Dear Fat-shaming Woman in Fargo, ND,
Please, I know you think you’re doing the children of your community a favor, but please, please, please, just turn your house lights out and don’t answer the door at all on Halloween. Your plan to give out letters to the children whom you deem to be moderately obese is…well, let’s start with misguided.
You say in your letter that it takes a village to raise a child, and you’re only doing this because you feel a responsibility. Well that’s great. But you aren’t even signing your name. Responsibility isn’t anonymous. You don’t even know these children. It takes a village – of concerned, involved, and caring people who have relationships with the children. Anonymous strangers don’t get to weigh in on this.
And speaking of weighing in — are you a medical professional? Are you the primary healthcare provider for all these children? Do you know all the details of these children’s lives? Because, Madame, you do not get to tell MY children what they may and may not eat. How do YOU know what they eat the rest of the year? Do you know for sure that my son hasn’t been on a weight loss program already, and that this is his one big night to get some treats that he rarely gets to eat? Do you know for sure that my daughter doesn’t have a debilitating condition that requires her to take medications that have caused her to balloon up despite all the exercise in the world? Do you know for sure that my child hasn’t been battling an eating disorder and that this isn’t the first time in three years that we’ve even been able to get her to go out and get candy at all?
You do not know any of these things. Nor is it any of your business. It wouldn’t be any of your business if my family were just fat. If we ate poorly and too much all the time and never exercised. It’s not YOUR PLACE to educate us.
This is a time for children to go out and have some fun. They will get far too much candy. Some of them will eat so much as soon as they get home that they’ll feel sick. Others will have their candy strictly rationed by their parents. Some will weigh their hauls. Some will ration their takes on their own, and have candy left over when Halloween rolls around again. Some of them will go home and sort through the candy having intense negotiations with siblings and friends over how many Whoppers are worth a Snickers, and who does and doesn’t like candy corn. You only get to monitor this and make decisions involving your own children.
Oh – wait – do you have any children? I’ve discovered, over the years of parenting the nine children in my home and the approximately dozen foster children who’ve been through my house, that often the biggest self-proclaimed experts on parenting are single people with no children. It’s very easy to sit in judgement and pronounce simple solutions when you don’t have to do any of it yourself.
Of course, I don’t know if you have children or not. You went on the radio anonymously, and your letter is unsigned. It’s easy for you to hide that way.
We parents aren’t afforded the luxury of hiding from our children. We will be there for them after they ring your doorbell and get a nasty trick instead of a treat. We will wipe their tears because you’ve shamed them in front of everyone. We’ll wipe the tears, but we might not be able to undo all the damage.
You’re planning to tell children that they’re not good enough. They’re not deserving of a treat. They’re defective. Great plan. I wonder how many eating disorders you’ll help to develop.
Madame, you already have egg on your face. It’s Halloween. I hope you don’t end up with egg on your house. Keep the lights out. Don’t answer the door. Go lie down. Let other people deal with the children. Clearly, the monsters have already gotten to you.
Praying for peace in your heart and mind,
The Mite-y Widow