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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.


In Human Parts. More on Medium.

This Is Us

I still want to fill that void, but I’ve accepted it may not happen

Cheerful family toasting drinks.
Cheerful family toasting drinks.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend Kevin had a fight with his sister. Not something you’d think would send me spiraling into an emotional breakdown. Well, allow me to introduce myself then: I’m Dani, and sometimes I lose my mind over things as banal as sibling spats. I spent a week doing the following:

  1. Alternating between crying and tending to my spasming neck.
  2. Not eating.
  3. Meddling and making things worse.

Because, if I’ve learned anything over the course of my lifetime, it’s this: I can see the future.

To give some context as to why a fight between a brother…

Humans 101

Here’s how to reconnect with your needs and desires

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” — Hermann Hesse

You were born with a microscopic network of neural tissue lining the majority of the organs of your abdomen. Your gut microbiome communicates with these nerve cells in a system that’s so deeply interconnected that an imbalance can inhibit everything from normal brain development to healthy behavior.

You were born like this, but of course, you didn’t know it.

You didn’t know that you had a network…

This Is Us

I learned the quiet heartbreak of losing someone who truly understood what it meant to live in a body like mine

An eerie image of the silhouette of a person seen through frosted glass.
An eerie image of the silhouette of a person seen through frosted glass.

I was 18 the first time I met a fat sister in arms. It was my first semester of college, and we immediately gravitated toward one another, buoys in the choppy waters of an unfamiliar sea.

That year, we became closer than either of us expected. Both of us had been the fattest kids in our high school classes, held at a distance from classmates by virtue of our bodies. We’d both hoped college would be easier, but most of the time, it felt familiar. The desks weren’t built for us. Classmates stared openly at our bellies and thighs. Lengthy…

My obsession with men was masking something far deeper: I wanted to be one

A black and white of two people’s silhouettes in front of a curtained window.
A black and white of two people’s silhouettes in front of a curtained window.

Content warning: This piece mentions eating-disordered behavior, self-harm, and domestic abuse.

When I was in high school, I watched the music video for “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz over and over again.

It became something of an after-school ritual. I’d come home, eat a snack in the quiet of the empty house, and then curl up in front of the computer, waiting for the distinctive cackle of De La Soul to open the song. I’d glue my eyes to the screen, waiting for the animated band’s fictional lead singer, 2D, to appear.

I loved 2D. He was the perfect fake…

Humans 101

Bias against fat people is on the rise — and it’s harming our health, relationships, and self-esteem

A photo of five sculpture-like human faces.
A photo of five sculpture-like human faces.

The conversation is always the same and no less heartbreaking for its familiarity.

After days, weeks, months of talking with their fat friends and family, a straight-size person (that is, someone who doesn’t wear plus sizes) realizes that anti-fat bias isn’t just the work of devoted bigots, bad actors hell-bent on tormenting fat people. Something has clicked into place: She now realizes that the bias lives and breathes within her, too.

Anti-fat bias is, she finally understands, something she’s been perpetuating and replicating without even realizing it or meaning to. Every well-intended weight loss compliment, every “sweetie, no, you’re not…

This Is Us

The comments section is key to understanding what many fat people are up against every day

A bunch of clothes hangers hanging on a rack against a neon red/orange background.
A bunch of clothes hangers hanging on a rack against a neon red/orange background.

I felt my breath shallow as I boarded my flight. My muscles tightened while I fumbled for my boarding pass. I cast my eyes down, careful not to make contact with my fellow passengers, lest I provoke their complaints. I had taken every precaution I could — brought my own seat belt extender, paid an extra $900 for a first-class ticket on a cross-country flight — but as a very fat person on a plane, there were no guarantees that I would reach my destination.

Bodies my size are routinely cause for passenger complaints, even when we do everything we…

Mixed race people don’t often get the acceptance that everyone else takes for granted

I knew when I started my degree in Japanese and International Relations that I would spend a year in Japan. Although I didn’t grow up speaking my father’s native tongue, I still imagined that as soon as I landed, fluent Japanese would flow from my mouth. Sadly, that’s quite far from the truth. For me, as someone caught between being Japanese and British, returning to my father’s homeland has been a complex and challenging experience.

While the friends I’ve made have blissfully enjoyed Tokyo’s many thrills and sights, my identity issues have bubbled up to the surface. This is not…

It could have only been death

It was a Friday afternoon in mid-November. The sunlight had already dipped beneath the clouds giving way to a vaporous curtain of darkness — a winter’s night that begins before 5:00 p.m.

I was racing against the clock. My guests would be arriving in three hours and I had nothing prepared, only bookmarked recipes and a shopping list scribbled on the back of a torn envelope. As I hurried home clutching unwieldy bags of produce and wine, I mentally rehearsed the next few hours of prep. …

Mind Games

On becoming something else, while keeping the thing you used to be

The best piece of advice I’ve gotten in a long time came a few months ago as I was trying not to fall on my ass on a rain-soaked hiking trail here in Northern California.

As I carefully placed one beat-up running shoe after the other in the muddy imprints left by my friend’s hiking boots, my thoughts kept wandering to how today would have been perfect for binge-watching Netflix and how I hoped the bread and cheese I’d stuffed in my backpack that morning was still semi-dry.

So I almost didn’t register my friend’s words, casually tossed over his…

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