Thursday, May 7, 2015

Does This Text Make Me Look Fat?


I was in the same English class at the continuation high school for three days. Day one went pretty smoothly (for the continuation high school). Day 2 was a bit more difficult. It was a short day, their prom was that night, and they really weren't in the mood to work.

The assignment for the day was the reading an analysis of a poem called "To Christine". It was about girls and body image. And while the rest of the day getting anything out of them was like pulling teeth, one period we got a fascinating discussion going.

One boy told us he calls his girlfriend fat all the time.

One of the others at his table dug into that a little deeper, and I was able to discern that said girlfriend is pregnant. The boy claimed his girlfriend is not offended by his comments, and as I don't know the girl nor know how the comments are delivered, I can't be certain if he's truthful or lying to himself.

We said as much to him.

Suddenly, he started to wonder. Was his girlfriend upset and not telling him? He had to text her...

(Normally I'd be all about not texting in class, but under these circumstances...)

If you think about it, this is an awfully strange text to get out of the blue. According to the boy, she said she wasn't offended. Then he had to explain how this had all come up in class, in a class discussion.

I hope the two of them have a conversation about this later. I wonder at the girl. But then again, I wonder at people all the time.

35 comments:

  1. Maybe you also should have texted the girl, just typing SMH. ;-)

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    1. I'm not getting in the middle of that one. No way.

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  2. Yeah, good call. I was just trying to show off my new texting skills. :-P

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  3. At least you made him think about her feelings.

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  4. I think there was a valuable lesson here with that text; it did make him think twice about calling her fat, glad you let him text her during class; I do hope they talked about it and I do hope it helps him down the future with words chosen to describe people (pregnant and in high school, wow!)

    betty

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    1. This is the school where many of the girls already have kids, so I've learned to keep my poker face on.

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  5. This sure opened minds and created questions. Calling a girl Fat sticks in her brain over time and can create other issues. Great lesson.

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    1. I know. I don't think he gets that.

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  6. Odd! I can't imagine any situation in which it's a good idea to call a female fat!

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  7. You're a good teacher being flexible like that. I would have been very upset if someone called me fat when I was pregnant. At least he considered he might have hurt her feelings. I love the title of this post Liz.

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    1. Yes, I'm glad that he entertained the possibility. There's hope for him.

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  8. I believe we are a society that is too concerned about being politically correct all the time. Most people who are pregnant ARE fat. I was fat when I was pregnant and I am fat now. I don't mind being called fat. It is what I am. Now if I was skinning and someone called me fat those would be fighting words......

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    1. I guess there are people who don't mind being called fat. I, personally, don't like it, especially when they're pointing out the obvious.

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  9. wow! so many stories i missed during a to z! i went back and read a few, quite compelling! and i like the idea of a surprise change of heart character - that might be just what i need to crank up my wip! will have to consider it... hmm!
    congrats on your a to z and to the lucky winners of your knitted card holder!

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    1. April was kind of tough, eh? Keeping up with everyone... Well, I know I fell down on a few of those, myself.

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  10. I don't like the idea of calling anyone fat. Even if his girlfriend wasn't offended, it's still a mean thing to do. It's just a loaded word. People need to be more sensitive, not less.

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  11. I wonder if the girl was being truthful about the way she felt.
    Here is another way to look at it. This may sound a little strange, but since she is pregnant with his child, she may feel it is an endearing way for him to acknowledge their pregnancy?

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  12. Oh my! I can't imagine not being offended - pregnant or not. And what a discussion to have in class. I'm sure the girl would prefer not being discussed. I think school has really changed since I was there.

    Sunni


    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. True. Of course, I'm not the one who brought her into the conversation. (We were discussing self image and media influences and... You know, I'm not sure how this situation came up.)

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  13. Oh boy....That boy has no clue about girls/women. We may laugh and say it's OK when it isn't. This poor girl is pregnant when very young herself. her whole life will change from this moment on. She may laugh with him in order to stay with him and boys/men can be so daft. I think this conversation you all had made him think twice

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  14. One thing I've discovered is that with teens anything can happen! From amazing stand up idealism to total pathetic apathy and anything in between.

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  15. It could be that she isn't offended by his comments but it would be hard to believe that she wasn't irritated that he made this the subject of a class discussion. It's a good sign that he was worried.

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  16. If she normally has no body issues and is only looking bigger because of the pregnancy then she probably isn't offended. What fascinating classes you run!

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  17. Lol. I'm laughing because back in my day, girls were called "phat" all the time as a sign that they had a good body or curves or something. I'm glad she's not offended to be called fat, but hopefully you raised some awareness that it's not really a term girls like to hear.

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    1. I hope so. At least by the reactions from the other students (the girls) in the class.

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  18. Well at least he felt concerned and checked with her how she felt, so that's something at least. So odd though, it also makes me wonder if said girl has very low self-esteem not to mind being called fat all the time -- pregnant or not!

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    1. It's either that or she's so confident that what he says doesn't matter. If I knew who the girl was, I might have some idea.

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  19. I know (having an adult son) that school has changed since I went to school but....this made my sad. Did that girl have that low of a self esteem? At least the boy cared enough to want to text her I'm still shaking my head at this. Alana-ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  20. Oh my. What a situation! It leaves me shaking my head.

    Yvonne

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  21. I can’t imagine any girl who wouldn’t be at least a little upset about being called fat, but women tend not to be upfront about such things. Men, on the other hand, may hesitate to talk about their feelings, but when they do, they lean toward honesty. Which is why they don’t always understand why women say one thing and mean another.

    VR Barkowski

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  22. On the one hand it's sweet that he wanted to make amends and you made him think about what he's been saying to her; on the other hand, regardless of what his girlfriend has said to him, I bet it hurts a little bit that he's calling her fat.

    The other day I was sitting eating a bit of cake (it was someone's birthday so I had a slice) when an acquaintance told me 'you'll get fat' completely out of the blue. I was kind of offended. Someone called her on it and the person who'd spoken said 'she knows I'm joking'.

    Well, I didn't and it bugged me for the rest of the day. I'm pretty curvy and can be quite self-conscious. Sometimes people really need to think about what they say before they speak.

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    1. People can be cruel. Sometimes they aren't aware that they are. (But I bet more often than not that they are.)

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