May 31, 2017

"Dear Virgie, I am an elementary school teacher. Recently, there has been some teasing around weight that happened in my classroom."

"My co-teachers and I really want to introduce the idea of body positivity and body diversity to the class. My students are 10 and 11 years old. I was wondering if you had any activities or ideas for opening up this discussion at this age level."

Virgie — at Wear Your Voice/Intersectional Feminist Media — responds with a 5-point list
, but I was disappointed that none of them were actual "activities." Maybe you can help me think of some kind of classroom role-playing or game that would work in a classroom of 10 & 11 year olds.

67 comments:

Owen said...

"Positivity." This is now a word?

I understand that the Left has to keep remaking the universe of words, thus controlling the "discourse" and moving the goalposts to suit itself.

But what an ugly little thing it is.

rhhardin said...

Dodgeball.

mockturtle said...

Holy shit! No wonder kids aren't learning anything useful in school.

Tank said...

I was a fat teenager. After I lost 40 pounds I had much more body positivity. And I had more confidence. And I had more girlfriends. And I did better at work and sports. In retrospect it was good for me that some jerks made fun of me and helped motivate me to change (they were, while nasty, correct).

Activity: Let the kids play tag (is that allowed?) while some kids wear 25 pound "fat" weights strapped to their bellies. This will help them to see how excess fat effects the body and much better it functions without the fat.

Unknown said...

The "body positive" movement seeks to normalize carbohydrate addiction.

No, addictions should not be normalized.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, yeah, good point about "activity," Tank.

Ann Althouse said...

How about: Everyone eat doughnuts.

themightypuck said...

Teasing is a form of play where children learn boundaries and develop empathy. It is also a form of play where children learn to compete for dominance and status. Play too rough and people won't like you. Don't play rough enough and you lose. These are important things to know. Telling children what is appropriate is valuable, but nothing beats learning by doing

Matthew Sablan said...

I think there may not need to be as much talk about body positivity as "don't be a jerk" lesson here. I do remember though having gym teachers and coaches who, even though I'm not in the best of shape, really helped me avoid being in worse shape. And they're not being dicks about it probably helped way more than if they were.

Owen said...

Why am I thinking of Kurt Vonnegut's Handicapper General?

Achilles said...

Maybe you can help me think of some kind of classroom role-playing or game that would work in a classroom of 10 & 11 year olds.

A discussion with parents about vouchers and school choice.

A bad parent lets their kid get fat and now my kid has to sit and listen to a bunch of people(women) whine about fat shaming.

Fuck public education. They are training unemployable protester/criminals.

Owen said...

themightypuck: "...nothing beats learning by doing."

Amen. Kids need to be left alone (up to a very considerable threshold) to work stuff out. Learning how to fight is important: to know what is worth fighting for, how to brace up, how to back down, how to de-escalate, how to read an adversary, how to land a punch or take one.

If we remain deliberately stupid about the dangers the world will press on us --see that jackass crazy slasher in Portland, whose victims had no clue how to handle-- we will, too often, end up dead.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger Matthew Sablan said...
I think there may not need to be as much talk about body positivity as "don't be a jerk" lesson here."

Agreed. The message should be "be kind" not "it's perfectly OK to be fat."

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'd say that the teacher is on the right track because the excruciating tedium that will result from "opening up this discussion at this age level" should be punishment enough to put a permanent stop to even the slightest thought of ever teasing a fatso ever again.

Virgil Hilts said...

At that age there are lots of bullies and assholes, but also often one or two kids who are both powerfully cool and also nice. In my grade school that was John Vanderslice (maybe he's out there reading this). He had crazy long hair, beautiful skin and face, extremely smart, and even though he was by far the coolest person in the school, he was nice to everyone, even the nerds. If I was the teacher in this class I would figure out who the JV was and recruit him to befriend and protect the oppressed. John did that a lot and it just made him that much cooler. Bless you John wherever you ended up.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
How about: Everyone eat doughnuts.

So that's how it is...

I started our kids off early with the fat shaming. Our 9 month old's nicknames are Bunga and Chubba. She looks like a balloon animal with her joints being these strange creases in between bubbles of fat that are her arms and legs and hands and feet with these cute little sausage fingers.

My kids will not be fat. Ever. We do no favors by enabling obesity.

I just caught the little one halfway up the stairs. Hopefully her fat will buffer all the falls.

Achilles said...

Virgil Hilts said...

John did that a lot and it just made him that much cooler. Bless you John wherever you ended up.

John is in sensitivity training.

Quayle said...

Institute coed tackle football during recess, where the added size and weight will be seen as an advantage.

(You think I'm kidding.)

n.n said...

