The day middle schoolers in one Indiana town were asked to weigh themselves in front of their entire gym class and then calculate their BMI for homework, eighth-grader Tess Embry came home very upset (as many of us would!). She channeled that energy in the best way possible, writing a kick-ass explanation for why she woud not calculate her BMI.
Embry’s response, which has gone viral, points out some of the problems with the BMI measurement and details some of her own struggles with body image. We’re so inspired by her courage, body-positive message, and general bad-assery. Plus, she ended the write-up with a complete mic drop:
“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 why 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 I am just beginning to love my body, like I should, and I’m not going to let some outdated calculator and a middle school gym teacher tell me I’m obese, because I’m not.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.”