body image?body morph?body fixation? Or just teenage angst?

today the girls were in an uproar. the “gym teacher” had once again weighed them in an open room, people milling around, announced their weight and/or bmi outloud….made that smirky face that this 5 foot nothing little jerk makes when he is looking at adolescent females who dont meet his standard of thin. I listened, like i always do, trying to acknowledge their feelings, validate their anger at this invasion, arm them with tools for battling his badgering. Inside I am seething. what is with this guy? why does he ignore research, data, statistics that scream that this is dangerous for young women, places them at risk for bullying, self esteem issues, distorted eating?

So tomorrow I will sit in the principals office, armed with paperwork from NEDA, and explain, once again, that this can not be tolerated. that shaming young people isnt acceptable. I mean, why does this jerk think kids HATE gym? Its not because they dont like movement or competition or physical activity, its because they know whos gonna get picked last, ostracized for not being able to do the pull ups or the mile or whatever random activity they choose to put in front of them. when I was in school, in the seventies, we dreaded the “shower”, the speedy dash through water and out, brush through the hair, bra and panties pulled over still damp skin. Jeans, shirt, socks ,shoes, jewelry, makeup….but we loved gym. we lined up, we “skinned the cat” and learned interpretive dance. we conquered the pummel horse and the parallel bars. My Junior High gym teacher, Mrs. Knox, a model and athlete from the minute she broke the birth canal, cajoled, prodded, pushed us until we did it, period. I never remember her mentioning my weight ( above average ), my athletic ability ( below average) or my lack of speed. I do remember her calling me out if I didnt have the correct gym uniform on, or if I was late getting out of the locker room. No one, I mean no one, sat out gym unless it was, you know , “that time” and we had cramps…..

Gym was one more class. It had nothing to do with embarassment, self esteem or compliance. It was gym.
So tomorrow is gonna be one of those days. One of those “Advocacy” days. Should be a hoot.


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