She should teach the moral axioms or articles of faith: intrinsic value (from conception) and individual dignity (i.e. observable in character or principles). It is imperative to discourage them from adopting the popular and established principle of [class] diversity that focuses attention on an individual's "color of skin" including body size, shape, etc. Also, they should not accept themselves as they are, but rather strive to improve for themselves and others.

YoungHegelian said...

@Quayle,

I had the same thought, but I figured they should dip deeply into the well of cultural appropriation & teach the kids sumo wrestling.

"Try calling me "fatso" with my foot on yer neck, stick-boy!"

exhelodrvr1 said...

What do the bullies do poorly at? Do something that emphasizes those areas.

Of course, that's not an option if this is one of the many schools that no longer acknowledge high achievements, because they are afraid of hurting the feelings of the lower achievers.

MadisonMan said...

How about a lesson on using food as comfort? *Then* break out the donuts.

MayBee said...

We went from "Obesity Health Crisis" to "Body Positivity" pretty quickly.

walter said...

Is this why so many teachers are screwing their students?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Yeah, elementary school teachers write to feminist website advice columnists for tips on doing their jobs.

That happened, $200% for sure @@

Unknown said...

Activities? How about a walk?

An aside, number 3 illustrates an all too common misunderstanding of what "turning the other cheek" means.

SDaly said...

The modern version of playing doctor: Kids play various roles in the scenario where an obese 25-year old is rushed to the ER from a heart attack.

SDaly said...

Body acceptance is a movement for obese white millennial women who disregard their own health and have started a movement that will kill millions of overweight black and Hispanic kids. Obesity in inner city kids is out of control and "acceptance" is not going to help them at all.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I bet that they weren't fat when they were still eating Michelle's lunches! Maybe they are putting on Trump-weight like Lena Dunham!

exiledonmainstreet said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said,
Yeah, elementary school teachers write to feminist website advice columnists for tips on doing their jobs.

That happened, $200% for sure @@"

While it could very well be faked, I am a little less skeptical than you.

My nephew had a very obese teacher with pink hair and a nose ring teaching at his elementary school. I can easily picture her trying to teach "fat acceptance" and feminism to small kids.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"In my grade school that was John Vanderslice (maybe he's out there reading this). He had crazy long hair, beautiful skin and face, extremely smart, and even though he was by far the coolest person in the school, he was nice to everyone, even the nerds."

In my school, John Vanderslice was named Brian M. I got the desk next to his in 8th grade and every girl was sooooo jealous of me. Gorgeous and always nice to everyone without being a goody-two shoes.

I haven't seen him since. I hope and imagine he has had a good life.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Maybe you can help me think of some kind of classroom role-playing or game that would work in a classroom of 10 & 11 year olds.

How about they create a photo-album of everybody's genitalia, without associating them with people's names/faces. Then everyone has to write something complimentary about each of the photos.

FullMoon said...

Pretty simple, really. Keep fatso after school for insult lessons. Go down the roster of classmates, pointing out deficiencies in each. "Steven and his sister are bastards because mom does not know who dad is. Marsha has big ears, like an elephant. Henry can't read because he is stupid. Skinny Jane doesn't get enough food because her mom doesn't love her..

FullMoon said...

Anybody who believes all obese people get that way from over eating are not as smart as they believe themselves to be.

mockturtle said...

Obesity in inner city kids is out of control and "acceptance" is not going to help them at all.

Do they still have Outward Bound programs?

Ralph L said...

"Why don't you whip her, Jennie Bet?" is what my grandmother's grandmother said to her daughter when grandma misbehaved. Is it socially possible now to shame people into better manners, or do you get stabbed for it?

Unknown said...

School has no business teaching "body acceptance" or any other ideology. Only punish kids for hitting each other too hard (some hitting is necessary).

Jersey Fled said...

Every morning I watch 20 or 30 school buses drop kids off at the elementary school down the street.

Maybe the little dears should try walking to school once in awhile.

walter said...

FullMoon said...Anybody who believes all obese people get that way from over eating are not as smart as they believe themselves to be.
--
Technically true. But the err..growth trend suggests behavioral as a top driver.

Ralph L said...

We went from "Obesity Health Crisis" to "Body Positivity" pretty quickly.
Wow, what's going to happen to the Opiod Epidemic?
Spellcheck doesn't recognize "positivity"--yet.

Known Unknown said...

1. 50 sit ups
2. 50 push ups
3. 50 jumping jacks
4. 50 lunges
5. 50 squats

Repeat as necessary.

holdfast said...

Rucksack marches. Good exercise for everyone, but it's something that the heavy kids can actually do (while hopefully becoming a little less heavy).

As a young guy I was skinny and fast, but also not that strong. I generally did pretty well at PT, except for pull-ups, where I usually just made the minimum. But when it comes time to carry the GPMG with the sustained fire kit and lots of extra ammo, the Carl Gustav and the 60mm patrol mortar, you appreciate the heavier guys who don't seem to mind carry around even more weight. These guys aren't blubber whales - it's just that they have a substantial layer of insulation over the muscles.

