There's nothing wrong with being discerning when it comes to your child's daycare or babysitters, but one mom generated widespread outrage when she refused to send her child to a daycare with "extremely overweight" teachers.
In an essay for the Daily Mail, Hilary Freeman wrote about the daycare center she planned to enroll her daughter in — until she met the "lovely" but "obese" nursery assistant.
To be clear, Freeman thought that the assistant was "great with children," but apparently that isn't enough if you're also plus-sized. She, like many concern trolls, veiled her body-shaming with worry — worry that someone so seemingly unhealthy wouldn't be able to protect her child.
"She moved slowly and breathlessly, her face flushed," Freeman described. "Would she, I wondered, have the lightning reflexes needed to save an adventurous toddler from imminent danger?"
Not only that, she was also worried about the "unhealthy habits" the woman would teach her daughter, "who would be eating her lunch and tea there each day."
"Looking around, I noticed that she wasn’t the only extremely overweight member of staff," she wrote. "I couldn’t help worrying 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."
The rest of her essay discusses her anxiety over having to "censor herself" when it comes to her thoughts on why "fat acceptance has gone too far."
While listing off the reasons why a fat person wouldn't be a good role model for her daughter, Freeman never acknowledges that discriminating against other people based on their size probably doesn't set a great example for her child, either.
Understandably, the backlash was swift. Within less than a day after the article posted, there were more than 2,000 comments. "I have variously been called a ‘fat shamer’, told I am a terrible mother, accused of being shallow, judgmental, nasty and dangerous. And those are the least offensive insults," Freeman wrote in a later article. She's even lost some friends.
Needless to say, she got a hefty dose of the debate she was looking for.
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