Sunday, March 6, 2011

Body image...from the perspective of a 7th grader.

         Ok, the kids around have me been cracking me up lately. On Friday the students had a tiny bit of free time. Some of them were doing homework and some were just relaxing for a few minutes. A girl sitting in front of me was talking to the boy beside her. She was being goofy and trying to make him laugh. This girl is your typical 7th grader. She’s a cheerleader, kinda goofy, kinda ditzy, and really nice. She grabbed either side of her thigh and started shaking it back and forth and making sounds that she thought resembled fat jiggling. This girl had no fat on her legs at all, so it was really funny to watch her do this and the boy next to her was cracking up.

            She saw me watching her and she said (as you read her comments please do them in a high pitched stereotypical cheerleader sounding voice as fast as you can read, because that’s how she really sounds) “This is what we do at cheerleading practice when we’re bored. We shake out thigh fat back and forth.”

            My response, “You have hardly any fat on your thighs. I think everyone has a little leg fat, especially when they are sitting.”

            She get’s a quizzical look on her face and says (don’t forget to do the voice) “That’s true, except for anorexic people. They have no fat and it’s gross.” Then she just kept going. This is one of those times when a kid is thinking out loud and they are thinking just as fast as they are talking. “I would rather be fat than anorexic. Anorexic people are really, really gross. I mean you can always have lipo to take the fat out, but you can’t have fat pumped in…oh my god, can you have fat put in?!”

            My response, “I just don’t think so.”

            “Wow that would be crazy. I know when people don’t eat and are afraid of food they call it anorexic, but what do they call it when you eat too much?”

            “Obesity, overeating, over weight.”

            “Oh. Can you be addicted to food?”


            “Wow, how do they treat that? Do they get all crazy like people on drugs?”

            “I’m sure they can.”

            “I’d still rather be fat than anorexic.”

            “That’s fantastic. How about you don’t be either of those?”

            “Yea, I don’t really want to be either. Seems like too much work.”

            “It is.”

            After that she just went back to jiggling her leg fat and making the boy next to her laugh. I was franticly trying to write down everything she said because I knew that conversation was turning into a blog. It was just one of those random conversations you can only have with a middle school aged kid. I’m sure some people look at that conversation and think people are crazy for wanting to teach middle school? I look back at that conversation and think who wouldn’t want to teach middle school?

            Anyway, I have never thought about being anorexic vs. being obese. I don’t know what I would prefer. If I didn’t have other things to get done and that point in time I would have asked her why she felt that way. I could always ask her another day, but because I know how 7th graders can be, I already know that she probably doesn’t even remember having that conversation! 


  1. Hahaha even before you said, I was thinking that the girl probably didn't remember having told you all those things ! lol

  2. Hi there, just found your blog and I have to are a special person, just for the simple fact of teaching middle school..OH the horror!! My daughter is in her first year of middle school and we are in total shock at some of the things she comes home with...(she's been home schooled for the past 3 years) so we aren't used to the things she's being exposed to in school...

    Anyway, keep on keppin' on girl...I'm glad you seem to enjoy it!

  3. Just stumbled across your blog and have to say that I absolutely love it!

  4. LOVE this blog entry. I have coached middle school and high school aged school and allstar cheerleaders. It's funny because you see these girls that are going to be outstandingly beautiful while they're still nieve (sp). I was pleasantly surprised to hear she'd rather be fat than anorexic. Unfortunately, the nature of the cheer game tends to throw these poor young things toward anorexia more often than not. I'm sure you can credit yourself a little bit for guiding your students in the right direction!

  5. That's hilarious lol. I like how she said she didn't want to be either because it seems like too much work. Amen sister!

  6. Too funny. My daughter says the same thing, about prefering fat over too skinny. Im like, let's just be healthy k sweetheart? lol

  7. I love this post! It's funny, but it also sends so many positive messages and glad to hear it's from a 7th grader. These days it seems teenagers are so obsessed with their body image, it's nice to hear at least one girl feels good about hers. And that she realizes being unhealthy is too much work, lol!

  8. Just recently started following your blog wanted to stop by and say hi, I too am on a journey to losing weight and becoming healthy and have my own blog. Thanks for the chuckle on the conversation with a 7th grader, I totally can picture her and her voice saying what she said. And all I could do was roll my eyes, little girl if you only knew!