Mom pulls her daughter from a daycare because of an overweight teacher
A writer and mom of a two-year-old daughter from the U.K. has gone viral this week — for refusing to let her daughter attend a daycare with overweight teachers. Yes, you read that right.
In a now-viral essay for The Daily Mail, Hilary Freeman wrote that a teacher at her daughter’s daycare was “lovely… kind and great with children.” Still, that didn’t stop Freeman from feeling a “growing sense of unease,” watching this admittedly qualified and caring woman play with her daughter. No, the teacher was “only in her 20s, but she was already obese,” the article states, and that apparently makes her unqualified to care for Freeman’s daughter.
She tries to veil her fat-shaming with concern for her daughter’s safety — “Would she, I wondered, have the lightning reflexes needed to save an adventurous toddler from imminent danger?” she wonders. She even preaches about the health risks of being overweight, and draws an apples-to-oranges comparison between the teacher’s weight and secondhand smoke, which would actually put her daughter’s health in danger, writing, “If that nursery assistant had been chain-smoking, everyone would have condemned her. But as a public health concern, the only real difference between smoking and obesity is that you can’t passively get fat.”
But further in the essay, the truth is revealed. The author was once a (gasp!) size 14, and lost weight until she became a slim size 10, and because of that experience, she self-righteously believes that it is reasonable to expect every woman unlucky enough to enter her orbit to also be a slim size 10. And despite her claims that she’s only thinking of her daughter’s safety when she refuses to let the little girl be around overweight women, she admits the actual truth herself: “Rolls of fat are not attractive — I shouldn’t be scared to say that.” Later, she admits that she’s disgusted by overweight people, and thinks others should be as well: “I don’t think that the disgust response to obesity is a social construct. I believe it’s innate because we know unconsciously that it’s a dangerous state,” she writes.
She can make all the claims she wants that she’s looking out for her daughter’s future health by denying her role models who may have unhealthy habits — the key word here being “may,” as she is not a medical professional and is therefore not qualified to judge the health of her daughter’s teacher based on her looks alone. What Freeman clearly doesn’t consider, as she frets about “the message this was sending to the children in their care: that being very fat is normal and — when children adopt role models so readily — even desirable,” is the kind of role model she herself is for her daughter.
Because whether Freeman is willing to recognize it or not, her daughter is picking up on her self-righteousness and her hate. Two-year-olds are impressionable, as Freeman admits herself, and there’s no way her daughter isn’t noticing that Mom thinks the 27 percent of English adults who are overweight aren’t good enough to be in hers — or her daughter’s — presence.