“STOP! You need to stop talking to my daughter about her weight. She is 13, she is strong. She is healthy and she is PERFECT.” That’s what mom Julie Venn said when a nurse shamed her 13-year-old daughter Riley for gaining weight. In a post shared to the “Moms of Tweens and Teens” Facebook page, Venn describes the shocking incident, which took place at an annual checkup back in August.
The appointment started off as usual, with a physician’s assistant taking the 7th grader’s vitals and asking a few basic questions about her sleep, exercise (Riley plays both softball and basketball) and diet. But then, according to Venn, the nurse practitioner abruptly said, “Tell me RILEY, HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN ALL OF THIS WEIGHT YOU’VE GAINED?”
While Riley, who had recently gone through a growth spurt like most teen girls do, was speechless (and even started to tear up), her mom, on the other hand, says she “LOST MY MIND.” After defending her daughter, Venn pulled the nurse aside to have a private discussion about what had been said.
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“I explained in no uncertain terms that she was out of line in the way she dealt with my daughter,” Venn explains. “Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bullshit standards.”
Venn ends her rant by asserting they will not return to that doctor’s office, and that she hopes other medical professionals learn from the pair’s experience. Claiming that shaming statements like the ones her daughter received are dangerous, Venn offers up what she thinks should have been said instead:
“Know that some girls gain weight, some lose weight, some struggle with acne, some feel insecure but remember this- YOU ARE PERFECT just the way you are. This is just the beginning of a long, confusing, sometimes scary road to becoming a woman but it is worth it!”