the jungle gym, on the merry-go-round — because her jeans, wide at the waist to accommodate her belly, would slip down her hips when she played. In retrospect, Erika can see how the playground monitor might have thought the pictures were cute or funny, but because Erika had been heavy as a child herself, they landed in her texts like taunts. “There’s Maggie’s little booty crack here and there and everywhere,” she recalls. It was hard to find clothes that fit Maggie; Erika had to drive to Kansas City or place special orders at Gymboree and the Children’s Place. When Maggie graduated from kindergarten, her pink ceremonial gown wouldn’t zip up all the way, so the teacher had all the children attend graduation with their gowns open. By elementary school, she had settled on a uniform of leggings and tunics.
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