Administrators at a Mississippi middle school are being squeezed after parents got wind of an initiative to help students deal with body image issues …by distributing shapewear to them.
USA Today reports female students at Southaven Middle School were given a letter in class titled, “Why Do Girls Suffer from Body Image,” which dealt with the “physical and mental benefits to having a positive body image.”
In addition to literature about how to maintain such an outlook, the school noted, “We are also providing girls with shapewear, bras and other health products if applicable.”
Suffice it to say, this didn’t go over well with students and parents.
One, Ashley Huen, tells the paper she emailed the principal, John Sartain, to express her outrage at the school, “offering my daughter SPANX.”
Her email continued, “My 13-year-old daughter. Shapewear. If my daughter begged me for shapewear, I would tell her no. I would be concerned about her if she even asked. Now I find out that you are ENCOURAGING her to wear it.”
The principal reportedly told the concerned parent the school had received a donation of shapewear and other undergarments, and came up with a plan to distribute them to those who wanted it. However, after parents complained, he cancelled the program.
District officials communicated that they understand how, “this type of information causes serious concern from parents,” according to USA Today.
Huen tells the paper, she knew the school had “good intentions” regarding the other undergarments for those students who were without, but providing shapewear, “basically says, ‘We know you don’t have a perfect body, here is something to alter your appearance.'”