Friday, June 24, 2016

Dear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year

Dear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year:

Hey schools: Stop body shaming girls
Hey, school administrators and teachers, we have to talk about something.
You uphold antiquated, strident, unbalanced and frankly sexist standards when it comes to female students and how they dress at school. That's a problem.
It's time to stop body shaming your female students (and hey, even some of your male students) over their fashion choices.
Don't get us wrong, there are certain things that may be too risqué for the classroom. Students have to also choose to be respectful and professional around peers and colleagues while expressing their individual style. And that's okay.
But what we're talking about here is when a female student wears perfectly normal outfits to school and is told to cover up or go home. It affects their own academic standing as well as makes them feel personally embarrassed or attacked.
We're talking about Aniya Wolf's dapper prom suit.
We're talking about Kaitlyn Juvik, the braless warrior
We're talking about Amy Steverson's lacy, yet respectable, prom gown.
None of these girls were wearing their shorts too short, their shirts too cropped or walking around topless. Instead they were shamed for not conforming to gender norms, dressing comfortably and not having stick-thin bodies. The same is likely true for other girls whose stories didn't go viral.
If you're still confused as to why these young women should not have been body shamed, here are some helpful tips on making your female students feel safe and comfortable in your school.

1. Accept that these students have bodies — large, small, pear-shaped, hour glass, etc. And they can't change that.
Embrace the body positivity movement, starting with not making comments about a student who is overweight. You do not know how much they exercise, how much they eat, or how high their blood pressure, blood sugar or any other health marker is. Look beyond their weight and remember that overweight people can be healthy.
On the flip side, if a student noticeably loses weight or maintains a low weight — it's not your business to comment on it as a school administrator unless you truly feel the student is causing harm to themself. Calling attention to weight loss, even if it's to say they look great, can put anDear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year:



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