I Went To School To Learn Math, Instead All I Learned Was That My Teacher Thought I Was Fat.
While scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday, one of my friends had posted this link.
It’s an article where a girl is asked to calculate her BMI ( body mass index) for an assignment for school. Instead, this articulate and beautiful child wrote a two page response basically telling them to go fuck themselves and mind their own business. It’s much more eloquent than that…..she explains why BMI is not a good measure of one’s health and politely tells them that she is beautiful as is and the rest is none of their business.
Further to the article, my friend who lives in the same city as me, and is in the same school division made this comment:
My son had an assignment that was similar with BMI, how they keep healthy mentally, emotionally and physically and they had to rate themselves!! Really?!? All I could think of was these kids’ self esteem.)
Let me tell you a story about measuring my fatness. From the time I was in elementary school and all the way until grade 10 when Phys.Ed. stopped being mandatory, this was part of the curriculum in gym class. Once a year, amongst all the fitness tests like running around some pylons and hanging off a wall, the gym teacher would get out his calipers and measure the amount of fat on our bodies. In front of the rest of the class. They also had a picture of people’s legs and would measure the gap or lack there of between ones thighs. In front of the class.
And I don’t give one flying fuck whether you are skinny, fat or somewhere in between. Every single child and especially the girls felt so much anxiety about this moment that they should have provided shots of tequila first. It was horrible and shameful and scarring. And fuck you gym teachers for telling children that they are worth less because you could grab too much flesh off my hips with your stupid fucking calipers. And no, you didn’t have to actually say those words to get that message across. That’s what your actions did to us. That moment damaged us. It damaged me.
I just simply do not understand today’s educational system.
A teacher cannot hand out a zero for work not done. We can’t hold students back when they are not ready to move on to the next grade either academically or socially. We can’t make them memorize multiplication tables because its too stressful. They aren’t allowed to do homework at home.
But what we can measure is their Body Mass Index. Because if we are going to make a child feel like shit about something, better make sure it is something that is completely irrelevant to their ability to succeed in life. Let’s make sure we cut their confidence down for they way their body is shaped rather than hold them or their parents accountable for doing their schoolwork. Don’t hurt their feelings or stress them out relating to anything that may prepare them for the work force one day or for University. Instead of measuring their knowledge at school, let’s make them measure their body fat.
But you know what else I remember?
I remember the gym teacher calling my dad into parent teacher interview and telling him he was “concerned” for my cardiovascular health because my time in the run was slow and I was clearly too fat. And I remember my Dad laughing in that smug piece of shit’s face and saying “Dude, she just got of crutches with a torn knee ligament. She walked the course. Also, she can swim 50 meters in 32 seconds at 10 years old. She is training in the pool 6 days a week so if you’d like to race her, I’ll set it up and put my money on my kid. And although you may be concerned about her cardiovascular health, I am actually more concerned about your competency to evaluate it.”
And that, Bitches, is one of those moments I will also not forget, because there was no way my dad was gonna let this asshole fuck with his kid.
So take a page out of my Dad’s book. If your child comes home with an assignment such as this or tells you of an experience such as this, talk to the teacher immediately. Do not allow them to shame your child. Don’t let your child think that their self worth is determined by the opinions of others. Stick up for your kid. Trust me, it will be worth it.
And teachers everywhere….if you ever come near either one of my kids with a set of calipers, you will find it hanging off your genitals.