Enrichment Education

Middle school under fire for offering shapewear to female students to help body image

Story at a glance

  • Southaven Middle School in Mississippi sent a letter home with female students offering “healthy literature, shapewear” to help combat negative body image.
  • The letter received swift backlash online after a student’s mother posted it online.
  • The school has since discontinued the program.

A middle school in Mississippi is facing backlash after a parent published a letter sent home with her daughter about addressing body image issues. 

So this is what my 8th grade daughter brought home from school today. I am beyond pissed,” Ashley Heun wrote on Facebook Tuesday. 

Alongside the Facebook post was a photo of the letter sent home with Heun’s daughter from Southaven Middle School. The letter reads that “girls are more likely than boys to have a negative body image” because of “unrealistic social and cultural beauty ideals,” which can cause depression and low self-esteem.  

The school then offered for parents to opt for school counselors to send girls at the school “healthy literature, shapewear, bras, and other products.” 

So you begin this masterpiece detailing how damaging a negative body image is for girls, how the stress of conforming to an impossible perceived image can adversely affect their mental health,” Heun wrote, “and then OFFER TO GIVE THEM SPANX SO THEY CAN BETTER FIT THE PERCEIVED IMAGE?!?” 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news. 


The letter faced swift backlash online following Heun’s post, including from best-selling author Glennon Doyle. 

What the holy hell is this. What school is passing out ‘shapewear’ to female students??” Doyle tweeted. “It’s too early in the day for this s— but fine tell me where to show up for  f—s sake.” 

The school has since decided to discontinue the program. 

The district has been made aware of the parental permission form sent to parents by Southaven Middle School,” a spokesperson for the DeSotoCountry School District told Changing America. “District officials understand how this type of information causes serious concern from parents. The principal at Southaven Middle School met with the parent yesterday, and the school has discontinued the implementation of the program.” 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA 

JANET JACKSON TALKS BEAUTY STANDARDS, WOMEN BECOMING ‘COMFORTABLE IN THEIR SKIN, IN THEIR SIZE’ IN NEW INTERVIEW 

SOCIAL MEDIA MADE SELENA GOMEZ FEEL SHE ‘WASN’T PRETTY ENOUGH’    

STAR OF ‘SQUID GAME’ MAKES COVER OF VOGUE 

SOCCER STAR MEGAN RAPINOE TAKES ON NBA STAR DRAYMOND GREEN OVER WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT