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Girl's Response to School Assignment About BMI

Why This Girl’s Empowered Response to a School Assignment About BMI Is Going Viral

So proud of the family of one of my friends. Her daughter had to do a middle school project that involved...

Posted by MacLeodCartoons on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

While most students don't typically write more than they're required to for school projects, one impassioned student answered her assignment with a powerful letter instead of just a simple number.

According to her mother, the Indiana eighth grader came home in tears after every student in class was weighed in front of their peers during an exercise about body mass index. A person's BMI is a numerical score for body fat calculated through height and weight. However, this simplistic measure doesn't take into account a person's muscle index.

This mature girl happens to be an active athlete, and even though her BMI technically qualifies as overweight, she isn't going to let that number define how she sees her body. For part of the assignment, the student was asked to calculate and share her BMI, but instead of submitting the number, she presented her teacher with an insightful letter explaining her thoughts on the "outdated" system:

Now, I'm not going to even open my laptop to calculate my BMI. And I'll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, I've been a "bigger girl" and I'm completely fine with that; I'm strong and powerful. When you put a softball or a bat in my hand, they are considered lethal weapons. But, at the beginning of the year, I started having very bad thoughts when my body was brought into a conversation. I would wear four bras to try and cover up my back fat, and I would try to wrap ace bandages around my stomach so I would look skinnier. So my lovely mother did what any parent would do when they noticed something wrong with her child, she took me to my doctor. My doctor and I talked about my diet and how active I am. He did a couple tests and told me I was fine. He said though I'm a bit overweight, he's not going to worry about me based on how healthy I am. So this is where I don't calculate my BMI because my doctor, a man who went to college for eight years studying children's health, told me my height and weight are right on track. I am just beginning to love my body, like I should, and I'm not going to let some outdated calculator and a middle school gym teacher tell me I'm obese, because I'm not. My BMI is none of your concern because my body and BMI are perfect and beautiful just the way they are.

While her original intent might not have been to stand up for body positivity on such a large scale, it's no surprise that this middle school student's eloquent words have resonated with so many across the Internet.

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