Furious backlash after school offers shapewear to female students
A Mississippi middle school has offered body-slimming shapewear to female students this month, leading to furious backlash.
Southaven Middle School in northern Mississippi sent a letter home to parents of teen and tween girls, educating on the issue of negative body image.
The letter concluded with an offer from the school's counselors to provide shapewear — a foundation garment that's used alter a person's body shape. This offer was made to any of the students, aged 10 to 14, whose parents agreed to it.
The letter was shared on social media by mom Ashley Heun, who said that she was 'beyond p***ed.'
'This is what was sent home with my 8th-grade daughter,' Heun, whose daughter Caroline attends the school, wrote on Facebook.
The memo is headed with the nonsensical title 'Why Do Girls Suffer from Body Image?' — which should more accurately say suffer from 'bad' or 'negative' body image.
The memo goes on to discuss how 'social and cultural experiences' create a 'desire to adhere to an "ideal" body shape,' and how girls are 'more likely than boys to have negative body image.'
While the memo is mostly thoughtful, noting that 'women in the United States feel pressured to measure up to strict and unrealistic social and cultural beauty ideals,' it also asserts that girls with a positive body image are more likely to have good self esteem, physical health and mental health — and it offers a surprising way of supporting that.
'We, the counsellors of Southaven Middle School, would like to have an opportunity to offer some healthy literature to your daughter on maintaining a positive body image.
'We are also providing girls with shapewear, bras, and other health products if applicable.'