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Fat shaming

Heather is a Primary Teacher from Canada who is currently working in London through Protocol Education. Heard of fat-shaming? We hadn't yet and Heather helps explain it for us as well as lessons that our children may take away.

Fat-shaming is a growing trend that we’ve seem to only recently taken notice to – hence the term, which I’m sure some of you haven’t learned of just yet. Basically, it’s when others feel the need to make another feel ashamed of their body if they’re overweight.

I recently read an article that I found appealing because of the point it was making, which caught me off guard. Jennifer Lawrence (known from the ‘Hunger Games’, ‘Silver-linings Playbook’, etc.) was quoted as saying some pretty empowering phrases for a celebrity such as her gorgeous self, further supporting body acceptance:

  • "I'd rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life." -- Mirror
  • "I'm never going to starve myself for a part. I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner!' [...] I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed." -- Entertainment Weekly

Although this is not something we inadvertently teach or project, we have to keep in mind the varying factors that produce the body image of ourselves and others.

These excerpts are exceptionally appealing to late primary school students and teenagers as they struggle with the pressures of society. Some will attempt to conform to such unhealthy ‘norms’ that we’ve come to understand may be reached through anorexia, etc. Hearing these type of realistic reactions from someone who’s young, attractive, and holds a place in the spotlight, may make a lot of females stand their ground. However, the fact that Jennifer Lawrence has to defend her body type, shows how much pressure is exerted on all of us through the media.

The article points out that if someone of a larger body type were to say such things about avoiding diets (ex. Melissa McCarthy), we would be quick to judge and regard her as an unhealthy influence on those that may be overweight due to a lack of appropriate eating habits and exercise. This brings to question where this line of fat-shaming lay. Although this is not something we inadvertently teach or project, we have to keep in mind the varying factors that produce the body image of ourselves and others.

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Tags: Heather, Canadian-Trained, body-image, ideas, celebrities, film, impressions,

Category: Australian Teachers

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