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You can make a difference

November 30, 2011

This is an update to my Fat Hate Starts Early post.

The PE teacher has emailed me back and promised to stop mentioning weight at all in her lessons. She let me know, however, that it was the teachers who taught health, so at the last parent-teacher conference I asked about the lesson plan and, yes, weight free as well!I may have to deal with this issue with a new teacher all over again next year, but I want you all to know that yes, you can make a difference. I’m still speaking with the principal to end the school’s anti-obesity policy, as well as allowing in a guest speaker to talk to both teachers and older students about weight and health.

It’s not moving mountains, but it’s a start! When I originally emailed these people I thought for sure I’d just get the brush off. Instead, I opened a dialogue among myself and staff members about some very important issues; I changed the way a teacher, who is responsible for building healthy behaviors in children, talks about health; and I’ve done more to ensure that my son will grow up in a body positive environment.

I’m eternally grateful that I found Fat Acceptance when my son was still young enough to not have picked up on any of my previous self-hate.  It wasn’t until after his fifth birthday that he began observing differences in body size and asking me questions about it. I know five even seems shockingly young to have to deal with body image and fat issues, but that’s one thing that makes kids great. They’re so observant and curious about their surroundings.

With any luck, I’ll raise him to be a bright, questioning, feminist and Body Acceptance advocate. This work can be exhausting and emotionally taxing, but it’s all worth it for him and every other child who may grow up not hating their bodies and seeing beauty in the diversity of bodies.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 11:35 am

    That is awesome, Heather! Good on you for taking such an active part in your son’s education and upbringing around weight issues and feminism. My daughter is now 12 and will be entering her teens soon, and I know I will have to help her deal with all kinds of body hating/diet encouraging/fat hating messages. Thankfully she hasn’t told me much about hearing of that kind of stuff at school yet … but I know it’s coming. She is a little on the plump side so I can see the tears coming already. When they happen, I will help her through them and give her the benefit of my own experience. That’s what we need to do as moms (and dads): love them, encourage them, support them.

  2. Fab@54 permalink
    November 30, 2011 2:04 pm

    Real glad to hear that positive feedback and results are coming from your letter!
    I’m very impressed. Glad you’re on “our” side! 😉

  3. November 30, 2011 4:17 pm

    Amazing! You sound like such a fantastic mom and activist. Well done!

  4. November 30, 2011 5:52 pm

    How reassuring that speaking out respectfully and clearly can still change hearts and minds. Way to go Heather.
    Shannon _

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