THIS IS HOW // by Augusten Burroughs

“Maybe you feel the pressure to be positive because so many people rely on your good, fake-positive energy? If that’s the case, screw everybody else. you’re not a bottle of Valium.”

Augusten Burroughs


A few years ago, I was at a hotel in #PalmSprings, sitting by the pool and writing. A few minutes later, a woman sauntered into the area wearing a sarong, high heels, and a dramatic, over sized hat. The woman was what one would typically call fat.

I was astounded by her beauty and her utter command of the entire areas surrounding the pool. I glanced around at the other people near me and indeed, every man was watching her. Lust is not easily mistaken for repulsion, these men wanted her. The women sitting outside were watching her, too. And their expressions were just as easy to read, as clear as words printed on a white page: how the hell is she doing that?

Because this woman was the sexiest, most sensual woman I had yet encountered in California. I expect the vast majority of those looking at her felt the same way.

How was it possible?

It was possible because this woman saw the truth behind “the truth.” She saw that ‘fat is not hot’ is not true.

One day this woman woke up and she put on her jeans and she looked in the mirror and asked herself, as she surely had a thousand times before. “Do these jeans make me look fat?”

But instead of replying to her rhetorical question with a positive, feel-good white lie, she suddenly let out her breath, allowed her stomach to spill over her waistband, and admitted the truth to herself: the jeans did not make her look fat; she was fat.

No article of clothing had ever or could ever disguise, conceal, or alter this fact. She was not, by even the most elastic stretch of the definition, a thin woman. 

The truth can breathe new life into you. 

She said to herself, “Okay. Given that I’m fat but still want to be magnificently beautiful, I want to be sexy as hell, what can I do?”

You manufacture beauty with your mind.

She was sexy, she was beautiful. She was insanely ravishing. 

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