Health

This 8th Grader Schooled Her Teacher on a Body-Shaming Homework Assignment

A class assignment took a turn one teenager's teacher didn't see coming. After an embarrassing class project where students where made to weigh themselves in front of each other, an unnamed female student wrote a passionate letter to her teacher about the flaws of the Body Mass Index System (BMI) and turned it in as homework.

BMI is a simplistic and many say flawed method of determining a healthy weight range for someone's height.

The Center of Disease Control has a very specific definition about BMI and its uses.

"Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual."

The Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, who created the system in the 19th century, never meant for it to be a definitive formula for someone's "fatness," according to NPR.

Twitter users had plenty of negative things to say about the girl's assignment and BMI.

The female student came home in tears after the weigh-in according to Upworthy, so she wrote a letter for the next part of the assignment. She had to answer the question "What is BMI?" and here are the best parts of her response:

"How could someone who stays fit, eats healthy, and has a low metabolism be in danger of heart disease and diabetes? Oh, that's right, because she isn't in danger of obesity and heart disease. This woman is active and healthy and she is the furthest thing from obese. In conclusion, BMI is an outdated way of determining a person's body health, and it's a measurement that should not be used in a school setting where students are already self-conscious and lacking confidence in their unique bodies."

She goes onto say that she refuses to calculate her own BMI.

"Now, I'm not going to even open my laptop to calculate my BMI. And I'll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, I've been a "bigger girl" and I'm completely fine with that; I'm strong and powerful. When you put a softball or a bat in my hand, they are considered lethal weapons. But, at the beginning of the year, I started having very bad thoughts when my body was brought into a conversation. I would wear four bras to try and cover up my back fat, and I would try to wrap ace bandages around my stomach so I would look skinnier. So my lovely mother did what any parent would do when they noticed something wrong with her child, she took me to my doctor. My doctor and I talked about my diet and how active I am. He did a couple tests and told me I was fine. He said though I'm a bit overweight, he's not going to worry about me based on how healthy I am. So this is where I don't calculate my BMI because my doctor, a man who went to college for eight years studying children's health, told me my height and weight are right on track."

This is a great answer from a brave 8th grader standing up for body positivity.

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