When it comes to body image, modern American culture has done a pretty good job of setting an impossible standard on young women. With magazines, weight loss ads, and Victoria’s Secret runway shows that scream “thinner is BETTER”, it’s no surprise that so many girls today struggle with eating disorders and self-esteem issues.
But one place you wouldn’t expect a strong, healthy teen girl to be body shamed is at her own doctor’s office.
But that’s exactly what happened to Julie Venn’s 13-year-old daughter Riley when she went in for her yearly physical.
The active, sport-involved teen was shockingly asked by her Nurse Practitioner if she could explain all the weight she’s gained this year.
Totally aghast, Julie stopped the woman and chimed in with a passionate rant championing body positivity and the empowerment of this generation of young girls.
Since sharing her powerful perspective with the Moms of Tweens and Teens Facebook page, Julie’s message has gone mega-viral for all the right reasons, being shared by media outlets across the web.
Read her post in full below:
This week I took my 13 year old daughter to get her physical. As we entered the examination room I was excited to see how tall Riley would be as this year she has grown a ton! The coach in me has loved seeing her strength and size finally come along and the mom in me has loved watching this beautiful young girl begin to become a young woman.
Enter first physicians assistant to take her vitals. Height, weight and blood pressure.
She jots them down and leaves the room. Enter Nurse Practitioner. She begins by asking many questions- whats your bedtime? How much exercise do you get? Are you involved in sports? Do you get enough dairy in your diet? She asks her multiple times- anything else going on I should know about? Riley is friendly and answers all honestly and openly. She explains she will play two sports soon-softball in the fall and basketball in the winter. She tells her she goes to bed around 10:30pm and doesn’t have trouble sleeping.
The NP presses her little on the sports participation sort of insinuating she will have trouble balancing that with school but Riley seems unaffected. She then asks her- How was school for you this last year? Riley again with complete honesty says- It was actually very difficult for me. There was a lot of drama and I struggled. The NP says that is pretty typical for 7th grade and moves on. She asks about getting her period and if it is regular. Riley explains she has gotten it but it has not been with regularity yet.