At the same time they work to persuade Congress that eating disorders are a serious health issue, high school students in Stevenson Ranch, California are objecting to a BMI (Body Mass Index) activity in their Honors Anatomy and Physiology class.
Are you wondering how are these events related? I feel chilled when I think about the high school students required to post their BMI on a board in front of a classroom. It immediately brings up waves of shame about weight and eating that I felt in my high school years and beyond.
But then I’m warmed by the courage and spirit of members of the Eating Disorders Coalition who traveled to DC from all over the U.S. to speak out against body and weight shame. And I’m so grateful that at least one of the high school students in Stevenson Ranch had support to voice her anger about the BMI exercise. That’s such a huge improvement over what happened when I was in high school and we girls just kept all the anger inside and turned it against ourselves.
For most women and girls, feeling ashamed of our bodies, no matter what our BMI, is a “normal” condition. Carrying that shame around every day is a heavy load which drains our energy and joy.
Let’s help girls and other women, as well as ourselves, drop the load of shame about weight and eating. Do you know if BMI testing is going on in your community’s schools?
And please share all the things you do that help girls and women drop our weight and eating shame–tell me what works.
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