Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Question and a Plea

JD had his end of school year awards the other day. We are very proud because his "everybody gets a trophy" prize was for being the nicest and most caring student. It is always nice to hear your child's good character is their defining characteristic. However, after it was announced, one of the kids pipes up and says, "He could also get skinniest kid because look how skinny he is." I don't know if the kid was trying to be mean or if he just has no manners. The teacher put a stop to it by saying, "Yeah, and you're short, so be quiet." That didn't really sit right with me, and I'm wondering if it seems off to you? On the one hand, I'm glad she stopped the boy from teasing my son, but on the other, I don't feel right about her fighting fire with fire. I noticed that she wasn't shy about jokingly telling all the parents what the different kids' faults were. She said nothing but good things about my kid, and some of the other boys were obvious handfuls, but do you point that out in front of everyone? It hasn't been a secret that this has not been our favorite year, but it is over as of next week. Beyond making sure he doesn't have her again next year (she is also moving up a grade), should I say anything?
Now for my plea. Many people see "skinny" as a compliment. I understand that, however, for me, it was used repeatedly as an insult when I was a child and even occasionally in a mean spirited fashion as an adult. I'd like to ask you all to think twice before commenting on another person's weight. If you wouldn't say it to an overweight person, don't say it to a thin person. For example:
"Oh, you are always so thin, I just hate you!", tends to be a socially acceptable phrase.
Now let's turn it around:
"Oh, you are always so fat, I just hate you!"
You can probably see how that one is wrong, and would probably get you slapped.
Just make sure you really know a person before you make any kind of comment on their weight, and no one gets hurt.

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