Things have been so crazy around here, I completely forgot I usually post a review of short fiction on Mondays. I did read a piece of short fiction, though, so I’m going to review it today. This was brought to my attention by Annorlunda Books who is also attempting to read at least one piece of short fiction a week. This was her pick from last week. I was tempted to read it because of the title. Go ahead and follow the link – it’s extra short so it won’t take you too long to read it.
Published: March, 2018 on Jellyfish Review (read it online for free at that link)
Genre: short fiction
Setting: a generic location, present day
Summary: Our narrator is Jen. She was an active child, but then puberty hit and her hips changed. Those wide hips drew lots of male attention and made it difficult to be as active. She let herself sink into a soft shell of herself and become that quiet mom who never speaks up. One day she had enough. One day, she decided she’d had enough and started walking. From walking, she moved into kickboxing. Now, she may still look soft on the outside, but a look in her eyes will let you know that she will no longer be pushed around.
Final thoughts: I found this to be a powerful and moving story. Jen, like so many girls, feels betrayed by her body. For a while, she accepts those changes and stops being active. Eventually, though, she’s tired of being tired and sore all the time and she starts moving again. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s worth it and her body becomes stronger. As her body becomes stronger, she takes a stronger stance in her life. People are no longer able to walk all over her, regardless of how soft she looks. A good message to take to heart – you can be more than your appearance. There’s no fat shaming in this story. In fact, all indications are that Jen still has lots of curves even after she starts to exercise. Instead, the focus is on being able to do the activities and not feel pain that is important.
Title comes from: It’s a play on the phrase “These lips do lie” (or something like that). In this case, Jen’s hips say she’s a soft, gentle mom that you can push around. But they are a lie, because she will no longer be pushed around.