A mom from England is making headlines for refusing to enroll her child in a school for an outrageous reason.
Writer Hilary Freeman says she chose not to send her 2-year-old daughter to a highly rated nursery because she noticed the nursery assistant and other staff members were "morbidly obese," Parents reports.
In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, the mom defends her decision, saying that despite the school having a good rating and finding the nursery assistant to be "lovely," "kind" and "great with children," she wondered if the teacher would have the "lightning reflexes needed to save an adventurous toddler from imminent danger," and what sort of unhealthy habits the nursery assistant would be teaching her daughter.
Yet Hilary doesn't seem to think her choice is affected by snobbery or "fatism" at all, although it's clear she has a problem with the way society's attitudes toward fat people seem to be changing. "It’s not politically correct to comment on anyone’s size anymore, and certainly not to say anything negative about obesity. Some even see the word ‘fat’ as equivalent to a racial or homophobic slur," Hilary says. "Fat positivity—also known as fat acceptance—has gone too far. Originally a response to discrimination against those who aren’t slim enough to fit into society’s beauty ideal, it’s now an excuse for the severely obese to celebrate their bodies, the consequences be damned."
The mom says she's been criticized in the past for sharing her opinions about people becoming fat because she's at a healthy weight, but reveals she, too, has struggled with putting on the pounds. "The only reason I’m slim, and by no means skinny, is because I watch what I eat and exercise regularly ... I have little sympathy for those who blame their genes or hormones for being fat. My grandmother was morbidly obese, and I have a hormonal condition—an underactive thyroid—which causes weight gain," she writes. "Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because I’m a slim person with a fat person inside, wanting to burst out. My body clings on to every calorie it can."
In the op-ed, Hilary also talks about her views that being overweight is not healthy or attractive, that being fat in England has now become normal, and how friends can influence your weight as much as your genes. Interestingly, she even says, "Discrimination is never good."
Hilary's controversial opinion on why she ended up sending her 2-year-old to a different school elicited both negative and positive responses. One Daily Mail commenter wrote, "Well, how beautifully self-righteous this woman is ... You can be overweight and fit or thin and unfit. On the plus side, if you are overweight you can do something about it. Being ugly on the inside is impossible to change. What a dreadful role model for her child!!" Another said, "So shallow ... It's the education that matters, not health." But one commenter, siding with the mom, said, "I totally agree with this. I wouldn't want a seriously underweight person to teach my children either." Another wrote, "Teaching your children not to judge anyone on face value would be a far better attribute."
While we all want our kids to go to the best schools and have the best learning environments, we can't help but think this mom went too far in her school criteria for her 2-year-old. It seems like she spent too much time thinking about the "consequences" of her daughter being taught by someone "morbidly obese" that she completely missed an opportunity to truly teach her daughter a more valuable lesson: that it's never right to judge someone based on appearance.