- A 14-year-old girl refused to calculate her BMI as a homework, gave the best response on why she did that
- The 8th-grader gave the teacher a bold explanation of how BMI is an outdated way of calculating and categorizing body weight
- Tessa Embry’s guts and confidence gained a lot of positive reaction on social media
Tessa Embry’s class was given a homework by their teacher to define what BMI or Body Mass Index means and then asked them to calculate their own BMI. The 8th grade student from Indiana refused to answer the questions, but rather gave her teacher a 2-page explanation why such assignment is unnecessary, and in fact, discriminating.
In an article written by Parker Molloy from Upworthy, a few weeks before the now controversial test question was given, 14-year-old Tessa felt body-shamed after each student in their class was weighed-in by their PE teacher and the BMI result categorized her as ‘obese’.
According to Tessa’s mom, Mindi Embry, her daughter was so upset that they went off to see a doctor. And that was when they were told Tessa was in perfect shape: she was strong, active, and is on a healthy diet.
The doctor’s opinion was enough proof to boost Tessa’s confidence. She came up with the realization that the BMI calculator is not an accurate tool to conclude body weight. And she was determined to let him know that he or what the BMI was telling, was wrong.
Below is the letter which went viral on the internet:
“BMI is an outdated way of defining normal weight, under weight, over weight, and obesity by taking one person’s height divided by their weight. One of the formula’s obvious flaws, explains Alan Aragon, the Men’s Health Weight Loss Coach and nutritionist in California, is that it has absolutely no way of discriminating fat and muscle. So, let’s say there is a fairly athletic woman who maintains a decent diet, she’s five feet, six inches, and she weighs 190 pounds, but 80% of her body is muscle. That doesn’t matter when calculating BMI! This woman’s BMI would be 30.7, and she would be labeled obese. Does that make sense to you? Because it sure doesn’t make sense to me.”
“How could someone who stays fit, eats healthy, and has a low metabolism be in danger of heart disease and diabetes? Oh, that’s right, because she isn’t in danger of obesity and heart disease. This woman is active and healthy and she is the furthest thing from obese. In conclusion, BMI is an outdated way of determining a person’s body health, and it’s a measurement that should not be used in a school setting where students are already self-conscious and lacking confidence in their unique bodies.”
And this was enough for her to refrain from answering the test question.
“Now, I’m not going to even open my laptop to calculate my BMI. And I’ll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a “bigger girl” and I’m completely fine with that; I’m strong and powerful. When you put a softball or a bat in my hand, they are considered lethal weapons. But, at the beginning of the year, I started having very bad thoughts when my body was brought into a conversation. I would wear four bras to try and cover up my back fat, and I would try to wrap ace bandages around my stomach so I would look skinnier. So my lovely mother did what any parent would do when they noticed something wrong with her child, she took me to my doctor. My doctor and I talked about my diet and how active I am.”
“He did a couple tests and told me I was fine. He said though I’m a bit overweight, he’s not going to worry about me based on how healthy I am. So this is where I don’t calculate my BMI because my doctor, a man who went to college for eight years studying children’s health, told me my height and weight are right on track. I am just beginning to love my body, like I should..”
It’s because, from her own words:
“..I’m not going to let some outdated calculator and a middle school gym teacher tell me I’m obese, because I’m not. My BMI is none of your concern because my body and BMI are perfect and beautiful just the way they are.”
Now that is guts and confidence for you.