Hilary Freeman, a mom from the U.K. is under serious criticism after writing a controversial article for The Daily Mail. In her article, she explains why she chose not to send her daughter to a nursery school, and people are outraged for her reasoning.
The controversial reason
She didn't send her child to the great school because the staff was overweight. Yes — you read that right. She didn't want her daughter attending a school where her role models were obese, and she certainly didn't want her daughter to develop unhealthy habits there.
To start off her article, she writes, "The nursery assistant was clearly a lovely woman: kind and great with children. But as I watched her play with my two-year-old daughter, I felt a growing sense of unease. She was only in her 20s, but she was already obese— morbidly so. She moved slowly and breathlessly, her face flushed."
Was it really about her child's safety?
She explains that she worried for her child's safety— wondering whether the nursery teacher would be able to have quick enough reflexes to save her daughter if needed. It's a valid concern, but her other reasons were not. In fact, they might be considered offensive to some.
Freeman looked around the room and saw that the other members of the staff were also overweight, and she wrote, "I couldn't help worrying about the message this was sending to the children in their care: that being very fat is normal and — when children adopt role models so readily — even desirable."
She compared obesity to chain smoking
Freeman goes on to talk about how "fat-positivity" and "fat-acceptance" have gone too far. She notes that everyone, despite their genes or mental health, can achieve a healthy weight. She then compares it to smoking.
She says, "If that nursery assistant had been chain-smoking, everyone would have condemned her. But as a public health concern, the only real difference between smoking and obesity is that you can't passively get fat."
She ended her article by saying, "Discrimination is never good. But neither is obesity. So let's stop celebrating it, and instead offer a bit of tough love."
Be healthy, but don't fat-shame
While it's important to stay healthy and active, that doesn't necessarily mean "skinny." And, it's never OK to fat-shame anyone, regardless of the circumstances. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin while working toward a healthy lifestyle.
Her daughter now attends a nursery school where "the staff are all a healthy weight." Freeman has the right to send her daughter to whatever school she feels would be best, but that decision certainly shouldn't be based on how heavy the staff members are.
Moms, teach your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle. Teach them how to exercise, what foods will make their body function well and make sure they know a treat every once in awhile is OK. If they're unhappy with their bodies at any point, help them make healthy changes until they're happy with it. But most importantly, teach them to love and accept everyone, regardless of their size.