Ralph L said...

except for pull-ups, where I usually just made the minimum.
And I did zero all through school, but then I was 6'2" and 120 lbs at 16.

Curious George said...

Here's the answer.

FullMoon said...

Jersey Fled said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Every morning I watch 20 or 30 school buses drop kids off at the elementary school down the street.


Why are you watching these kids every day?
Do you have business in this neighborhood?
Have you ever been arrested?

Just kidding.

Neighbor picks up kids at elementery school, crossing gaurd waves him over and points out a boy walking. Says" He lives near you, Mom letting him walk home this week, would you keep an eye on him?"

Neighbor obliges. Cops show up to ask why he was following that little boy.Haha!

During the rather long rainy season locally, would see school kids from grade school or high school walking in rain. Cannot ask if they want a ride for concern over description on local news regarding potential attempted kidnapping.

FullMoon said...

Food Pyramid

Kind of interesting regarding government food suggestions.
Low carb, more fat becoming popular but realistically, poor people gonna eat more pasta and less steak.
More adult obesity among non smokers.
More childhood obesity due to lack of exercise, and more entertainment choices with tv and video games.

Did a search for "grade school class photos san francisco 1960" to see if there were a lot of tubbies back then. Not too many.

Ralph L said...

Fullmoon is right--tell the ten year olds to start smoking.

FullMoon said...

Ralph L said...

Fullmoon is right--tell the ten year olds to start smoking.

5/31/17, 2:40 PM


More exercise at ten, no smoking until they are old enough to get a job and buy their own.

Bruce Hayden said...

Body positive programs seem like a very bad idea. As noted, there is an obesity epidemic in much of America, and it isn't healthy nor is it good. These kids should be embarrassed that they are fat, because if they make it to adulthood obese, they are most likely to continue and get progressively more overweight. I wasn't used to it in CO, but see a lot of it here in Mat, and even worse around where we left vet in AZ. What is esp worrisome are the parents in the electric carts at Walmart because of their weight, with a couple obese children in tow, and a cart full of chips and pop. And realistically, a large percentage of those I see there who are my rabidly obese are too fat to work at many jobs, and, instead, are on welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.

And the poor kids are going to have many fewer life choices. The guys are unlikely to mate, and the gals are likely to end up as Baby Momas raising whatever kids they can manage to have as single mothers. Neither are liable to get nearly as good jobs as if they were not obese, if they work at all. Most of us ultimately have to fight our weight when our metabolisms slow down as we age. But it is far easier if we were thinner and more active when young, when lifetime habits are being formed.

Finally, I will admit to believing that Barack Obama II was the worst Resident in a century or so but I think that his wife was in not something whe she tried to overhaul school lunches. Being a leftist, she screwed it up of course, bu her heart was in n the right place.

FullMoon said...

" According to an article published in 1995 in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, schizophrenics have much higher smoking rates than people with other mental illnesses, and appear to use it as a method of self-medicating. The article postulates that nicotine found in cigarettes reduces psychiatric, cognitive, sensory, and physical effects of schizophrenia, and also provides relief of common side effects from antipsychotic drugs.

The treatment of schizophrenia isn't the only positive effect that nicotine has on the brain. A series of very interesting studies from multiple academic sources confirms that the risk of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease is surprisingly higher in non-smokers than in smokers. Doctor Laura Fratiglioni of Huddinge University Hospital in Sweden states, "Cigarette smokers are 50% less likely to have PD or AD than are age and gender-matched nonsmokers [...] cigarette smoking exerts an undefined, biologic, neuroprotective influence against the development of PD and AD."

The University of Melbourne confirmed the claims made by many smokers that tobacco itself is a strong appetite suppressant, and many use it to self-treat compulsive overeating disorders or obesity. Many smokers experience weight loss and decreased appetite after they begin smoking, and the Melbourne study found similar results in lab rats and mice exposed to cigarette smoke. While tobacco-influenced pharmaceuticals may at some point be an available option to treat obesity, smoking as a self-treatment is very ill-advised, since the negative effects of tobacco and obesity tend to compound and create interrelated conditions.

Cigarette smoking has also been linked to a decrease in risk of certain inflammatory disorders, since nicotine itself appears to be an anti-inflammatory agent. The department of gastroenterology at the University Hospital of Wales conducted a number of in-vitro studies to confirm and explain the decreased risk in ulcerative colitis (a potentially severe digestive disorder) in individuals who smoke cigarettes.

