I was The Fat Girl™ growing up.

Nearly every school and class has one because fatphobia is about normalizing hierarchy and social control. No matter what the relative weight or size spread of the group, there's always a biggest kid.

Recently I was talking to a group of teenage girls for their high school's Women of Color Speakers Series. I talked a lot about what it was like being TFG.

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Making friends as an adult is definitely not like making friends as a kid.

Remember how easy it was to make a new friend when you were young? Five minutes sharing a slide and suddenly you're bonded for life.

But as we grow older, making friends can become much harder. So hard, in fact, that some people equate having a large group of close friends to a miracle.

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Imagine if someone jumped into your conversation at a party without an introduction, interrupting you mid-sentence.

That might strike you as odd or rude. But when we give someone the simple advice to "just go up and introduce yourself," we're skipping many of the nonverbal steps important to making a good impression.

For most, connecting with other people relies on intuition. However, social interactions of all sorts — from just saying "hello" to a new acquaintance to interviewing for a new job — can be challenging. For people with autism, it can be even more difficult to know how to strike up that first conversation.

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