A high school in Mississippi in the United States sent parents a statement proposing to “improve students’ body image.” In the letter, the school even offers modeling clothing, bras, and “health literature,” among other products, with the justification for reducing the potential inconvenience caused by the negative image students can have of their bodies.
The statement, written by counselors at Southaven Middle School, shocked the American Ashley Hyun, the mother of a 13-year-old girl studying at the school. She even posted the entire message on Twitter, saying she was outraged by the action.
The message is titled “Why do girls suffer from body image?” It was given to female students in the class, according to Ashley, and said: “Body image is a perception of the body and, at the same time, a measure of attractiveness. The image of the female body is the product of personal, social and cultural experiences, often arising as a desire to adhere to an ‘ideal’ shape of the body.”
In addition to noting that girls were more likely to develop mental illness due to dissatisfaction with their bodies, the document goes on to list the benefits of a healthy body image for girls, including “good physical and mental health.”
“We, the advisors at Southaven Middle School, would like to have the opportunity to provide your daughter with ‘healthy’ literature on how to maintain a positive body image.” “We also provide girls with underwear, bras and other hygiene products if possible.”
Attempting to fix a ‘negative body image’
Ashley posted the angry message on Twitter, saying she was shocked the school was trying to “fix (students) negative body image by sending home underwear.”
At the end of the document, parents are invited to select the option indicating whether or not they are interested in declaring school work and also what modeling belt size their daughter might need, distinguishing between the bottom and the top, as well as for the exact bra size to shape the bust.
“I had to read it a few times to make sure I was actually reading what I was reading. I mean, I was shocked, I was totally shocked. And honestly, I was really pissed off,” Ashley told the American newspaper. USA TODAY.
She says she contacted the school’s principal, John Sartin, by email to address her concerns. She said he called her to explain that the school had received a donation of clothes and bras and that they were giving the students for free. “Although he made it clear that they have good intentions, work.”
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