Book Teaches Children To Hate Their Bodies
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To Whom It May Concern,
"Don't Call Me Fat: A First Look at Being Overweight," by Pat Thomas is a book that is geared towards children ages 4-8. This book teaches body-shame and body-hatred to kids. It reinforces harmful stereotypes about individuals in larger bodies and weight-stigma. The book states that people who are "overweight" need someone to help them "to learn how to take care of themselves by eating less and exercising more." This is highly problematic as it could lead individuals to develop disordered eating behaviors and an unhealthy relationship with food. It also highlights that if you are "overweight" there are a lot of things that you can't do and people might make fun of you.
As a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, specializing in helping individuals struggling with eating disorders and body image issues, I am upset to see a book that reads as a primer on body-shame, disordered eating, and how to internalize the "thin ideal standard." Children deserve to hear the message that all bodies are valuable and that health and happiness is not size-specific. Body-diversity exists and you cannot tell anything about someone's health habits by looking at them. Thus, I am asking that Barnes and Nobles cease to sell this book and for the publishers to do something as well. This book is liable to cause incredible harm to children who are already dealing with enough weight-stigma in the diet-culture and fat-phobic world that we live in.
Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C
Eating Disorder Therapist
Huffington Post Blogger
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