Sometimes the best lessons come not from the teacher, but from the student herself.
In an online class discussion about brands using plus-size models in advertisements, 16-year-old Anna Sweetland decided she couldn't let one classmate's biased opinion slip by without addressing it head on, reports Teen Vogue.
"In a part of article 5, it talks about how Target is starting a body positivity campaign, and are also using 'plus size' models, which is disgusting," the classmate wrote in the online discussion forum. "There's no problem with not being ashamed of your body, but it's an entirely different thing when you're obese. The problem with campaigns like these is that they encourage obesity, unhealthy habits, and they say that you'll be happy no matter your size. This is wrong, and no one wants to look at an obese model."
(A friend of Sweetland's posted a screenshot of the discussion on Twitter.)
"I appreciate you sharing your opinion; however, I would like to offer some extra information on the topic, as well as my own opinion," Sweetland began. "Firstly, I would like to start by saying that calling anyone's body 'disgusting' isn't really called for, and you should be careful with your choice in adjectives... "
Sweetland continued to address his comment about obesity, the use of plus-size versus thin models, and how representation of different bodies is important for people to see in ads.
"But back to the talk of plus size models. You can be a plus size model and still have just as healthy a blood sugar as any other model (plus size model Ashley Graham even proved this on Good Morning America in response to arguments similar to yours)... "
"Lastly I would like to inform you that your statement saying 'nobody wants to look at an obese model' is false. You know who wants to see a plus size model? The 67% of women in America who are plus size, and want to open a magazine and see somebody that looks just as beautiful as they do."
"When he made claims like 'nobody wants to look at an obese model,' that really just irritated me," Sweetland told ATTN: while discussing her decision to respond to her classmate. "That's when I wrote my comment and I just wanted to tell him that, despite what he may think, plus size models really do have a positive impact on our society in general, and they help so many women."
We think so, too!
Read Sweetland's full response here.