Perhaps most shockingly, tobacco smoke's anti-inflammatory effects may actually provide some benefits to children who are exposed to secondhand smoke. While this is certainly not worth at-home experimentation, one astonishing study conducted in Sweden observed two generations of Swedish children and found that the children of smokers had lower rates of allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema, and food allergies. The studied groups included 6909 adults and 4472 children, and the findings remained consistent, even when adjusted to reflect other variables. "

Ralph L said...

but see a lot of it here in Mat
The Sisters carry Mat off.
I lived in the DC area until '92. What was unusually fat there is commonplace here in NC.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

How does weight happen in a classroom?

ndspinelli said...

Kids will always be mean and nasty over a myriad of flaws, weight being just one. When I had middle school lunch duty it was heartbreaking seeing girls being mean to other girls. Boys can be mean and nasty, but girls cut to the bone. You can't protect kids. I had a morbidly obese boy in my 8th grade class who was picked on by both boys and girls. I tried different tactics, and it helped a bit, but he still was ridiculed. There are winners and losers. A big part of the problem is teaching has devolved into an almost exclusively female profession. The lack of balance is a fundamental problem in the US Education Industry.

"Life's hard, wear a fuckin' helmet." Denis Leary

dwarzel said...

@ walter and @ ignorance is bliss:

It does sound like a pervert trying to finagle an acceptable way to get these kids' clothes off, doesn't it?

Bad Lieutenant said...

FullMoon said...
Pretty simple, really. Keep fatso after school for insult lessons. Go down the roster of classmates, pointing out deficiencies in each. "Steven and his sister are bastards because mom does not know who dad is. Marsha has big ears, like an elephant. Henry can't read because he is stupid. Skinny Jane doesn't get enough food because her mom doesn't love her..

5/31/17, 12:36 PM


Ellsworth Toohey call your office, FM is stealing your act...

Birches said...

Introducing age appropriate literature. I don’t have access to a reading list for your age group, but it’s worthwhile reaching out to a children’s librarian in your town or the closest progressive city.

This was a real answer. Freakin millennial who writes an advice column can't even bother to Google.

FullMoon said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

F


Ellsworth Toohey call your office, FM is stealing your act...
5/31/17, 4:00 PM


Roark is opposed by what Rand described as "second-handers", who value conformity more than independence and integrity. These include Roark's former classmate, Peter Keating, who succeeds by following popular styles, but turns to Roark for help with design problems. Ellsworth Toohey, a socialist architecture critic who uses his influence to promote his political and social agendas, tries to destroy Roark's career.

Yep, that's me alright. Socialist to the core, using my influence to teach fatso to fight back against the haters.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My dudes, I believe this so much I'm going to say it again. This is total bullshit. Some of you are teachers, or at least know them. Like they have time, with all the nonsense they are responsible for in a given day, to worry about "body positivity" crap, and if they do, they're going to seek out Intersectionalist Feminist Media or whatever to get their lame-ass advice columnist to solve the problem for them? Come on.

It's bullshit invented to promote and normalize a silly, fringe, feminist hobby horse.

Freeman Hunt said...

Require all the children to eat lots of donuts everyday in class until all of them are fat. "Who's laughing now?!"

Freeman Hunt said...

How about: Everyone eat doughnuts.

Ha ha! I didn't read the other comments before I posted mine.

Freeman Hunt said...

Hey! I got teased a lot in elementary school, and the writer didn't include the reason in this list:

(i.e., girls, fat people, dark skinned people, disabled people and queer folks)

How about the classic reason of being a nerd and looking like one?

I suggest several viewings of A Christmas Story for the tease-ee. Someone may still tease you, but he'll only do it once.

And then puberty will come along and solve your problem. Or start your problem, depending.

The fat kids are probably stronger than average, so they have that going for them.

Karen said...

I've been overweight off and on my whole life and the number one thing that should have been taught when I was 10 or 11 was that choices have consequences. Maybe one other thing, too: delayed gratification. I'm now 68 and have recently learned how to live, taking responsibility for my own choices and seeing that good consequences flow out of good choices. Down 62 pounds since October 1, with 40 more to go, but feeling great about myself because I am eating in a manner consistent with my conservative principles.
Body positivity will condemn this entire generation of children to the hell I've lived through because I never learned to eat proper amounts of food in a healthy manner.

mockturtle said...

Good for you, Karen! :-) God bless!

openidname said...

Owen: "Positivity" has pretty much always been a word, though it was rare before 1940. In fact, it has fallen off from its peak popularity, around 1990. See:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=positivity&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cpositivity%3B%2Cc0

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Bad Lieutenant said...

Yep, that's me alright. Socialist to the core, using my influence to teach fatso to fight back against the haters.
5/31/17, 4:35 PM

Come on FM, do t be ill. Don't you remember Toohey's adolescence, where he adeptly insults the other kids ("Tim Noonan is a fish eater") but nobody hit him because he wore glasses?